Sydney is a world-famous metropolis and the most populous city in all of Australia and Oceania. With iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, this city is an essential destination on the itinerary of any traveller who wants to see the best of what Australia has to offer no matter what time of year it is. Despite being a metropolitan area, Sydney offers more than just typical big-city attractions.

Within the city limits, you’ll find an abundance of green spaces, like parks and other areas, in which the concrete jungle gives way to the natural world. Sydney’s location on the coast also creates an opportunity for an aquatic outdoor experience that a wide variety of travellers can enjoy. Learn all about the top 4 places to enjoy nature in Sydney and discover the best of what Sydney can offer to outdoor adventurers.

Royal Botanic Gardens

royal botanic gardens, Sydney

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

Among the towering skyscrapers of Sydney, you can stop by a small slice of the natural world known as the Royal Botanic Garden. This preserved, 30-hectare green space is packed full of vibrant and colourful flora and fauna. That space is divided further into 4 major districts of the garden: the Lower Gardens, the Middle Gardens, the Palace Gardens and the Bennelong Precinct. At the centre of the 4 areas lies the Palm Grove Centre, which houses the visitors centre along with a restaurant and cafe.

Each area of the garden has something special to offer to travellers. The Lower Gardens house several non-native plants, including some from the Canary Islands and New Zealand. The area features curved paths that will take you around bodies of water and grassy fields alike, oftentimes surrounded by trees and exotic shrubbery. The Middle Gardens are known for their long, rectangular beds of plants as well as the popular Succulent Garden.

In addition to the lower and middle garden areas, the rest of the botanic garden still has plenty to offer. The Palace Gardens are more modernised, sporting unique architectural structures like the pyramid-shaped Tropical Centre and Calyx glasshouse. You’ll also find the rainforest walk here, in which towering trees stretch over the path and engulf you in natural splendour. In the Bennelong Precinct, you’ll find the Government House and its extravagant gardens.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens

paddington resevoir gardens

Paddington Resevoir Gardens, Sydney

In the east part of town, you can visit the historical Paddington Reservoir Gardens. The area was first built as a water source in the 19th century, but it has since grown to be an iconic historical garden that’s reminiscent of the ancient Baths of Caracalla and the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The gardens as they’re known today only date back to 2009, but they were merged with the historic reservoir framework, blending old and new in an engaging and striking way.

These gardens hold expansive greenery along with wide boardwalks from which you can explore it all. The walking paths offer several places to sit along the way, so there’s always a chance to take a rest and enjoy the scenery. You’ll even find a sunken garden on the rooftop. Additionally, consider visiting the Paddington Reservoir Gardens at dusk, when the unique area is bathed in the warm light of sunset.

Hyde Park

hyde park nature in sydney

Hyde Park, Sydney

Urban parks offer a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city, and Sydney’s Hyde Park is no exception. In this park, you’ll find 16 hectares of designated green space with plenty of walking paths and picnic areas. Monuments and man-made ponds are prevalent throughout the area, but nature lovers can enjoy the large variety of trees that can be found here. While most of them are Moreton Bay and Port Jackson figs, there are several minority species as well, such as Phoenix canariensis, Washingtonia robusta and Ficus religiosa.

In addition to the trees, you can enjoy vibrant smaller plant life as well. The fields are robustly green, and there are flowers scattered throughout the park. Near Archibald Fountain, for example, you can find several large flower beds hosting a diverse array of colours and species. Even on the warmest days, you won’t have to worry too much about the heat, as many of the walking paths within the park are shaded by weeping figs. Their branches tower over the paths, offering relaxing shade and enough light to see by.

Taronga Zoo

taronga zoo sydney

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

If you’re more interested in the fauna of the natural world than flora, then Taronga Zoo just might be the best destination in the city. This urban zoo is home to numerous native wildlife species as well as more exotic animals, including a baby western lowland gorilla, which is a critically endangered species. You’ll also find Sumatran tigers, Asian elephants and even giraffes.

The population of Taronga Zoo is packed full of diverse creatures. Native species include red kangaroos, koalas and tree kangaroos. This zoo also houses several sun bears, the rarest and smallest species of bear on the planet. You’ll even find small and adorable meerkats here. While they may seem cute, these creatures are actually skilled enough to take down a cobra.

Visit Sydney’s Natural Wonders

Sydney is a cosmopolitan destination that’s popular with travellers from around the world, and while it may shine as a sprawling metropolis, there are still pockets of nature for visitors to enjoy as well. Fortunately, these pockets span hectares of space suitable for an entire trip in their own right. We can help you book an unforgettable trip to see Sydney’s natural wonders. Start planning your holiday to the gardens and zoos in Sydney today!