There is a lot to see and do at the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, approximately 100 kilometres north-west of Sydney. It is a short one-and-a-half hours' drive, and one of the places that attracts visitors is the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah. Entry is free at the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens and it is open from 9:00am (9:30am on weekends and public holidays) to 5:30pm every day except Christmas.
Flowers at the Blue Mountain Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
The Garden is the highest botanic garden in Australia at 1,000 meters above sea level. It thus has mild summer temperatures and a cool and tranquil environment, making it the ideal home for its world class collection of plants from the cooler regions of the world. The plants are grouped according to geographical origin, and visitors can appreciate the similarities and differences in the plant life of the different regions represented. For instance, you can find the berberidopsis corallina, an endangered red-flowered vine from South America, at the Garden. It is also home to the dinosaur tree, the Wollemi pine, which was thought to be long extinct. Together with the berberidopsis corallina and the Wollemi pine, the Garden has over 40,000 native, exotic, and rare plants.
Panoramic view at the Blue Mountain Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
A free guided tour conducted by volunteers is available at the Garden. The Garden Safari is a big hit for kids, but a stroll through the 252-hectare Garden is simply the best, at any season of the year. It can get exhausting, but you'll never tire of the scenery that unfolds in each and every step you take. A visit to the Garden at different times of the year will be different. You can vividly feel and see the colours of autumn, the shades of winter, the blooms of spring, and the warmth of summer.
A shade of purple blue at the Blue Mountain Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
Books, botanic art, a stunning range of plants, and many other Australian plants are available at the Garden Shop in the Visitor Centre. Casual Australian dining is available at the Tomah Gardens Restaurant, which is open daily at 10am-12pm for morning tea, 12pm-3pm for lunch, and 3pm-4pm for afternoon tea, except on Christmas Day. It has a seating capacity of 140 diners, 60 of which are outside on the terrace with stunning views that extend as far as the Hunter Valley across the Wollemi National Park.
Red as blood at the Blue Mountain Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
For more information about the Garden, click here. To get there from Richmond or Lithgrow, follow the Bells Line of Road. Call 02 4567 3000 for enquiries. Pets are not allowed in the garden, and unfortunately, there is no available public transport to and from the Garden.