1. All Abilities Playground
Our popular playground includes swings, a sandpit, slippery dip, climbing net, viewing platform and a maze. Suitable for children aged 2 to 12 years.
2. Australian Open Forest and Grasslands
Dry and Wet Sclerophyll forest plants from the east coast of Australia are displayed in this collection. Eucalyptus trees form a canopy which attract numerous native birds, possums and sugar gliders. Understory plants include Banksia, Doryanthes, grasses and ferns.
3. Azalea Bank & Middle Creek Collection
Hundreds of Azaleas feature within this collection as well as Rhododendrons, Camellias, Dogwoods, Maples and some magnificent Dawn Redwoods. Along the creek banks you’ll find Iris, Daylilies, Flax, Arums and Swamp Cypress trees. A row of white flowering-cherry trees, the Japanese Tea House and the much admired Japanese bridge have been incorporated thanks to the city’s Sister City Relationship with Kawasaki. We’d recommend a visit to this lovely collection between August and October.
4. Discovery Kitchen Garden
A sustainable home-grown produce garden complete with food plants, herbs and lively flowers.
5. Dryland Garden
Arid inland Australian plant species that grow naturally in regions experiencing low average rainfall (under 500mm/year) are displayed in this collection. These plants have developed with quite different adaptations to their exotic succulent neighbours allowing them to survive extended periods of drought, extreme summer temperatures, saline soil and fire. The Salt Bush, Bottle Trees and ephemeral wild flowers create a stunning display during autumn, spring and summer. A perfect contrast to the neighbouring Succulent Collection.
6. Edible Herb Garden
An array of herbs like rosemary, chives, basil, mint and seasonal vegetables that you may use for your garden picnic or BBQ feast.
7. Flowering Trees and Shrubs Garden
This colourful garden consists of thirteen plant families showcasing mostly exotic floral displays. Many contain species not commonly found in cultivation. Camellias, Salvias, Buddlejas, Hibiscus and Crepe Myrtles are just some of the highlights within this collection. The peak flowering period for this garden collection is during spring; however there is colourful flowering displays all year round.
8. Herb Garden
A formal raised garden with a selection of herbs including lemongrass, mint, chives, rosemary and thyme.
9. Palm Collection
This collection contains more than 800 rare, endangered and uncommon palm species from around the world. Palms from Madagascar, Hawaii and the Oceanic regions feature strongest with a smaller representation from Australia, South America, North America and China.
10 Rainforest Collection
Both native and exotic rainforest communities exist within this collection. Dense plantings of tree species complement the remnant stands of Turpentine and Melaleuca to form part of the closed canopy. Mixed plantings of shrubs, ferns, epiphytes and ground covers represent the natural composition of a rainforest community and allow you to view these species in conditions they would naturally occur. A number of rainforest communities are showcased including those found in the Illawarra, the Australian East Coast, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia and New Zealand. The Illawarra rainforest section is home to approximately 80 different trees and 15 different fern species. Most of the collection can be viewed all year round though the Epiphytes flower puts on its best display in spring.
11. Rose Garden
This Rose Garden portrays a sunken European garden popularised in the early 20th century and hosts a lovely gazebo. The high brick wall, covered by Creeping Fig, shields the area from strong winds whilst the entrance paths will encourage you to explore what lies within. Sweeping the edges of the outer wall is a collection of perennials that creates year-round interest. This collection displays many rose cultivars and varieties including Hybrid Tea, Floribunda, Old Fashioned, Weeping and Standards. The peak flowering period for roses commences in mid-October and continues to April, with many weddings and celebrations taking place during this time.
12. Sandstone Garden
This collection displays plants like grass trees, native Conifers and Banksias found in the Shoalhaven and Illawarra sandstone regions. These plant communities demonstrate how plants have adapted to low nutrient and shallow sandstone soils with structures that can handle strong winds or high temperatures as well as the ability to absorb/store water and nutrients for use over a prolonged time. The best time to view this collection is during spring and summer.
13. Sir Joseph Banks Glasshouse
The Glasshouse was opened in 1970 to mark the bicentenary of Captain Cook’s landing in Australia. It displays tropical and dry-tropical plant species from the wet tropics, as well as a range of succulent plant species from arid regions around the world.
14. Succulent Collection
A diverse selection of species primarily from dry regions of the Americas and Africa can be found within this collection. Aloe, Agave, Euphorbia, Mesembryanthemum, Crassula, Yucca, Sedum, Kalanchoe and Echeveria species feature, however one of the more spectacular features are the Dragon Blood Trees which exude red resin from their bark when wounded. A massed display of Mesembryanthemum makes a stunning presentation in spring and summer, with Aloes flowering profusely from June to August.
15. Temple Garden
Its sense of intimacy and revolving array of colourful flowering plants creates the ideal garden for small wedding groups throughout the year. This garden was donated by Wollongong Garden Club and includes a formal water feature.
16. Temperate Garden
This area offers a unique warm and protected microclimate that allows sub-tropical and temperate species to thrive. Stand out plants include its Ferns, Begonias, Acalypha, Frangipani, Bromeliads and sub-tropical fruit trees like the Paw-Paw, Pineapple, Tea and Avocado. This garden contains a pergola, an enclosed courtyard and is surrounded by a range of Cycads and large sub-tropical species. Plants within this collection flower at various times throughout the year producing year-round colour.
17. Towri Bush Tucker Garden
The Towri Bush Tucker Garden, meaning a “place of learning bounded by flowers” has been designed as a learning garden where you’re encouraged to look and pick the plants within so you can learn about their use in Aboriginal culture for food, medicine or shelter. Planted predominantly with local Illawarra species ranging from the sandstone heath at the top of the escarpment down to the rainforests and along the coastal plain this garden will show you how the plants found in our area have been used throughout time. The best time to view this collection is during spring and summer.
18. Woodland Garden
An intensively planted area, this garden features a tiered design of cool climate trees, shrubs, bulbs and perennials planted to replicate the forests in the northern hemisphere. Pre-existing native Turpentines and Paperbarks were planted up with a range of exotic trees like Magnolias, Maples and Dogwoods to form the mostly deciduous canopy. It also displays collections of unusual bulbs and perennials including Toad Lily, Solomon’s Seal and Anemone Windflower that are not commonly grown on the coast but are thriving in this developed environment. Whilst this garden peaks during late winter to spring with a multitude of Blue Bells, Clivias, Forget-me-nots and bulbs, it does hold interest year round and hosts a small gazebo.