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The Spring Walk

Take a stroll in the original 1816 part of the Garden and see how our oldest continuous horticultural display has entranced generations of Sydneysiders.

In 1855, the Garden’s longest serving director, Charles Moore chose a sheltered spot on the southern side of the convict-built Macquarie Wall (1818) to plant the rhododendron species (Azaleas). The planting began a tradition of growing spring flowering plants in the area that continues to this day. 

Stretching from the Royal Botanic Garden creek to the Lion Gate Lodge, the Spring Walk features a diverse mix of spring flowering perennials, shrubs and trees, that burst into flower from the middle of August through September to early October each year.

Standard and shrub-like Wisterias from China and Japan line the walk, their branches emerging from contorted trunks and holding tight to abundant racemes of pendulous purple, mauve and white fragrant flowers. A variety of Rhododendrons from warmer parts of eastern Asia echo Moore’s original plantings and the late winter and spring air is heavy with the sweet fragrance produced by Osmanthus and Rondeletia.

Every year the landscape is transformed

Each year our talented horticulturalists create massed themed plantings of bulbs and annuals in both spring and summer to complement the shrubs and trees. Flanking the walk are some magnificent Australian rainforest trees, chief amongst them is the spectacular Tree Waratah (Alloxylon flameum). It is one of the ancient relatives of Waratahs, Banksias and Grevilleas and if you look closely at its large red flowers you’ll be able to see their similarities. 

Explore one of Sydney's favourite garden wedding venues

Lion Gate Lodge, a charming sandstone cottage built in 1878 for the head gardener sits at the eastern end of the walk. The lodge is surrounded by an enclosed cottage garden and is the perfect setting for a celebration or romantic garden wedding in the shade of an old sacred fig (Ficus religiosa). 

See Artisans in the Garden at Lion Gate Lodge

Lion Gate Lodge hosts two major exhibitions celebrating art and nature every year. April sees the Botanica exhibition when the lodge is filled with work by some of Australia’s finest botanical artists. October brings exquisite sculpture and craft to the garden and lodge for the Artisans in the Garden exhibition. Both exhibitions are organised and hosted by our Foundation and Friends organisation. Visit the What's On page to see what's happening in the Garden today.