In 2017 we celebrate the 30th birthday of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. The Garden has a wonderfully interesting history, founded on the traditional land of the Gundungurra and Darug Aborigial people which in 1804 was traversed by explorer George Caley on a botanic collecting trip.
The Garden is the only Botanic Garden in the world in a World Heritage Area and is focused on the conservation of cool climate plants. The Garden sits on 252 hectares of land with 28 hectares of rich acid clay loam open to the public. This fertile environment and the low temperature are perfect for showing plants from the world's cooler regions and is home to some 21,000 plants and 900 species.
Plants are grouped according to their geographical origin. There are a number of 'Feature Gardens' within the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden where visitors can see similarities and differences between the plants of each region and learn about evolution of flora on different continents.
Three distinct terraces are inspired by traditional European garden design: The first is a seasonal display garden where colour and form are showcased in mass plantings; the lawn terrace, with its whispering walls — try them out; and a third terrace, inspired by Australian landscape gardener Edna Walling, features a hand-glazed pergola. Herbaceous perennial displays change every year with themes based on a painting by Brazilian artist Kitja.
Rocky plant communities from different continents are represented and feature South African Protea species in winter and South American Bromeliads in summer, with a variety of plants from around the world providing interest in every season.
The Brunet family owned and managed the 28 hectare area that is now the main garden. Then it was a flower farm supplying cut flowers to the Sydney market. The Brunet’s kindly donated the site to the state government and a selection of plants are showcased in and around the lawn to celebrate the Brunet family. We’re also installing a children’s Wild Play area near the eastern boundary opening spring 2017.
Featured here are plants of a rare Blue Mountains plant community — the hanging swamp and carnivorous plants including the Venus’ Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula). Kneeling pads are provided so you can get close to the carnivorous plants, sphagnum moss and other rare plants which grow in the moist mountain climate.
A must-see from late winter to mid-summer are cascading, colourful Rhododendron species collected from the Himalayas and the Hindukush, as well as the Americas and Eurasia, providing a spectacular flowering display.
Ancient conifer species and cultivars from all over the world, including the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) and giant Redwoods over 50 metres in height, contrast with dwarf and coloured forms of these species.
Join in the adventures of 14 plant explorers who collected in Asia during a period of 300 years. Clematis, Primula and Camellia species feature, with over 400 taxa celebrating Asian plant biodiversity and human endurance. Stay tuned for the 15th plant collector and Australian plant breeder Bob Cherry who’s collections will be added to the walk in the near future
Take a walk along paths under towering Brown Barrel Eucalypts; see specimens of plant groups which had their origins in Gondwana — a single super continent made up of the earth’s southern continents which separated 60 – 80 million years ago. Here too are Wollemi Pines, Southern Beeches and flowering treasures such as the Chilean Bell Flower.
Wander through the Eurasian woodland amongst the Oaks and Birch trees, enjoy the textures of the gum trees in the Australian woodland or the cool greens of southern beeches in the Southern Hemisphere woodlands. Autumn brings to life the rich, warm colours of the North American woodlands.
Embark on a Garden adventure! Enjoy fun hands-on activities and discover amazing plants from around the world. For 5–12 year-olds. Collect your Adventure Quest Kit from the Visitor Info Desk. Small fee applies.
WARATAH EDUCATION CENTRE
Perfect spot for conferences, workshops and activities for adults and children plus we run syllabus related school lessons. Also available for hire - call 02 4567 3000.
PICNICS & BARBECUES
Picnic at one of many scenic spots in the Garden, or use one of the free barbecues. To confirm your spot you can book – call 02 4567 3000.
Enjoy a stroll along the Lady (Nancy) Fairfax Walk and experience the beauty of this endangered ecological community, Blue Mountains Basalt Cap Forest. Keep an eye out for the epiphytic Pencil Orchid (Dendrobium fairfaxii) named to honour John Fairfax in 1872. Purchased in 2008 with generous support from John B. and Libby Fairfax, this land has a long history in conservation of NSW forests.
WILDERNESS CONSERVATION AREA
Survey the area from a pedestrian bridge which crosses Bells Line of Road to a viewing platform where you can learn about the vegetation and history of the area. Five vegetation communities are home to many rare plants and animals. We plan to open this area up to the public in the near future with new walking trails.