Friday, March 11, 2011

The Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney, Australia

I have been showing photos from a trip that my husband and I took to Sydney, Australia last week. I already showed the beautiful and iconic Sydney Opera House, and my full day of traveling all over the city of Sydney on the "hop on and hop off" sightseeing bus while my husband was at work, as this was a business trip for him. One of the most magnificent sights I saw in the beautiful city of Sydney was a portion of The Royal Botanical Gardens.  A portion was located right across the street from the hotel where we were staying, and I liked to sit out on the balcony to watch the sun come up and listen to the birds chirping in the morning. (All photos will enlarge if clicked on once and then clicked on again when they re-open)

The photo above is The Palace Garden Gate located at Macquarie Street, between Bridge Street and Bent Street. This ornamental gate was built in 1889 to commemorate the International Exhibition. 

The seventy-five acre Royal Botanical Gardens is managed by the same trust as The Domain adjoining it is free to access and open every day of the year. It is in close proximity to the downtown business center as you can see from the photo above.  PDF maps of the garden's large grounds can be viewed on this link. The gardens were established in 1816 by Governor Macquarie on the site of the first farm in the colony.
The fountain in the photo above is dedicated to Captain Arthur Philip, RN, (1738-1814), First Governor of New South Wales. Fountain and statue are by the Italian sculptor Achille Simonetti, erected in 1897.

One of the two mini gardens I saw at this location was the Rose Garden and Pavilion and the Pioneer Garden. The Palace Rose Garden contains around 1800 roses.  Even though we were in Sydney during the last days of the Southern Hemisphere summer, there was quite a bit of verdant green and flowering shrubs and plants still visible.

The gardens contain over 7,500 species of trees, flowers, and shrubs.

Some of the flowers I saw while visiting the gardens

They were also full of many different kinds of birds, many of which were exotic to me!

The cockatoo playing in the water fountain (middle left )was such an enjoyable sight to see, and someday I'll show the entire series of photos I took of him. The baby ducklings making their way to a pond (top left) were also delightful!

Memorial Garden to Pioneers was part of the 150th-anniversary celebrations of Australia in 1938, this garden was built on the site of the central dome of the Garden Palace. The massive Palace, opened in 1879, was completely destroyed by fire in 1882.

A close up of the fountain

The Herb Garden and Garden Terrace

Meandering paths lead to so many wonderful sections of the gardens.

The Tropical Center

The Main Pond

The Oriental garden is a serene location by the pond's edge with an Oriental-inspired landscaped setting. It contained wild and cultivated plants from warm-temperate and sub-tropical areas of China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, and Bhutan.

The Succulent Garden displays desert landscapes and is a mosaic of colors, shapes, and textures...

A glimpse of the nearby Sydney harbor can be seen in this photo.


The Woolloomooloo Gate

The main southern entrance to the Domain was used by Governors and their suites as they strolled from St James Church to the Botanic Garden in the 1840s. An elaborate sandstone gate was erected in 1873, at the junction of Fig Tree Avenue and Central Avenue in the Domain. This entrance gate was moved during the construction of the Cahill Expressway to its present position on Mrs. Macquaries Road.

One aspect of the garden that astounded me was the abundance of large, mature, and magnificent trees!

One tree was more spectacular than the other!

The fragrance of the Eucalyptus trees floated through the air.

There were many benches throughout the gardens to sit and pause and enjoy their beauty.

One thing we were told not to miss seeing was evident in this tree!  Can you what they were? (double click to enlarge the photo)


Close up of a Grey-Headed Flying Fox Bat!

The Grey-Headed Flying Fox Bats are completely harmless as they eat only fruit and portions of plants such as pollen and nectar. The Grey-headed Flying-fox is a native species that is endemic to Australia.

Flying-foxes are essential in maintaining many ecosystems because they are able to move pollen and seeds over long distances and across the cleared ground, thus linking patches of native vegetation. It has the longest wingspan of any bat with a maximum wingspan of about three feet (one meter).  Its body length is normally between 8.5 to 10.5 inches (22 and 27 centimeters.)

I sent my husband over to the garden one evening to do a short Flip film of the bats hanging from the trees so you could hear them and see them move:

They look and sound pretty gross, don't they?  I tried not to walk under the trees where they were roosting for obvious reasons.

We were enthralled by the bats and had a good time in the evening sitting on our balcony watching them fly over the hotel in search of food, as you can see in this short video:

The Royal Botanical Gardens are truly one of the gems of Sydney and an incredible place to visit!

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Donnie said...

What a great place. I could spend the whole day there. Another great tour.

Barbara F. said...

I could wander around that place for hours. Love the cockatoo, the bats, well, not so much! :-) xo

Beth said...

Pat, I have really enjoyed the tour of Sydney with you! thanks for sharing from your wonderful trip!
Blessings, Beth

Claudia said...

I lingered over the flowers. And then - well I am a bird-nerd so the birds were welcome sites. The bats seem much large than the MN that fly overhead all summer (eating mosquitoes I hope). I wonder what the first governor of New South Wales would think of Sydney now?

La said...

What a spectacular city. Thank you for sharing its breathtaking beauty.

The screeching of the bats was a little unnerving.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

You must have taken thousands of photos!
Thanks for taking us with you... for another friday's favorite :-)

Vee said...

Oh I'm still all shivery. And your hubby says with delight, "I got'em. I got'em a.." I assume he said "all." At first I was wondering if you could check which pictures we enlarged. ;> You know, like the old joke that Art Linkletter used to tell, but when I got to the bats...okay, let's just say that not visiting Sydney won't be a problem. Glad that you shared them, though. Very interesting!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I could spend days in there it is so stunningly beautiful! Oh, ahh, those bats were something else, but they sound lovely in the video!

Lynn said...

So nice to see everything so green and colorful Pat! Just beautiful, well... maybe not the bats:@)

Rettabug said...

Outstanding photographs, Pat!! What a wonderful vacation for you guys...thanks so much for sharing the adventure.
DH has a son who lives in AU. We've never gone to visit them...they come here so they can go skiing. LOL

I know we're both glad to be back home & sleeping in our own beds. *big smile*


La Petite Gallery said...

This was just a wonderful post. My girlfriend did Sidney and climbed the big bridge. Nice they warned ya about those bats, I'd have a heart attack if I stumbled upon one.
3 ft wing span is huge.
I can see you will never be bored.
Glad you had such an intresting trip Pat.

Lynn said...

+Your photographs are beyond beautiful.

I feel as if I have been there again!
Thank you!
PS Did you get a photo of the bridge climbers?

Janie said...

Beautiful photos Pat...Thanks for sharing...

Kathleen said...

Those flowers are magnificent! I am glad you are home though in light of the travel delays from the earthquake. How tragic!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Pat, I have just caught up with all of your Sydney pictures... What a fabulous place... My friend's son visited there last year and he kept talking about how CLEAN it is... Your pictures and descriptions are fabulous.. Hope I get there someday...

We had a wonderful time at Amicalola Falls State Park in GA this week celebrating G's birthday.

Carol said...

Gorgeous, Pat! What a fabulous, fabulous trip. Those gardens are simply stunning! All your pics are.
What was the food like?

Ginny Hartzler said...

Even though they are harmless, I think I would have been scared of the bats. But you got a very good picture of that one, and a good video!! I was going to say my favorite part of this post is the pond and the oriental garden, then I came to the TREES!!! O my gosh, I have NEVER seen trees like this, amazing!! I'm sending my best blog friend a link to this, she adores trees.

Grace said...

R u kidding? Oh my goodness Gorgeous photos of the flowers then I see the bats helloo!! Wow I guess you really zoomed in! I can not get them out of my head! lol Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip! Grace xoox

Anonymous said...

You're right Pat...absolutely incredible! Thank you and your husband for the videos! I've seen pictures of the bats but never have seen them flying and making sound! Very enjoyable.

Michelle said...

Simply gorgeous. I think bats are such interesting creatures, but really so creepy!

GailO said...

I could spend weeks just in that botanical garden! Amazing! Love your shots of the bats:)

Sheila said...

Your collages are so lovely. the photo of the ducklings reminds me of Robert McClosky's "Make Way for Ducklings". If I remember correctly, it was set in Central Park. I love the beautiful trees! Thanks for answering my question last night. Have a good weekend Pat!

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Pat, Thank you for the tour of Sydney! I am not fond of bats. They live in our back yard, but luckily are much smaller than those huge ones you filmed! They do try to move into the outdoor lights on the back of the house! The gate is beautiful, and I am looking forward to your pictures of the cockatoo. I can't believe they are wild there. Linda

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Happy Pink Saturday Pat Sweetie...
What a beautiful share. I am so tickled you took me along to Sydney as well. I loved seeing all of the gardens. The flowers and trees are so manicured and so exquisite.

I love the bats. I have seen thousands fly from a cave and the smell can be horrid, but the flight out is so wonderful to see. It is unbelievable.

The birds were certainly wonderful, and I can't wait to see the cockatoo play in the water fountain. How fun that must have been to photograph.

Thank you for sharing with me sweetie. I have so enjoyed my visit tonight. Happy Pink Saturday and have a Magical St. Patty's Day.

Country hugs and much love, Sherry

Jeanne said...

Hello Pat, this tour of the gardens was awesome. The trees were HUGE. I thought there were monkeys in the tree but I was wrong. Bats that color seem weird to me. Very interesting to say the least.

I adore your flower photos in the collage or mosaic. Your post is beautiful in every way. I liked the lion looking so regal.

Happy PS.
Hugs, Jeanne

Jeanne said...

I AM the sister in the middle. Thank you for your sweet comment. I forgot to mention this in my comment.
Jeanne, Again!!!

Kris said...

So lovely!!! Those!!

Kathy said...

Lovely, amazing garden - I'd love to spend a day strolling through it - the bats - got a chill - can't lie.

Holly said...

wow! These pictures are amazing! Thank you for sharing them with us!
Blessings and Happy Pink Saturday!

Ola said...

Beautiful pictures of birds and flowers but the bat's picture is simply amazing!

RNSANE said...

I've never been a fan of bats - I've never seen them outdoors like this in caves - only flyout out of caves like at Carlsbad Caverns.

The gardens are lovely. I enjoyed Mona Vale Gardens when I visited Christchurch, new Zealand.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Goodness! Truly stunning photos!! Except for the Bat pic! Gave me the creeps! LOL!
But what a beautiful place to visit! thanks for taking us along with you!!



From the Kitchen said...

When I came over to "visit" you a few days ago, I realized I needed time to hang out. I had that time this morning--a two cup of coffee visit. The gorgeous photos and interesting commentary have turned me into a "computer chair traveler" and I enjoyed every minute--even the bats. I wonder if Bram Stoker ever visited Sydney?

Have a great weekend.


Tanna said...

Oh, my goodness! Those bats are something else! The Gardens are so very beautiful. I could have spent hours there. Eucalyptus trees are one of my favorite scents in the world! I have to say that the gates are maybe my favorite site of all. Thanks for another tour, Pat!! Blessings ~ Tanna

Old Kitty said...

Oh Pat!!!! Pat the garden is just beautiful but oh those bats!! I love those bats!! They're brilliant!! They're huge and gorgeous and just scary and spooky and absolutely wonderful!! I thought they were flowers at first from your pic!! LOL!!! I love these clips too - especially hearing them - they make such weird noises!! Wow!!!!!

Isn't the birdlife there so amazing!! That ibis type bird with the long black beak is lovely!!!! I look forward to more playful cockatoo pics and baby ducklings are always cute!! :-)

Another fun and beautiful trip, thank you Pat!!! Take care

Buttercup said...

Thanks! I loved the photos and especially the flying fox bat video. I'm a big fan of the "hop off hop on" too and am treasuring my earphones from Barcelona.

Jenny said...

Pat! We are so fortunate. For those of us unable to tag along with you in person, you create these magnificent posts filled with descriptions and photos that make us feel we were right there with you. I am enchanted with those trees. They look like magic trees...what a gorgeous, gorgeous place.

Snap said...

looks like a wonderful time of year to be in Sydney. so much fun to travel with you! bats are cool and loved all the birds and trees. WOWOWOWOW

Trotter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trotter said...

Hi Pat! So you did see the bats... Last time I stayed t the Intercontinental, just in front of the Domain... Great location!!

Matisse and Chagall: what a ticket... ;) Confirm it at Blogtrotter Two... Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

Laura Quaglia (Fun With This and That) said...

What a great place. It was so nice to see pictures. Thank You Have a safe and fun week Laura

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I have really enjoyed the tour and seeing your photos of your trip. The flowers are beautiful. Yes, I think I would have avoided the tree with the bats also. :)
Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us.
Enjoy your weekend.

H said...

Everywhere looks so well kept and clean and fresh. In comparison to here, it also looks lush! Plus, I LOVE bats :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat, thank you for commenting about my header "art"...I had a lot of fun creating the sofa with the laptop finger pad drawing of Baron and me. You're the only one who commented and I really appreciate that you did!

Sue said...

What an amazing opportunity for you to be able to take this trip with your husband, Pat! I loved seeing your photos and hearing about your adventures in the garden. Bats are such eerie creatures- they kinda freak me out! ~Sue

Betsy Brock said...

Oh, how fun! I can't imagine the scent 1800 roses would bring! And those trees are amazing...just crying out for a treehouse, don't you think?

Woolloomooloo is just fun to say! ha.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

What a wonderful place. I love your photos, especially the lion!

nanny said...

the gardens are wonderful....I think I could spend hours, and hours there! Not near the bats though/ha

Gracie said...

How lucky you were to be able to live this experience thanks to your husband! Thanks for sharing such amazing photos!

Judy said...

Most interesting and beautiful! Now I am longing for leaves on the trees and blooms on the roses.

Amazing capture of the bats on video. They squeak!

Beverly said...

Happy Pink and Green Saturday, Pat.

You know I have so much enjoyed sharing your trip. These gardens are magnificent. I loved seeing a Double Delight rose - just like I have in our backyard.

And, I agree that the bats sound yucky!