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Surprising Sydney flora

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While Sydney is a very large metropolis, it is surrounded by national parks and retains many other natural areas. In the city’s south is the Royal National Park, Australia’s oldest and the world’s second oldest. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is to the north of the city. To the west is the Blue Mountains National Park, one of the eight reserves which make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Other smaller national parks, such as Kamay NP, in the vicinity of Captain Cook’s landing site and where Banks and Solander collected, the North Head Sanctuary and many other conservation areas and reserves are located within the metropolitan area.

The Sydney sandstone flora is unique and diverse and in spring becomes a riot of colour. Other ecological communities include the now rare or restricted communities such as the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub Woodland, Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest, Clay Plain Scrub Forest, Cumberland Plains Woodland as well as coastal, dune, mangrove and estuarine ecosystems.

There are also a number of gardens and reserves which combine natural bushland with plantings of other species. District Groups of the Australian Plants Society NSW are involved in the maintenance of some of these.

On this tour we plan to take you to a number of these natural locations and some of the gardens/ reserves as well as the Royal Botanic Gardens and nearby Barangaroo.

The walks involved will generally be relatively easy and shorter than those often involved in conference tours.

Day 1

The tour will leave from the conference venue of Kiama and take you northwards along the coastal fringe towards the southern areas of Sydney. We will visit scenic vantage points and explore a range of natural areas where you can experience the sandstone flora and other ecosystems.

Royal National Park

Day 2

On this day we plan to visit two gardens and two natural areas.  Boongala is a large developed garden and nursery where participants can have a guided tour of the rainforest area.  We will also visit a private garden, walk in a sandstone area and visit a large reserve where you will see other environments and ecosystems of western Sydney.

Windsor Downs, photo Jennifer Farrer

Day 3

We travel into inner Sydney and visit Barangaroo and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Accommodation for the first two nights will be in Parramatta and the other nights in the northern suburbs at Terrey Hills.

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Days 4 and 5

The theme on these days is again to visit venues which showcase sandstone flora. The venues will be in the northern areas of Sydney including Ku-ring-gai Chase and North Head as well as the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden and Stony Range Nature Reserve.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

North Head

More information

Dates are 17 to 21 September.

Pickup is at Kiama and ends at Sydney Airport. 

Accommodation is twin share/double. Please contact the organiser if a single room is required and we will see if this is possible, although an extra charge will be applicable.

The itinerary outlined above is a guide only. Inclement weather, road access or other factors may influence the planned itinerary or cause delays and variations. The leader of the tours or excursions may make these decisions in the best interests and safety of all involved.

Queries about the conference and tours can be directed to: 

Heather Miles,, 0408 696 356

Ralph Cartwright,, 0416 030 872

Tours will run subject to demand. 

P.O. Box 263
Cremorne  Junction NSW 2090

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