Try something different this Australia Day said the posters all over Sydney so I decided to start the day with a little peace and tranquility at the Chinese Garden of Friendship located right in the heart of centre of the city at Darling Harbour.
I had only been in the city for 24 hours and was still feeling jet lagged after the long flight from the UK so I decided I had better pace myself if I was to join in with the festivities later in the day. The garden of friendship looked like the ideal place in which to start what could be a busy and tiring day.
The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a garden based on typical private gardens of the Ming Dynasty. From the outside it looked quite small but once inside the walls the garden was deceptively large.
The garden was designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners as a symbol of friendship between the city of Sydney and Guangzhou in the province of Guangdong to mark Australia’s bicentenary in 1988. The garden offer its many visitors an insight into Chinese heritage and culture.
You wont find any planted flowerbeds or manicured lawns here! The wilder aspects of nature including waterfalls, mountains, lakes and forests are the dominant theme. Here the gardens of the imperial parks from the Ming Dynasty 3000 years are recreated on a smaller scale.The garden at Darling Harbour is a small-scale version of a typical private garden from this era. It seemed like an appropriate place to start as the Chinese people have played such a significant part in the relatively modern history of the country.
On any other day of the year the garden would have been a quite retreat from the noise of the city but as this was Australia Day the peace and quite was shattered by the screams of hundreds of children from nearby Tumbalong Park adjacent to Darling Harbour.Popular Australian children`s music group The Wiggles had taken to a nearby stage and the excited children had expressed their delight in the only way they knew how! Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay was heaving with visitors when I arrived but I enjoyed strolling around for a while soaking up the atmosphere
The walled garden recreates the philosophy and harmony of a traditional Chinese garden with waterfalls, lakes, exotic plants, pavilions and hidden pathways.It was such a peaceful place to walk around I soon forgot that I was in the centre of Sydney. It was a wonderful period of calm before the storm!
I particularly enjoyed the water features with plenty of colourful koi carp darting around in the small lakes and a beautiful waterfall tumbling over the rocks. There was also a delightful tea house from which I could sit and soaked up the calm atmosphere watching the carp while enjoying a cool cup of tea and cakes.
If you are in Sydney I would recommend you visit the Chinese garden of friendship for a wonderfully uplifting experience in stunning surroundings.
Darling Harbour, NSW, 2000
Facebook: Chinese Garden of Friendship
Share the secret of the Chinese Garden every day of the year, except Good Friday and Christmas Day.
9.30am – 5pm (April – September)
9.30am – 5.30pm (October – March)
Child: $3 (under 12 years)
Family: $15 (two adults and two children)
Concession: $3(Australian pensioners and students only)
Senior: $4.50 (Australian seniors only)
Annual pass (available at the Chinese Garden ticket office, conditions apply)
Family: $125 (two adults and two children)
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