The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah covers 28 hectares of rich acid clay loam. This fertile environment and the low temperature are perfect for showing plants from the world's cooler regions.
Plants are grouped according to their geographical origin. In the Feature Gardens, visitors can see similarities and differences between the plants of each region and learn about evolution of flora on different continents.
Download and print a map of the Feature Gardens:
1 Southern Hemisphere Woodland
The diverse woodland includes species that represent Gondwanan and the Southern Hemisphere. Notice the distinctive regional features of plants from Australia, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Africa.
2 Conifer species
Conifers flourish at Mount Tomah and the Brunets planted many unusual species when this was their private garden. More recent additions see an impressive collection of conifers in this feature garden. Further along the Garden, you'll also find a display of conifer cultivars chosen for their great looks (area 9 on the map - see a description below).
3 Bog Garden
Welcome to the hanging swamp, the Bog Garden's unique wetland habitat. Hanging swamps grow in damp cavities on hillsides and cliff edges. They form when water seeps through the ground and is caught in layers of sandstone and shale. This creates the damp conditions loved by ferns and mosses. Their growth traps sediment and leaves to create a rich wetland ecosystem.
4 Brunet Meadow
This grassy glade with its mature trees and shrubs was once part of the Brunets' private garden. The nearby pavilion is dedicated to their memory. The collection of conifers further down the slope was started by the Brunets. Some surviving plants include temperate horticultural varieties and unusual trees like the Chilean rosaceous Quillaja saponaria, the Chinese/Japanese conifer Thujopsis dolabrata and the California Redwood Sequoia sempervirens.
The Proteaceae family includes waratahs, banksias, grevilleas and proteas. The Proteaceae feature garden is home to many bright and colourful waratahs, including the Monga waratah and the gorgeous pink Dorrigo waratah. You'll also find African plants, like the Gazaland protea of Zimbabwe and the curious Clasping-leaf Sugarbush. Don't miss our annual Wild about Waratahs Festival in September-October!
6 Remnant rainforest
Take a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in pristine rainforest. See giant tree-ferns, sassafras, coachwood, blackbutt, brown barrel and other trees growing in their natural state. Enjoy the beauty of the rainforest on the easily accessible Lady (Nancy) Fairfax Walk.
7 Rhododendron species
Enjoy fragrant rhododendrons in all colours, forms and sizes – these beauties thrive in the Garden's cool climate. Visit in spring to experience the spectacular flowering rhododendron hybrids, some planted by the Brunets. Find specimens collected in Vietnam and seek out the unusual red tubular flowers of Rhododendron spinuliferum.
8 Formal Garden
This garden, inspired by traditional European styles, is laid out in three terraces. The Herb Garden has plants arranged in simple geometric beds, reminiscent of early monastery and university gardens. The Rose Garden has an intimate collection of modern and heritage roses. The Lawn Terrace recalls formal 17th-century gardens, with manicured lawns and clipped hedges. In contrast, the colourful Pergola Terrace is based on 19th-century English herbaceous borders. The Formal Garden is wheelchair-accessible. Here you'll also find the Rosarium, on the far side of the Formal Garden.
9 Conifer cultivars
Looking for a conifer for your home garden? You might find one among this graceful selection of conifer cultivars. They were selected for their superior horticultural features, like plant shape, growth form and foliage colour.
10 Residence Garden
This garden near the Visitor Centre showcases modern domestic landscaping. It features a sweeping lawn of rye and fescue grass with handsome specimen trees. The lawn is framed by informal mixed borders with familiar and more unusual plants from around the world. Look beyond the garden to a superb panorama of the northern Blue Mountains. Bring a picnic rug and relax beneath the shade of the large alder tree.
11 Eurasian Woodland
During autumn, this collection of evergreen and deciduous trees from Eurasia puts on a dazzling colour display. The trees were selected for their geographic, ecological and horticultural representation.
12 Heath and Heather Garden
Enter a miniature world of texture and colour in this pretty garden. Here you'll find a colourful tapestry of heaths and heathland plants from the Northern Hemisphere, Africa and Australia.
13 North American Woodland
The 'fall' season is a blaze of colour in the deciduous section of this woodland, which features graceful trees including maple and beech.
Garden feature: Darug Aboriginal storyboards
The Darug People have a long association with Mount Tomah. The Darug Aboriginal storyboards tell their story in an interpretive display. Storyboards are located at significant sites in the Garden to help visitors understand the Darug cultural landscape and celebrate the past, present and future Darug associations with Mount Tomah and other Aboriginal places in the region.