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Sydney Winter Garden Events

Home > Sydney > Art | Festivals | Gardens | Lists | Workshops
by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at
Published June 12th 2018
Gardens in Sydney host a number of events during our coldest season that include everything from flower festivals to astronomy and garden nightlife. Exploring our green spots has never been more interesting than ever and here are some experiences that will intrigue the senses.

Camellia Gala Day

Camellias are in bloom during mid-winter to spring in tones of white, pink and red and the beautiful Lisgar Gardens are celebrating this species with a gala day that incorporates workshops, demonstrations, talks, stalls and delicious food.

Guest presenters and artists will educate you on camellia identification, easy care gardening, bonsai, beekeeping, Japanese origami and Chinese brush painting whilst stalls include home-made jams for sale, soups, French crepes and warming drinks. Note stalls are cash only and no ATM is available.

An inclinator (lift) will be in operation for the less mobile as there are multiple stairs leading down to the formal gardens. Waterfalls, fish ponds, a rainforest walk and over 90 varieties of camellias feature in this tranquil hillside haven along with rhododendrons, azaleas, gardenias and other exotics in harmony with native trees and ferns.

When: 1 July, 11am-3.30pm
Where: 25 Lisgar Rd, Hornsby
Cost: Free entry, registration here
Enquiries: 02 9847 6791

Garden Nightlife

Experience a torch-lit exploit wandering the pathways of the Royal Botanic Garden and visit biodiversity 'hotspots', such as the ponds, to search for nocturnal animals. Some fly in for the night whilst others are long-term residents.

Along with your senses, you'll also get to use some tech gadgets that scientists use to locate animals. Some you might see are flying foxes, brush-tailed possums, tawny frogmouths, microbats, Golden Orb spiders and maybe even the elusive Powerful Owl.

Comfortable, enclosed walking shoes are required.

When: 6 July & 3 August, 5pm-7pm
Where: Woolloomooloo Gate, Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney
Cost: $39 with tickets via Eventbrite

Ghostly Garden

This twilight adventure and spine-tingling storytelling event sees you journey along shadowy tree-lined paths, creeping past gloomy ponds and tiptoeing through eerie grottos. It's a rare after hours opportunity in the Royal Botanic Garden with spooky and kooky tales of the past, including people long dead, as bats fly overhead and night creatures stare from the treetops.

For this unforgettable tour, you will need to bring a torch and wear comfortable enclosed shoes.

When: 13 July & 10 August, 5.30pm-7pm
Where: Woolloomooloo Gate, Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney
Cost: $39 via Eventbrite

The Inside Dig: Succulent Garden Workshop

Learn the secrets to growing and styling succulents in this hands-on gardening workshop held in Centennial Park. With the guidance of an expert from Yates Garden Company, you'll design and make your own mini succulent window box to take home as well as additional products to keep your plants alive and healthy.

Your experience is complemented with wine and an antipasto spread, along with good company.

When: 20 July, 6pm-730pm
Where: The Wild Play Discovery Centre, Dickens Drv (in the park)
Cost: $65 with tickets here
Enquiries: 02 9339 6699

Astronomy at The Calyx

A night of astronomy, stargazing and storytelling awaits in the Royal Botanic Garden, surrounded by flowers in the beautiful circular Calyx building. Sip on a complimentary glass of wine on arrival before a short talk on the wonders of the solar system.

Afterwards, the group will be split into two with half going onto The Calyx lawns to view the night sky with Dr Angel R Lopez-Sanchez (astronomy researcher and science communicator) whilst the other half sit separately on the lawns with an Aboriginal storyteller giving a fascinating insight into traditional interpretations of astronomy. Each group will then swap so both activities can be experienced.

This event runs regularly and commonly sells out. If the below dates sell out then you can put your name on a waitlist and be among the first to be notified of the next sessions.

When: 31 July & 14 August, 7pm-9pm
Where: Macquarie St (top entrance near Cnr Bent St), Sydney
Cost: $30 via garden website
Enquiries: 02 9231 8111

Valley of Light

Federation Valley in Centennial Parklands is turning into a spectacle of light for one night in a unique art installation under the direction of master light painter Peter Solness. This one hour public Valley of Light experience uses 100 lights of various colours that sees you spinning them to create magnificent luminous tunnels, stunning bright ribbons and spectacular rings of light.

You will learn the effects of long exposure photography in this fluid light event and how the camera can record images not seen by the naked eye.

Suitable for enthusiasts of all ages, you can choose to spin, photograph or just be a spectator and watch the experience unfold.

When: 10 August, 5pm-6.30pm
Where: Belvedere Amphitheatre, Broome Ave (in the park)
Cost: Free, but spinners will need to register and arrive by 4.30pm.
Enquiries: 02 9339 6699

Cherry Blossom Festival

Auburn Botanic Gardens is one of the best places to be in August with the Japanese garden ablaze in white and pink cherry blossoms. Surrounding a picturesque lake and teahouse, they are a sight to behold.

Peacocks wander around, workshops are on offer, music and entertainment abound, whilst food stalls satisfy your hunger and garden tours educate. Many dress up for the occasion in both traditional Japanese and modern costumes in what is known as Cosplay.

There is much to delight in with a fauna enclosure nearby, an art gallery and a walk-through aviary across the road.

When: Over 2 weeks in August (dates still to be advised at time of writing)
Where: Cnr Chisholm & Chiswick Rds, Auburn
Cost: $5 for visitors living outside the area; locals and children under 16yrs free
Enquiries: 02 8757 9000

Daffodil Day

Daffodil Day is a nationwide event that raises money for cancer patients and their families and at Eden Gardens they're supporting this great cause with a daffodil and spring bulb exhibition, entertainment from Denistone East school choir, and a 'Fruit & Vege' hat competition.

Listen to a guest speaker from the Cancer Council, gather your friends for a morning tea, write a message on the Daffodil Tree and be in with a chance to win some great raffle prizes.

With these bright yellow flowers exuding beauty and happiness, it's sure to be an uplifting day out.

All profits from this event will be donated to the Cancer Council NSW.

When: 22 August, 10am-12pm
Where: 307 Lane Cove Rd (Cnr Fontenoy Rd), Macquarie Park
Cost: $15 per person, payable on the day
Enquiries: 02 9491 9976 or email (RSVP essential)

Wildflower Art & Garden Festival

Stunning wildflower displays, native plants for sale, craft workshops and children's activities are all part of this annual celebration in Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden. In recent years, a Sculpture Walk was added to the event with cash prizes awarded.

Guided walks in the garden are available or you can take a bush walk yourself on a number of walking tracks. Features you'll come across include ponds, gullies, waterfalls, heath land, tall forest and sandstone outcrops.

There's also food and drink stalls on the day and several picnic areas available with barbecues for hire.

When: 26 August 4 September
Where: 420 Mona Vale Rd, St Ives
Cost: Free
Enquiries: 02 9424 0353
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