Auburn Botanic & Japanese Gardens | Kid-Friendly Sydney

Week Two of the holidays started yesterday, and the girls and I made the most of the beautiful weather we've been having (not too hot and not too cold for a change!) and headed over to meet my Dad, sister & nephew for a visit to the Auburn Botanic & Japanese Garden.

I haven't been to these gardens since I was about 12 and the Swan Incident happened. What is the Swan Incident I head you ask? Well. Being the obnoxious 12-year-old that I was, I disregarded the signs that were everywhere warning of the maniac swans and went and sat on a flat rock in the pond in the Japanese Garden section. A swan took exception to my intrusion and came for me. Showing remarkable reflexes for my age, as the swan swept his head at me to peck me I grabbed that bird around the throat and flung it's head away, then jumped up and back to shore. All of this happened in approximately 5 secs (or so it felt) and I've henceforth been revered for my ninja swan defense skills.

In hindsight, it probably wasn't all that dramatic, but it felt like it at the time. Needless to say, I've been particularly wary of swans in particular and big birds in general since then! Thankfully there are no more swans at the Botanic Gardens so I didn't have anything to worry about on this trip!

While there may not be any swans, there was a remarkable array of birds and other wildlife to be seen on our visit. On arrival we were amazed by all of the peacocks wandering around as if they owned the place (which I guess they kinda do). The girls were enchanted to see their beautiful plumage and they set the tone for the rest of the day.

Along with the peacocks we saw lots of pigeons, crows, magpies, magpie larks, geese, bin birds, ducks, lizards & koi fish. They were everywhere and the three kids loved spotting them among the plants & bushes. There is also a fauna reserve inside the gardens where we saw wallabies, kangaroos & emus. There is also a wombat den, however we think he was hiding because we saw not a single sign of him!

The Gardens are absolutely beautiful and well-maintained with lots of shade and paths to make them easy to navigate. The Gardens are split up into different sections with the Japanese Garden being the showpiece. There's also a section for Australian natives, as well as the lovely Scented Garden which features some beautiful rose specimens.

As well as enjoying the wander around the garden and finding all of the hidden paths around it, there was an all abilities playground which the kids had a great time exploring. We had a picnic by the billabong and just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

There was no cafe or kiosk onsite which was a little disappointing as it would have been nice to grab a coffee and an ice-cream to fuel us on our way, but that didn't dampen our enjoyment. There's also plenty of parking and public toilets around the place which meant we didn't have to stress about what time we got there or spend ages looking for the amenities.

After our visit today I think we'll definitely be back. They have a cherry blossom festival in August and I can just imagine how spectacular the place would look with all of those blooming flowers, so that's definitely something that is now on our list to see!

The Auburn Botanic & Japanese Garden is located on the corner of Chisolm & Chiswick Roads, Auburn and is free to enter on weekdays, $4 for adults (Auburn residents are always free) on the weekends & public holidays. Parking is free too and there are lots of picnic tables & bbqs available.

Have you been anywhere interesting so far these school holidays?


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