Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Future planning

Master Plan

Draft Master Plan for the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, and the Domain

Since beginning the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and Domain Master Plan project in March 2013, there has been extensive community and stakeholder consultation, including online and workshop meetings on-site. This resulted in a draft Master Plan and a summary of Master Plan concepts which we now present to you for review and comment.

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust would like the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and Domain to be improved for future generations to better meet the needs of visitors, not only from Sydney but from across the world.

Please note that this online exhibition is one component of the consultation process. We also encourage you to visit the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and view the Master Plan concepts at Lion Gate Lodge at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney on these days only: Saturday 5 to Sunday 13 April, and then from Monday 28 April to Sunday 4 May 2014, from 8.30 am until 5 pm and on weekends from 10 am until 4 pm. We encourage the public to submit feedback by filling in forms and depositing at Lion Gate Lodge or via the Have Your Say website.

The first draft Master Plan for the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and Domain in their almost 200 year history has been developed by leading architectural firm Cox Richardson and a consortium of experts following extensive consultation with the public and stakeholders.

The Master Plan concepts aim to provide better connections and integration with the cultural precinct and the city and to enhance Sydney’s reputation as an international destination of choice. The Master Plan concepts also aim to create visionary visitor experiences and restore a sense of unity and completeness to the Garden and Domain as well as provide business plans and opportunities for investment in future projects. This will ensure the continuation of vital research into plant conservation and biodiversity and improved visitor facilities. 


Future Domain

The Domain has been Sydney’s premier green space for public events, celebration, protest and festivities since it was proclaimed by Governor Macquarie in the 19th century, and is very much still in demand for a wide range of activities. The park has significant natural and cultural heritage values and is in demand for a wide range of contemporary activities including leisure, sport, recreation, tourism and special events. 

In 2001, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust released the Domain Masterplan to address short to medium term management and planning issues confronting the Royal Botanic Garden and Domain, specifically focusing on opportunities to substantially improve the quality and significance of the Sydney Domain.

Future Domain builds on this, and proposes a series of projects to improve the amenity for users of the Domain and to complement broader Sydney and metropolitan planning objectives.  In October 2006, the Trust engaged social research group Urbis JHD to consult the public on their views of these projects.

Click here for information on Future Domain proposals and the final consultation report.

Domain Masterplan

The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust has developed a Masterplan for the Domain. The Masterplan explains the Trust's rationale for its management and operation of the parklands, and sets directions for maintaining and renewing the park over the next 10 years.

Volume 1

pdf  Click here to view Volume 1 of the Masterplan (large PDF file 3.8 Mb)

Volume 2

pdf  Click here to view Volume 2 of the Masterplan (large PDF file 4.8 Mb)

Volume 3: supporting papers

pdf  Click here to view the Acoustic Report (PDF file 55 Kb)
pdf  Click here to view the Community Involvement Report (PDF file 103 Kb)
pdf  Click here to view the Electrical Services Report (PDF file 270 Kb)
pdf  Click here to view the Performance Evaluation Report (large PDF file 784 Kb)
pdf  Click here to view the Site Infrastructure & Assets Management Report (PDF file 87 Kb)
pdf  Click here to view the Recreation, Events, Functions & Tourism Report (PDF file 361 Kb)

Stakeholder consultation

External stakeholders focus group consultation meetings - 9 February 2000

Business partners, neighbours and government agencies. Attending were:

  • Alan Cadogan, City of Sydney
  • Kathleen Ng, City of Sydney
  • Stephen Nicholls, City of Sydney
  • Michael Hoffman, St Marys Cathedral College
  • Jim Sinclair, Library of NSW
  • Stafford Bennet, NSW Parliament
  • Peter Joyner, Land Titles Office
  • Don Blaxell, Friends of The Gardens
  • Kathleen McGrath, Pavilion On The Park
  • Linda Biancardi, Pavilion On The Park
  • James Broadbent, Historic Houses Trust of NSW
  • Michael Bogle, Hyde Park Barracks
  • Janet Stratton, Sydney Hospital
  • Bob Clark, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Federation Trust
  • Neil Tonkin, Bicycle Institute of NSW
  • Richard Wheatley, Bus and Coach Association
  • Laurie Coleman, Corporate Cup
  • Chris Robb, Sporting Spectrum
  • Egle Garrick, Sydney Ferries
  • Stuart Read, NSW Heritage Office
  • Stephen Davies, National Trust of Australia

Also invited but not present were:

  • Greg Maddocks, General Manager City of Sydney
  • Sue Burrows, Botanic Gardens Restaurant
  • Peter Watts, Director HHTS NSW
  • Robert Biancardi, Pavilion On The Park Restaurant
  • Dagmar Schmidmaier, Director State Library of NSW
  • Dr Ian Rewell, Director SESAHS
  • Michael Lynch, CEO Opera House Trust
  • Steve De Lapp, Winebunker Group
  • Helen Warwick, Art Gallery Society
  • Geoff Bailey, Director Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
  • Father Doherty, St Marys Cathedral
  • Commanding Officer, HMAS Kuttabul Potts Point
  • Peter Shelley, Inbound Tour Operators Association of Australia
  • Tony Thirwell, Tourism NSW
  • David Hansen, BRW Triathlon, Super Sprint Promotions
  • ITU Triathlon
  • Mike Aiken, Fairfax Special Events Unit
  • Nick Conditsis, Domain Soccer League
  • Phillip Diment, First Fleet Productions
  • Robert Bryant, Cinerent Open Air Cinema
  • Leo Schofield, Sydney Festival

Master Plan outdoor exhibition and invitation to comment

  • Mailout of letter and flier to interested parties advising exhibition period including to City of Sydney - 5 March 2003
  • 1000 fliers with questionnaire were distributed from the outdoor display sites, plus a further 200 letters with questionnaire sent to nearby residents plus City of Sydney.
  • Public Exhibition period 12 February 2003-25 April 2003, comprising:
    • two sets of nine A0 size full colour display boards in the Phillip Precinct
    • hard copies of 3 vol. report available at RBG Reception for perusal
    • full text and illustrations available from the RBG website.
  • Public Feedback on Domain Master Plan Exhibition 25 April: 
    • 52 completed questionnaires were returned to the Trust
    • 5 written submissions were received from members of the public
    • 4 submissions were received by phone and noted

Caring for our Domain

The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust's tree replacement program aims to maintain the heritage value of the Domain and to ensure that this important part of Sydney's landscape will be enjoyed by future generations.

aerial view


Domain event