Are Dogs Allowed in the Botanic Gardens in Sydney?

While dogs are allowed in most parks and reserves in Sydney and the rest of NSW, this doesn’t extend to botanic gardens. Find out whether dogs are allowed in each of the botanic gardens in Sydney, plus some excellent dog-friendly gardens you can instead visit with your dog.

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Are Dogs Allowed in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney?

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a popular attraction to visit in Sydney. Located on the edge of the harbour on the eastern side of the city, near the Opera House, the gardens are a beautiful spot for a walk or a picnic.

Unfortunately, pet dogs are not allowed to join you in visiting the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. There are clear signs stating this on each gate. Only assistance animals in a harness are permitted, as well as on-duty police dogs and horses.

Royal Botanic Garden Sign No Dogs
Pets dogs are prohibited from the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Are Dogs Allowed in the Domain in Sydney?

The same trust that looks after the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, also looks after the adjacent Domain, the large expanse of parkland in between the Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park.

Luckily, dogs are not prohibited from the Domain. They are welcome to join you walking under the large fig trees in the Domain, as long as they remain on a leash. Just note that sometimes fenced off concerts and festivals are held in the Domain, that are generally not dog-friendly.

The Domain Dogs Sign
Leashed dogs are allowed in the Domain

If you’re looking for a nearby off-leash area, head to Cook + Phillip Park, behind St Mary’s Cathedral, where dogs are allowed off-leash in the entire park all day long.

Are Dogs Allowed in the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan?

There are two other botanic gardens in the Sydney region that are also administered by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. In the southwest of Sydney is the sprawling Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, the largest botanic garden in Australia, that has a focus on Australian plan species.

Mt Annan Botanic Garden
The Australian Botanic Garden in Mount Annan

Despite its size (the gardens are large enough to have roads inside), unfortunately dogs are also not allowed to join you in visiting the Mt Annan botanic gardens.

Are Dogs Allowed in the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden?

The trust also administers a third botanic gardens, this time located just outside of Sydney in the Blue Mountains, surrounded by World Heritage listed wilderness. The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah showcases cool climate species and basalt cap forests.

Unfortunately, dogs are also not allowed to join you on a visit to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. However, there are other gardens in the Blue Mountains region that allows dogs – see more below.

Are Dogs Allowed in the Auburn Botanic Gardens?

There is also another botanic garden located in Sydney, that are this time looked after by the Cumberland City Council. The Auburn Botanic Gardens are located in the inner west suburb of Auburn. They are particularly popular during their yearly Cherry Blossom Festival.

Cherry Blossom Festival Auburn Botanic Gardens
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Auburn Botanic Gardens

Unfortunately, just like the other botanic gardens listed above, pet dogs are also now allowed in the Auburn Botanic Gardens. You’ll need to get your cherry blossom fix elsewhere!

Are Dogs Allowed in Other Botanic Gardens in Australia?

It’s quite common throughout NSW for dogs to be prohibited from botanic gardens. Similar prohibitions apply at many other botanic gardens, including the Wollongong Botanic Garden, the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens and the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden in Coffs Harbour.

However, there are some botanic gardens in NSW that do allow dogs. The Orange Botanic Gardens, Dubbo Regional Botanic Gardens and the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens near Mildura are all dog-friendly botanic gardens.

Dog-Friendly Orange
Dogs are welcome at the Orange Botanic Gardens

In Victoria, nearly all botanic gardens that I’ve visited or simply investigated allow dogs. The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne is dog-friendly, with dogs even allowed on the punt rides on the lake. There are also dog-friendly botanic gardens that I’ve visited in Geelong, Daylesford, Kyneton, Ballarat and Bendigo.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Go punting with your dog at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

In Queenslands, about half of all botanic gardens allow dogs. I’ve put together a guide to the dog-friendly botanic gardens in Queensland that I’ve visited. Some of my favourites include the Cooktown Botanic Gardens, the Palmetum in Townsville and the Queens Park Botanic Gardens in Toowoomba.

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers with Dog
Gorgeous flowers in the Queens Park Botanic Gardens

Rules for other states vary. For instance, dogs are allowed in the Darwin Botanic Gardens (a great spot to visit in Darwin with your dog) and the Botanic Garden in the sprawling Kings Park in Perth. However, pet dogs are not allowed in the Adelaide Botanic Garden and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart.

What Gardens Can I visit with my Dog?

Don’t despair that you can’t visit the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney or other botanic gardens around Sydney with your dog. There are some other magnificent gardens that are dog-friendly.

In Sydney, head across the harbour to Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay. At Parramatta Park, leashed dogs are welcome in the delightful Wistaria Gardens, with its many colourful blossom trees. Centennial Park in Paddington has some beautiful historic gardens. Or head west to the Chinese Chang Lai Garden in Doonside or north to Lisgar Gardens in Hornsby.

Wistaria Gardens Parramatta Park
Blossom trees at the Wistaria Gardens

In the Blue Mountains, I’ve visited the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens in Blackheath with my dog. The gardens are at their best when the rhododendrons bloom in October and November. Dogs are also welcome at the seasonal Breenhold Gardens in Mount Wilson and Wildwood Garden in Bilpin.

Rhododendron Garden in Winter
Exploring the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens with my dog

For more details on these gardens and some other beautiful dog-friendly gardens across NSW, check out my guide to dog-friendly gardens in NSW.

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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