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Published May 9th 2018
The Best Things in Life Change Colour
Safe on a blanket of autumn leaves (by Pixabay / CC0 1.0)
In Sydney, we're blessed with glorious seasons. Summer's balmy heat drives us onto beaches and parks throughout the city. While Tasmanians shovel snow and cops in Townsville fry eggs on car bonnets, we bask in sunshine.
In autumn, the bliss continues with pure blue skies and mild sunshine ideal for DIY renos, a day of bushwalking or romantic strolls in delightful gardens. Meanwhile, native flowers bloom and centuries-old trees begin a cycle of regrow, shedding leaves in a rainbow of colour.
Sydney hosts hundreds of paths, tracks and trails through gardens, bushland, memorial sites and urban parks. Pick the best of the bunch before winter's chills bring crisp nights and snowfall at our ski fields.
Each region in Sydney hosts a few very special autumn experiences, where the varied plantlife are an escape from the city. Choose from the top 5 autumn parks throughout Sydney:
CBD – Royal Botanic Gardens
Australia's oldest botanic garden celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2016. Without a hint of botox, the park's oldest residents, including Sydney red gums, swamp oaks, red cedars and giant watergums are still the stars in a tourist's photos.
Time warp to 1885 in the glasshouse, with orchids and begonias. Shady pathways are showered with a leafy carpet of reds, oranges and yellows. Wander near Bennelong Point where kangaroo paws, paper daisies and Gymea lilies thrive in autumn temperatures.
Guided walks are available daily. Pick a quiet spot in one of the world's finest parks for a picnic, taking a moment to smell the roses.
Auburn Botanic Gardens really are inspired by autumn, as the local gardeners make special plans for the season. The flora reserves host themes, from Japanese, native and rainforest, to scented and rose. They are all at their best from May.
One for the calendar, the Autumn Colours Festival in May features guided tours, exhibitions, music and dance with the stunning trees and plants as the backdrop.
An autumn stroll (by Bahman A-Mahmoodi / CC BY 2.0)
East – Randwick – Centennial Park
In 1888, Sir Henry Parkes declared Centennial Park one of the grandest adornments of Australia. Inspired by the Victorian era, the formal gardens, broad parklands, statues, regal avenues and ponds are a quiet respite as fans cheer their sporting heroes in the nearby stadiums.
In the park's south-west, spend an afternoon at the playgrounds, picnic and barbecue areas, cycle paths and water features in Fearnley Grounds. Autumn colours surround these convenient amenities, making for relaxing day beneath energising, golden sunshine.
Centennial Park is open from 6.30am – 5.30pm during autumn, bordered by Oxford St, York Rd, Darley Rd and Alison Rd and next to Moore Park.
South – Caringbah – Camellia Gardens
For almost half a century, the Camellia Gardens have been the go-to spot for Shire locals to experience an internationally awarded collection of over 400 species of camellia. Immerse yourself in the invigorating surroundings, with rare ornamental and native plants also blooming along the guided walks during autumn and winter.
Before arriving, practise your pronunciation of the scientific names, including Camellia sasanqua and Camellia japonica, both flowering in autumn.
Host a picnic or special event or treat yourself with refreshments at the Teahouse before feeding the ducks.
Camellia Gardens is open from 9.30am – 5pm on weekends at 104 President Avenue, Caringbah.
Picture perfect in the Royal Botanic Gardens (Maksym Kozlenko / BY-SA 4.0)
North – Wahroonga – Wahroonga Park
Tucked into the city's northern suburbia, Wahroonga Park is an easy walk from the train station. Share lunch in the old fashioned rotunda as you admire the manicured plants, glowing in autumn's crisp sunshine.
In September, return to the park for the free Twilight Concert. In previous years, Daryl Braithwaite and Rhonda Burchmore have hit the main stage. There are glow sticks and face painting for the kids to light up the night.