Sydney’s city planners have made ample use of its beautiful natural setting to provide residents and visitors with plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy. There’s no shortage of sandy beaches and harbour coves, but urban structures are also interspersed with green spaces, parks, and even buildings.
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At the moment, over 15% of the city is covered in green canopy, but the city council wants to improve this. The goal is to increase the city’s green coverage to 23.5% by 2030, including green roofs, walls, and trees.
The following are a few of today’s most relaxing green spaces, where you can get out into nature in the middle of the city.
Only a 10 minute ride away from the city centre, Centennial Park is one of Sydney’s best loved green spaces. Visitors can stroll through the well-tended grounds or sit on the grass and enjoy a good book. The lawns are kept tidy, yet there are plenty of park benches, flower beds, and a café to enjoy as well. Those looking for something a bit more active can try their hand at horseback riding, golf, or bike riding, all of which are available for hire. Entry to the park is free, but it does take donations for upkeep.
Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living
Sustainable housing is a growing trend in Sydney real estate, and is showcased in the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living. This facility is completely self-sufficient, generating its own power, managing its own waste, and recycling all waste and rain water. Visitors can learn more about how it works and stroll through the lush community gardens, all maintained by the centre’s volunteers.
Royal Botanic Gardens
A top attraction for international visitors and residents alike, the Royal Botanic Gardens are situated on a 30 hectare space within the heart of Sydney’s city centre. The gardens date back to 1816, and contain a stunning variety of both native and foreign plants to learn about. A rose garden provides a burst of colour even on the rare overcast day, while different themed areas provide the opportunity to see new varieties you have never heard of. This is the perfect spot to breathe in some fresh air and admire the diversity of nature.
Pyrmont Point Park
Pyrmont Point Park benefits for its location, right on Sydney’s harbour. It offers great views of the Harbour Bridge and North Sydney, with a waterside boardwalk that is used by walkers and joggers of all fitness levels. Yoga, dance, and fitness boot camp participants can all be seen here in the early mornings, while the park comes alive in the daytime with families at the children’s playground. Further facilities include structures to provide shade, barbeques, picnic areas, and manicured lawns. Like the Macarthur Centre, Pyrmont Point is another example of Sydney’s commitment to sustainable design. The designers used solar panels, recycled materials, and native plants in its construction.
Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden
If you’re looking for a hidden green space to get away from it all, Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is an attractive and relaxing destination. There are numerous walking tracks for all fitness levels, along with ponds, waterfalls, and flower beds to admire. Located in St. Ives, this wild space within the city features amenities including parking, toilets, a playground, and picnic areas. Programs are scheduled throughout the year to teach visitors more about nature in the area, encouraging residents to make the most of Sydney’s greenery.
Image Credit: Manly Beach by Andy Tam/ShutterStock