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Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden

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by Sue Hinchey (subscribe)
A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Published October 18th 2016
Serene and special Stony Range Botanic Garden
The crisp inviting air of spring just demands our senses to get outside and engage with nature. And if you don't have the time to get out of Sydney for a weekend then just find some green space closer to where you live. For us on the northern beaches of Sydney, that space is Stony Range Botanic Garden. Part-rainforest, part-bushland, this patch of the planet has more flora and fauna than you'd think, given its tiny corner near the intersection of Warringah Road and Pittwater Road.

botanic garden
Stony Range Botanic Garden


The entrance is framed by the stunning red flowers of the towering Queensland Tree Waratah

waratah
Queensland Tree Waratah


Inside your senses are immediately engaged. Informative signs invite you to taste, smell, sniff and see. Crush the leaves of the mint bush and have a sniff. It can be used to flavour food.

Mint Bush
Taste and smell the Mint bush


There are themed areas, such as the Bush Tucker Walk. Look up at the beautiful and imposing Angophora trees the red trunk makes them easy to spot or rub your hands over the papery trunk of the paperbark tree and feel the aromatic oil on your hands.

Angophora tree
Towering trees


The large fronds of the Cabbage Tree Palm were used by early settlers to weave into such things as hats, and pretty heath plants, gigantic birds nest ferns and staghorns attract birds and wildlife.

staghorns
staghorns hang from trees


native birds
native noisy minor babies


birds nest fern
ferns provide habitat


The tireless team of volunteers have also created interactive exhibits, displays and information for children to get involved, such as 'Find Me' brochures listing the frogs and lizards that can be seen amongst the habitat, or the fairy house that needs decorating, a job passed on from one visitor to the next.

fairy house
help decorate the fairy house


Stony Range was once a sandstone quarry and portions of overhanging cliff faces have been preserved and kept as part of the environment.

sandstone cliffs
sandstone cliffs can still be seen


Closed in 1961 when suburban subdivisions started taking place in the area, the local council retained the 3.3 hectares and enthusiastic green-thumb locals have filled it with Australian Native plants, created micro-climates like the rainforest gully, and eco-systems of small waterfalls, meandering paths, covered seating and a free-to-use barbeque area.

covered seating
covered seating


free barbeque
free use of barbeque and tap


Stony Range in spring is a delightful and intimate place right in our own backyard. Some of the tracks are wheelchair accessible, plus a limited amount of off-street parking is available. Buses to Dee Why from the city, Manly and Palm Beach stop nearby, and it's open every day of the year. Public toilets are available, and entrance is free except if you want to make a gold-coin donation towards the upkeep of this special sanctuary.



wheelchair access
some paths have disabled access


Don't let spring pass you by without partaking in some of the highlights of the season.

native plants
birds love the grevilleas

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Why? Spring is here
Phone: 9942 2111
Where: Dee Why, Sydney
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