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Surprising Sydney and its sandstone flora

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 Cool’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 some native gardens close to the city.

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

Days 1 and 2

The tour will leave from the conference venue of Kiama and take you northwards along the coastal fringe towards the southern areas of Sydney. On these two days we will explore a range of natural areas where you can experience the sandstone flora and other ecosystems as well as one or two gardens/ reserves.

Royal National Park

Days 3 and 4

The theme on these days is similar but 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

Day 5

In the morning we plan to visit two special gardens and restoration areas then go into the heart of the city to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Participants would then be free to either return to the hotel for the night or connect to their transport home.

Note: the order of Days 3-5 may be altered.

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

More information

Please note that tours are for conference participants and their partners. 

Queries about the conference and tours can be directed to: 

Heather Miles, Secretary@austplants.com.au, 0408 696 356

Ralph Cartwright, Conf2022@spin.net.au, 0416 030 872


Please note: Tour itineraries are subject to change without notice. 

Images: Heather Miles

P.O. Box 263
Cremorne  Junction NSW 2090

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