Autumn in Sydney might be the best time of the year. The season ushers in cooler weather, vibrant Japanese maples, rich golden elms, cozy knits and warm treats. Although it’s been a soggy few months in the city, the sun has been shining down on us the last few days and now would be the perfect time to go hunting for lovely autumn leaves in and around city limits. Here are some of our very favourite spots.
1. Centennial Park
Centennial Park is a sprawling space in the heart of the city. On the southern side of the duck pond, you’ll see a myriad of colours and the floor packed with leaves. You can spot the brilliant Lasiandra tree in abundance along with the bright hues of the Tibouchina.
2. Royal Botanic Garden
The RBG is the perfect go-to spot to view blooming flowers all year round. But it’s absolutely delightful during autumn with the entire premises drenched in colour. Spot a variety of local and international plants here.
3. Breenhold Gardens
A Blue Mountains gem that deserves the spotlight if you’re looking for autumn leaves in and around Sydney. Breenhold Garden is one of the most picturesque spots in NSW to spot autumn foliage and quite the Instagram sensation as a result. With a $15 entry fee, you can spend all day at the garden marvelling at the striking scenery and autumn colours.
If you’re planning a visit, check out our guide on the Breenhold Gardens.
4. Auburn Botanic Gardens
The Auburn Botanic Gardens are absolutely stunning. Here you’ll find an abundance of the Japanese Maple tree and 9.2 hectares of garden space to hang around in.
5. Mayfield Garden, Oberon
The Mayfield Garden in Oberon is home to Australia’s largest maze, a water garden, the Family Chapel and a sum total of 65 hectares of garden space. So there’s a lot to see and do. The garden offers a vibrant display of red, orange and yellow every year.
Read more about the Mayfield Garden Autumn Festival.
If you’re an autumn enthusiast, you’ll be hard pressed to find a town that encapsulates the spirit of the season better than Orange. The town is popular for it’s red and orange (shocker) colours and all the oak and maple sightings. The drive down from Sydney takes about 3 hours and a visit to one of it’s vineyards along with a trip to Mount Canobolas is highly recommended.
Armidale in the New England High Country is a lovely little town which turns into quite a hotspot during autumn. One wander down its streets and it’s easy to see why. The town is lined with trees coated in red, orange and yellow, grassed laneways and lovely little cottages.
8. Blue Mountains National Park
We’re blessed to have the Blue Mountains at such close quarters. All year round, the heritage site provides for a stunning escape from the city. But it’s during autumn that you get to see all the small towns light up with brilliant hues. A drive down to the Blue Mountains National Park is just under 90 minutes and it’s lined with bright deciduous trees and shrubs throughout. I’d recommend hopping around from town to town to make the most of your time there.
9. Everglades Garden, Leura
The Everglades Garden in Leura is a sweet little spot about a 20-minute walk from Leura station. Filled with wonderful little waterfalls, beautiful greens, brilliant lookout spots and bright reds, this is an essential stop if you want to see autumn in its glory but don’t want to go too far from the city. Another plus, you get lovely views of the Blue Mountains as you wander around the gardens.
10. Southern Highlands
The Southern Highlands are a proper hotbed of activity during autumn. Take a leisurely walk through the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens and Corbett Gardens and feast your eyes on all the colours. Hike up to the Mount Gibraltar lookout or head to charming village of Bundanoon.
Bathurst truly comes alive with an explosion of colour during autumn. We’re talking vivid reds, fiery yellows and bright oranges spread across town. Reserve some time to experience its Autumn Colours program which celebrates the towns history or just walk through it’s quiet streets lined with trees and gardens.
Canberra’s pretty underrated and not typically a weekend fixture for Sydneysiders. But it more than deserves a mention. Take a walk along Lake Burley Griffin and you’ll witness a number of oak trees and poplars or wander through Griffith for all the rich autumn leaves and a quaint, inviting atmosphere.
Just two towns past Katoomba you’ll find the pretty little town of Blackheath lined with rows of vivid red trees, a number of vintage stores and quiet cafes. It’s also easily accessible via train so make a day of it if you’re keen to experience autumn in all its glory.
Tumut is a small town in the Snowy Mountains and offers a magical experience during autumn. Its Falling Leaf festival celebrates the town and its history with a month of fun-filled activities.
15. Mount Tomah Botanic Garden
Another Blue Mountains fixture, the Mount Tomah Botanic Garden offers 252 hectares of space saturated in bold colours. Because of the size, you might need to walk around a fair bit but there’s a cosy little cafe on site which overlooks the gardens and the mountains so you can get your fill of autumn leaves from one spot.
16. Wentworth Falls
Wentworth Falls is yet another lovely little village in the Blue Mountains with striking maple trees and fiery reds. An absolute must see is the tunnel of leaves roofing overhead on the Sinclair Crescent en route to Wentworth Falls Lake. The lake itself is a superb idyllic spot to saunter down and take in the fresh mountain air and colour.
17. Cattai National Park
If you want your fill of autumn leaves not too far from the city, the Cattai National Park needs to be on your radar. You can walk, ride your bike, paddle along the river or go canoeing, there are a number of ways to enjoy autumn in the area.
18. Rumsey Rose Garden
The Rumsey Rose Garden in Parramatta Park is a real hidden gem offering a variety of over 500 rose species on the premises. But the vibrant yellow autumn leaves are also a sight to behold.
19. Macarthur Park
Macarthur Park in Camden puts on quite a show during autumn. Pack a picnic and soak up the views at this picturesque little spot. Make sure you walk through the little walkway through the park for that perfect autumnal shot.