It’s Sunday morning and we decided to drive up to the Blue Mountains and visit the Botanical garden at Mount Tomah. We’ve been before a few years ago and decided it was time to visit again. Our girls enjoy exploring the gardens, seeing the different flowers, plants and fauna and just come here really to enjoy the peacefulness and serenity that this place brings.
From Residence Gardens to Plant Explorers Walk to Rock Gardens, Ponds and Woodlands, Mount Tomah botanical garden will have you captivated from the moment you arrive to sunset. The park is huge so its best to come early so you can see as much of the garden as possible.
A bit of background information…
The Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah, Blue Mountains is a 1 hour drive from Sydney. It’s a popular place for weddings and venue hire and a place where people come to relax, discover and enjoy the gardens.
The Blue Mountains Botanic garden sits on 252 hectares of land that sits on the summit of a basalt capped peak, 1,000 metres above sea level. 28 hectares of this land is open to the public. This expansive space is home to 21,000 plants and 900 different species from the cooler southern hemisphere.
The Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah is the only place in the world to be part of a World Heritage Area.
How to get here
The drive to Mt Tomah is beautiful with a nice country feel along the way. My 2 year old at the back loved the drive and pointed out so many of the farm animals we saw along the way which kept her busy and entertained.
Address: Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
Bells Line of Rd, Mount Tomah NSW 2758
Open Monday – Friday 9am – 5:30pm
Weekends and public holidays 9:30am – 5:30pm
Closed on Christmas Day
* Gates are locked at 5:30pm
Things to do on the way
Along Bells Line of Road you will see plenty of orchids that offer fruit picking. The kids were excited and they really wanted to do some fruit picking but we couldn’t stop as we didn’t have much time and had to head straight on. It’s definitely something we would love to do next time.
If you do have time then it’s worth stopping by. The small orchids in the Blue mountains grows its own fruit that you can pick in season (pink lady apples, pears, stone fruit and more)
There is a lot of parking available, however on those days when they are busy due to Weddings or other functions, some of the car parks will be reserved for guests so on those days it may be difficult to find parking. They do have friendly warden staff out on duty on these days to help you and direct you where to go. Usually Families with small children will be given preference to the car park closest to the entrance.
First point of call…the Visitor Information Centre
Once you arrive at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden, your first point of call should be the Visitor Information and Garden Centre. Ask for a free map and garden information booklet. If you are visiting during the school holidays then they may even have some school holiday activity running for the kids. You can find out about this and other events and tours at the information centre.
Botanists Way Discovery Centre
Inside the visitor information centre you can go downstairs to discover more about the Botanists Way and learn about the history of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Here you will find out what Botanists discovered when they explored the Blue Mountain region and about the ancient landscapes of sandstones, river gorges and more. This is a great space for kids too as there are colouring activities and a movie room they will enjoy.
Best time to visit Mount Tomah
It’s a great time to visit during any of the seasons as the changing seasons will give you a whole new look and scene of the gardens depending on what time of the year you visit. We visited in Autumn and to be honest I don’t think it’s the best time to visit because a lot of the flowers and plants have either died or wilted. This was obvious when we visited the Formal Gardens located outside the visitor centre. To be honest It was looking quite bare and not very attractive at all. However in saying that it is the best time to visit the Autumn tree displays.
I guess Spring would be the best time to visit for the colours and to see the new pink blossoms starting to emerge. Summer time would also be a good time to visit especially the formal garden to see them covered with beautiful roses of all different colours.
Suggested walks at Mt Tomah Botanical Garden
Half an hour walk take in the wonderful views from the visitor centre and visit the Residence Garden or wander through the formal garden and take a rainforest walk to the viewing platform looking back to Sydney.
One hour walk see the Wollemi Pines and Gondwana Forest or visit the Rock Garden and Residence Garden or take the Plant explorers Walk and the Forest Walk.
Half a day enough time to walk around the entire garden or take a guided tour and have a picnic or lunch at the restaurant.
All day see the whole garden and have a long lunch in the sun at the restaurant or a BBQ on the lawn under the gum trees.
Exploring the Gardens
The gardens are a great way for you to relax and breathe in the clean mountain air whilst you explore and discover so many different plants and fauna. There are so many areas to explore and depending on the time of day you arrive and how much time you have you can see the whole garden or a few of the suggested ones mentioned above. We arrived mid day and only just touched the surface. Here is what we explored on our visit:
The formal gardens are three distinct terraces that are inspired by European design. You will find a seasonal display garden as well as a hand-glazed pergola. The formal gardens are best visited during late spring or Summer.
You will find a vaiety of plants from around the world each giving a different look in every season from South African Portea to South American Bromeliads. They just look so pretty with the unique look and colours.
This was such a gorgeous place and perfect setting for a picnic. There were lots of oak, birch and gum trees that is really felt like we were somewhere special, especially with the warm colours of Autumn. We sat here for half hour relaxing in the sun and taking lots of selfie pictures that came out gorgeous with the beautiful backdrop. As we were about to leave the rangers came and stopped by to say hello. They offered the kids a ride in their buggy and a try on the walkie talkie. It was quite an experience for them and it was the perfect end to a relaxing day.
On Our Next Visit…
Next time we will try and see:
North American Woodland
The Forest Walk
The Plant Explorers Walk
Heath and Heather Garden
Eating at the Gardens
By the time we arrived we were all quite hungry. We didn’t know what the restaurant would be like and if the kids would enjoy the food so we decided to find a spot in the gardens and enjoy a picnic. We had packed some sandwiches from home and a flask of hot chocolate so it was perfect.
We found a nice spot under a huge tree in the residence garden among the beautiful purple salvias and different species of birds. It was lovely.
You will find lots of park benches around the garden as well as some picnic benches and of course plenty of nice lawn areas to throw down a picnic rug.
Mount Tomah Restaurant
The restaurant looked incredible with it’s magnificent views overlooking the gardens and blue mountains in the distance. We didn’t dine at this restaurant so I cannot comment on the food, however the menu looked great, a little expensive perhaps. I guess if you are here for a special occasion or celebrating a birthday then why not stay and indulge at the restaurant especially with those views.
The restaurant is open from Wednesday through to Sunday and serves Breakfast and Lunch. You can choose to dine indoors or on their stunning terrace with picturesque views of the Blue Mountains.
The Kiosk called the “Ugly Mug” is a great option if you want to grab a quick bite to eat or a coffee. Their coffee was nice and super-hot at $4.50 a large cup. There is a sheltered courtyard area outside the Kiosk with picnic tables for you to sit down and enjoy your food. The Kiosk is located right opposite the car park.
The kiosk is open 4 days a week.
Weekends 9:30am – 5pm
Monday – Tuesday 9:00am – 4:30pm
Have you visited the gardens?
What time of the year did you visit?