There are loads of remarkable spots in Sydney to have a picnic, enjoy a good book under the shade of a tree or laze back in the grass and soak up the sun. Wendy’s secret garden is no exception and is a truly marvellous way of doing any of the above.
A bit of background for you – the garden was created by Wendy Whitely, following the death of her husband, Brett Whitely, an Australian artist. She transformed what was a derelict and run down piece of land into a serene and intimate sanctuary.
As you approach the garden, it doesn’t look like much at first. It actually looks like a pretty plain park, albeit with fabulous views of the water and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s when you cross this top section and step onto one of the many narrow and winding paths that the magic begins.
It’s like you’ve entered into one of those fantastical gardens or forests that you used to read about when you were a child. I half expected to see a fairy with glittering wings zipping in and out of the blooming flowers. But instead, beautifully coloured butterflies sashayed along the path. The leafy plants arch over the meandering downhill trail, creating a shady and secluded haven. Bursts of sunlight force their way through the enclosing shrubbery, adding to the enchantment.
Once you land at the bottom you’ll find a green patch of open space, dotted with tables, chairs and umbrellas, bird baths, and antiquities such as a rusted wheelbarrow. From this sunken area, the harbour bridge is still visible to the left. The flora ranges from herbs, citrus and fig trees, bright flowers and more. It’s easy to see that they’re all well cared for.
Now we had a couple of bottles of red with us, so it was important for me to find a bathroom before I got settled into the wining and dining of camembert cheese and various cold meats. It took us a while to find the toilets though, so hopefully these instructions will help: facing the water, the bathroom is to your right, up a winding set of stairs, at the end of which you turn left, and head down another set of steep stairs that will lead you under a bridge. On the other side and to your right is a tiny toilet block.
Getting to the garden is easy – you can take a ferry or train to Milson’s Point and it’s only a short 5-10 minute walk from either point.
This really was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a charming place to picnic and an inexpensive way to enjoy what Sydney has to offer.