The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, est. 1987, is situated on a basalt-capped peak 1000 metres above sea level in the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains. It is the highest botanic garden in Australia and became the home of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Exhibition Centre in 2010.
The landscaped gardens with spectacular views across mountain wilderness are arranged geographically to display cool-climate plants from around the world, especially those of the southern hemisphere. There is managed access to the adjoining Conservation Area of wet and dry sclerophyll including heath, rainforest and some closed forest. In 2008, the Botanic Garden expanded to include ‘the Jungle’, a tract of pristine Blue Mountains rainforest with a graded accessible walk.
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah has free entry.
How to contact us
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
Bells Line of Road
via Bilpin NSW 2758
Phone: 02-4567 3000
Fax: 02-4567 2037
(International code + 61 2 4567 3000)
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is at Mount Tomah, about two hours' drive 105 km west of Sydney in the northern Blue Mountains.
Map of the Garden
Click on map to enlarge
Size of Garden: 252 hectares (Landscaped gardens: 28 ha, Temperate rainforest: 33 ha; Conservation area: 186 ha; Sunrise property: 5 ha)
Annual visitation: 128,645
Number of plant species: 6,000+
Number of plant specimens: 48,600Plant species in the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah: download alphabetical list (at April 2013)
Plant species in the three Botanic Gardens: download alphabetical list (at April 2013)
Number of trees: 6,123 (includes 67,000 estimated number of trees in the Conservation Area and Jungle)
Oldest trees: Oldest tree in landscaped garden: Eucalyptus fastigata approx. 400 years; oldest planted tree: Sequoia sempervirens 75 years; trees over 200 years old in the Conservation Area: Blue Mountains ash (Eucalyptus oreades), golden sassafras (Doryphora sassafras), coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum), black ash (Eucalyptus sieberi), Sydney peppermint (Eucalyptus piperita), Sydney red gum (Angophora costata)
Garden artworks collections (sculpture): 13
Height above sea level: 1000 metres
Average temperature range: summer 25°C, winter 7°C
Average annual rainfall: 1500 millimetres
Birds in the Garden: 125 species of birds have been recorded
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah was established in 1972 and opened to the public on 1 November 1987 as a project of the 1988 Bicentenary of British settlement of Australia.
The 28 ha of landscaped gardens was formerly a cut-flower farm, donated by the owners Alfred and Effie Brunet in 1972 to become an annex of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.
Prior to the establishment of the Botanic Garden, George Caley collected plant specimens at Mount Tomah for Sir Joseph Banks in 1804.
Also see History of the Garden.
Traditional owners & occupants
The land of Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah has Aboriginal communities whose ancestors - the Darug - were the original occupants and who are recognised as the traditional owners. Tomah is said to be a Darug word for 'Tree Fern', a signature plant of the area.
Go to The Garden.
Go to Visitor Information for information on planning your visit:
- Hours & Admissions
- How to get here
- Visitor facilities & disability access
- Visitor code
- Tourist links
Many areas within the Garden, including the Restaurant, are available for weddings, birthdays and corporate events. For information on charges and requirements go to Visitor Information and Venue Hire.
For further information on research go to Conservation & research.
The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust
The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, celebrated as one of the world’s greatest botanic garden organisations, internationally respected for its work in science, conservation and horticulture, safeguarding places of learning and pleasure for all.
As a living organisation, we connect people with plants through imaginative horticulture, beautiful landscapes, transformative learning experiences and cultural events.
As a leading contributor and custodian of botanical knowledge and collections throughout Australasia, we will share our discoveries and be at the forefront of international plant conservation.
The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Act 1980 defines the Trust’s objectives as to:
- maintain and improve Trust lands, the National Herbarium of NSW and the collections of living and preserved plant life owned by the Trust
- to increase and disseminate knowledge about the plant life of Australia and beyond, and of NSW in particular
- encourage the public use and enjoyment of Trust lands by promoting and increasing the educational, historical, cultural and recreational value of these lands.
The Trust is required to give particular emphasis to encouraging and advancing the study of systematic botany and plant conservation.
The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust is a statutory body in the State Government of NSW established by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Act 1980. It is responsible for the management and stewardship of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and the Domain; the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan; and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah. The Trust also manages the National Herbarium of NSW, the NSW Seedbank and the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Exhibition Centre at each of the three sites, respectively.
View Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust Organisation chart (November 2012).
The Trust Board reports directly to the New South Wales Minister for the Environment and has responsibility for all Trust assets and programs.
There are seven Trustees. The Chairperson is Ken Boundy. Other Trustees are John Egan, Professor Lesley Hughes, Sibylle Krieger, Tom Pinzone and Vanessa Priest. One vacant Board position remains to be filled.
The Trust Directors responsible for management of the organisation are
- The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust Executive Director: Professor David Mabberley
- Science and Conservation Deputy Executive Director: Dr Brett Summerell
- Finance and Commercial Operations Acting Director: Bronwyn Shead
- Horticultural Operations Acting Director: Brad Horan
- Public Engagement Acting Director: Kate Faithorn
- Development Acting Director: Donna Payne
Staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust are employed by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Click here for more information on the Trust, Trustees & Trust Committees.
The annual recurrent expenditure for 2012-13 is $46.2 million, of which $20.9 million, or approximately 45 per cent, is provided by the NSW State Government. In addition, $18.5 million in capital funding is budgeted to be received in the 2012-13 financial year.
The Trust also generates revenue through grants, donations, contributions, sales of goods and services and other revenue. In 2012-13 the total earned revenue budget is $25.3 million.
The main sources of non-Government revenue are: parking, lease revenue, hire of facilities, retail sales, grants and contributions. Within grants and contributions are grants from State and Federal Government, donations and sponsorships. In 2011-2012, the Trust was granted $275,000 for research in Science and Conservation.
The Office of Environment and Heritage provides corporate shared services to the Trust. This includes information technology support, transactional processing for accounts payable, payroll, recruitment and human resource advice.
In 2011-12 636 volunteers contributed over 47,000 hours of their time to support Trust programs, including those provided through the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens. The financial contribution of volunteer hours to the organisation is approximate.y $1 million.
Volunteers assit in
- Orientation and on-site interpretation including daily free guided walks for the general public
- Herbarium specimen mounting
- Plant pathology lab, field routine work and special science projects
- Library routine work
- Bush regeneration in natural areas
- Fauna monitoring
- Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens volunteers support the office, organise events and exhibitions, provide catering, operate Growing Friends plant sales and more
Click here for more information on volunteers.
The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust
- Executive Director and support 2.80
- Executive & support unit total 2.80
Science & Conservation
- Deputy Executive Director and support 3.90
- Scientific research programs and collections management (based at the National Herbarium of NSW, the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney) 37.60
- Conservation and horticultural research (based at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan) 5.80
- Science & Conservation Branch total 47.30
The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney
- Director and support (including wildlife management, project officers) 5.40
- Horticulture 59.55
- Infrastructure and maintenance 6.93
- Security services 14.77
- Sub-total 86.25
The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan
- Director and support 3.50
- Horticulture 24.50
- Planning and technical support 5.27
- Security services 4.26
- Sub-total 42.49
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
- Curator Manager and support 2.00
- Horticulture 22.80
- Security services 2.92
- Sub-total 27.72
- Director, public relations and support 2.60
- Community education and volunteer programs 12.16
- marketing and visitor services 8.04
- Design and editorial services 6.00
- Public Engagement Branch total 28.80
- Director fundraising staff and support 2.80
- Development Branch total 2.80
Total FTE* staff across the organisation = 261.12
*All staffing figures are Full Time Equivalent (FTE). In 2011-12 there were 24 Honorary Research Associates and 27 supervised students working with the Science and Conservation branch.
For further information go to Our organisation and Our people.