After many months of planning, I was finally on my way this summer for a day out in nature at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. This garden is made up of local and imported cool climate plants and alpine rainforest. The 28 hectares of curated garden and a further 244 hectares of wilderness sits inside this unique UNESCO World Heritage Area. And here’s another interesting fact – at an altitude of a 1,000 metres, it is also the highest botanic garden in Australia! And entry is free!
Just an hour and a half drive from the Sydney CBD, I set off on a Saturday morning to explore the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. Driving through beautiful landscapes, I passed by several apple orchards, promising organic and fresh produce, straight off the trees. With time to spare, I decided to stop at the delightful roadside cafe, The Hive, to savor a delicious piece of warm apple pie and coffee.
I arrived at the gardens and was greeted by our guide Dan outside the visitor center. I was booked in for the Forest Therapy walk through the Lady (Nancy) Fairfax Trail which meanders through the natural temperate rainforest of giant tree ferns, sassafras, coachwood, blackbutt, and brown barrel trees.
Our group of ten meandered through the trail under the canopy of Sassafras trees and tall tree ferns. Dan explained the origins of “Shinrin Yoku” and the benefits of Forest Therapy. He lead us through gentle movements and deep breathing exercises. We then explored the soft textures of emerald mosses on a quiet aware walk, stopping to notice the colours and shapes in the forest. We were serenaded by the sounds of birds in the canopy while creating ephemeral nature art in the forest. Occasionally, we stopped to share our thoughts and experiences. We were then invited to sit quietly on the lawn to relax and simply be with nature.
Dan served us delicious bush tea in the pavilion. The participants all shared their gratitude to Dan and nature for this beautiful experience. And the final surprise was still to be discovered on our way out of the gardens. But I will leave this for you to discover on your own walk with the guides when you book into the Nature and Forest Therapy walk in these gardens.
I still had some time left to explore the rare plants, garden features and gorgeous waratahs in flower.
On my way back to Sydney, I stopped at Hillbilly Cider for a delightful pizza lunch. One of the participants on the walk also recommended the Grumpy Baker for delicious Aussie pies. So I picked up some for later!
The drive through the Blue Mountains is delightful, flanked by tall trees and views of the mountain ranges. A day out in nature in this salubrious location is highly recommended for the whole family.
So grab a picnic rug, dress appropriately for the weather forecast and head out…there’s really no better way to spend summer than in these beautiful gardens that showcase the best of this very special corner of the Blue Mountains.