This superb garden has been developed to display cool-climate plants from around the world to complement the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Special emphasis is given to Southern Hemisphere plants and their relationship. It is administered by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
Bells Line of Road, Mount Tomah NSW
Ph 02 4567 3000
Free entry. Open Monday – Friday: 9.00 am – 5.30 pm, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 9.30 am – 5.30 pm. Closed Christmas Day
Facilities – Restaurant, accommodation, Botanists Way Discovery Centre, walks, toilets, picnic spots, gallery, visitor information, plant sales, parking
The Blue mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah sits on a basalt peak 1000 metres above sea level in the World Heritage Listed Greater Blue Mountains. The Gardens cover 28 hectares and is home to thousands of species of cool climate and southern hemisphere plants and is the highest botanic garden in Australia.
As well as many beautiful landscaped gardens and rainforest walks the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden runs events and workshops to inspire a love of plants. It is a stunning wedding location and offers accommodation in the Jungle Lodge.
Suggested 30 minute and 1 hour walks may be found on the map signs around the garden.
Plants at Mount Tomah are grouped according to their geographical origin and these are grouped into thirteen ‘Feature Gardens’ are where you see similarities and differences and learn about evolution of flora from different continents.
Call into the Visitor Information desk just inside the main entrance for a garden map and information about the gardens and the Blue Mountains Region.
Features diverse woodland includes species that represent Gondwanan and the Southern Hemisphere with plants from Australia, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Africa.
Conifers flourish at Mount Tomah with many unusual species when and an impressive collection of conifers in this feature in this section.
The Bog Gardens is a hanging swamp with a unique wetland habitat and is typical of hanging swamps in damp cavities on hillsides and cliff edges providing damp conditions loved by ferns and mosses.
This is a grassy glade with mature trees and shrubs and includes a collection of conifers.
The Proteaceae family includes waratahs, banksias, grevilleas and proteas. The Proteaceae feature garden is home to many bright and colourful waratahs, and African plants, like the Gazaland protea of Zimbabwe and the curious clasping-leaf sugarbush.
Explore a pristine rainforest and see giant tree-ferns, sassafras, coachwood, blackbutt, brown barrel and other trees growing in their natural state. Easily accessible using the Lady (Nancy) Fairfax Walk.
In spring the rhododendrons bloom in all colours, forms and sizes all with wonderful fragrances.
Inspired by traditional European styles, is laid out in three terraces. The Herb Garden has plants arranged in simple geometric beds, reminiscent of early monastery and university gardens. The Rose Garden has an intimate collection of modern and heritage roses. The Lawn Terrace recalls formal 17th-century gardens, with manicured lawns and clipped hedges. In contrast, the colourful Pergola Terrace is based on 19th-century English herbaceous borders. The Formal Garden is wheelchair-accessible.
A graceful collection of conifer cultivars selected for their superior horticultural features, like plant shape, growth form and foliage colour.
Near the Visitor Centre showcases modern domestic landscaping and features a sweeping lawn of rye and fescue grass with handsome specimen trees.
During autumn, this collection of evergreen and deciduous trees from Eurasia puts on a dazzling colour display.
A miniature world of texture and colour in this pretty garden displaying colourful tapestry of heaths and heathland plants from the Northern Hemisphere, Africa and Australia.
The ‘fall’ season (autumn) is a blaze of colour in the deciduous section and features graceful trees including maple and beech.
There are two species of tree fern that occur on Mount Tomah. Both species are planted around the Visitor Centre. Cyathea australis (black or rough tree fern) is found on higher slopes. Frond bases are covered with dark, shiny scales. The local Aboriginal people used the stems of young fronds to make a tonic to use after illness.
Dicksonia antarctica (brown or soft tree fern) is found in sheltered gullies. Frond bases are covered with coarse red-brown hairs. The pith from the centre of the trunk was eaten by Aboriginal people.
Their roots are very close to the surface and do not spread far from the main trunk. When growing tree-ferns, use of a good quality organic fertiliser and well rotted animal manure – will keep the soil moist and provide nutrients to ensure healthy and vigorous growth.
The NSW floral emblem, the Waratah, grow extremely well at Mount Tomah. The Waratah has a long association with New South Wales and was adopted in 1962 as the official state floral emblem.
In the early years of last century there was a heated debates about the relative merits of the Golden Wattle and the Waratah as the national floral emblem. Those in favour of the wattle (mainly residents of Victoria and South Australia) argued that as the Waratah grew only in New South Wales, it was less suitable than the more widely distributed wattle. Although it is true that “Telopea speciosissima” (the New South Wales Waratah) is almost confined to the Sydney region.
Mount Tomah was named Tree Fern Hill by the botanical explorer George Caley (1770-1829), who was the first European to visit the area. “Tomah” reputedly means tree fern in the language of the Darug Aboriginal people whose tribal lands included this area.
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