Hanami in Sydney
I always associate the Cherry blossom festival with pink flowers and Japan. I had planned a trip to Japan just to see these beautiful pink flowers. When I heard that Sydney has its own Japanese gardens and there is a Cherry blossom festival that is celebrated every year for 2 weeks, I was thrilled with excitement. I couldn’t wait to go to the gardens and see the cherry blossoms myself.
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Cherry blossom is the most significant event in Japanese culture. It represents the beauty and fragility of life. The flowers of the trees, called Sakura, are in full blossom and turn pink in colour. This is an yearly cultural event in Japan where the Japanese cherish these cherry blossoms and enjoy them in the months of March and April.
What is the Cherry Blossom festival?
Cherry blossom festival is a 9 days festival celebrating cherry blossoms and occurs every year in Sydney during the spring season, between mid of August to the first week of September. The Japanese gardens located in Auburn is at the peak of its beauty during this festival. The festival is a fun celebration of the Japanese tradition HANAMI. Hanami, which means flower viewing, is a custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers (Hana) and in this case viewing the cherry (sakura) trees.
Auburn Botanical gardens
Opened in 1977 by New South Wales (NSW) governor Sir Roden Cutler, the Auburn botanical gardens are in the suburb of Auburn. The Japanese gardens inside the Auburn botanical gardens are famous for its Cherry blossom festival but it does have many more things to do during the other seasons. The Auburn botanical gardens are made up of 9.2 hectres of land and include a picnic area, with lots of other themed gardens such as rose and scented gardens. It is a perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon picnicking with family and friends. The gardens have lots of birds including peacocks.
- Address: 99 Chiswick Road, Auburn.
- Maps: Click here.
The Auburn Botanical gardens also has a Fauna Reserve and is definitely the place to spot some kangaroos and wallabies inside Sydney.
How to reach Auburn Gardens?
Public transport is always the cheapest way to reach Auburn botanical gardens. There are frequent trains between Sydney Central/Town Hall stations and the Auburn train station. At the Auburn train station, there are buses that run between the station and the gardens. More up-to-date information on public transport can be found on Transport for NSW website.
- Nearest train station: Auburn train station.
- Bus number to take at Auburn train station: 909.
- Bus cost from Auburn train station to Auburn gardens: AUD 3.
There are also two complimentary shuttles (5 to 10 minutes ride) that run between the Auburn train station and the gardens during the day. The shuttles are run by the Cumberland City Council.
Auburn botanical gardens are around 21 kilometres from Sydney central and take about 30 minutes to drive. This is definitely the quickest way to reach the gardens. There are free parking slots available near the gardens. However, it does get very busy during festival times and one can hardly find parking space.
Entry ticket and timings
There is an entry ticket to go inside the botanical gardens. The ticket can be purchased at the entrance and it costs only about AUD 4 for non-Auburn residents. The Auburn residents can enter the gardens for free. Note: There are no card payment facilities and the ticket has to be purchased paying only by cash.
The gardens are open every day from:
- 9 AM to 5 PM (during day light savings the gardens are open till 6 PM) on weekdays and
- 9 AM to 6 PM on weekends.
Due to the restrictions and safety caused by COVID-19, the gardens are closed in 2020.–Council News
There are no cafes or restaurants in or near the gardens. But yes, there are toilet facilities in the gardens itself.
Is it safe for solo female travelers?
Absolutely yes. The Auburn botanical gardens are extremely safe for solo female travelers. I have visited it solo as well and have not had any issues as such. However, I would be a bit cautious at the Auburn train station and the streets in Auburn, especially at nights. Also, always trust your instinct.
Even though Sydney as a whole is a very safe city for solo female travelers, like any other city petty crimes do happen and is always best to take precautions.
If you love flowers, gardens, to take pictures, then definitely head to the Auburn Botanical gardens. It is stunningly beautiful, especially at the time of the festival. I would recommend having this place in your Sydney bucket list and visiting it when possible. This is a hidden gem that only the locals are aware of and is a great spot to explore the flora and fauna of Australia.
Sydney, the Year 2015
After a train ride to Auburn train station and another bus ride to the gardens, I reached the gardens, just 20 minutes before the closing time. Oh-My-God! The first impression was amazing. The gardens looked extraordinarily beautiful, decorated with pretty pink flowers. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the gardens that I lost track of time.
Sydney, the Year 2016
This was my second time in Japanese gardens and I wanted to take better pictures than the last time. The last time I had taken pictures using my iPhone and even though the pictures had turned out to be good but the quality were not that great. So, this time around I had carried my Canon DSLR and took abundant pictures. Some of them really turned out well and I was very happy with the outcomes.