Notice: Information for our visitors on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Read more.

FAQs

We've included some common questions and rules below. If you have a question that's not covered here, email us or call (02) 4227 7667.

Plants

No. You must not take cuttings, pick, damage or remove any plants from the garden.

This also includes any dead plants or leaves and twigs that might have fallen on the ground.

We do have herbs (such as parsley and mint) growing near the playground which you are welcome to use, just make sure you leave some for other visitors!

If you want a plant for your home, check out our Native Plant Sales.

Our Greenplan Plant Sales are a Wollongong Local Government Area ratepayer subsidised service.

If you rent in the area you will need to seek approval from your landlord. Ask them to write a letter of support for your garden plans and bring that along to our next Plant Sale so you can make a purchase.

Yes, our qualified horticultural staff and knowledgable Friends volunteers are available to provide advice at our monthly Plant Sales.

You'll find great plant information on the Growing Illawarra Natives website, including many of the plants we have available to purchase from our nursery. Be sure to check out the useful Plant Finder.

We ask that you DON'T bring any plants to the garden as they can introduce pest and disease to our valuable collections.

We do not have a herbarium or botanist on site. For accurate plant identification contact The National Herbarium of NSW who may be able to help you identify a plant.

You can also check the Growing Illawarra Natives website which contains useful information on local plant species.

You're welcome to email us photos of the plant (please include clear close ups of flowers, fruit, leaves and bark), and we'll let you know if we can identify it.

Animals

The Botanic Garden is an important wildlife refuge, so you can't bring dogs or pets.

Accredited Assistance Dogs accompanying visitors with a disability are the only exception to this rule.

If you’re looking for an outdoor space to enjoy with your dog, check Council’s Dog Beaches and Parks page.

You’re welcome to feed the ducks, but we ask that you DON’T give them bread. It can make them sick, and eventually even kill them.

Some healthier options the ducks will enjoy include:

  • green peas
  • grapes cut in half
  • grains such as cracked corn, barley oats or birdseed
  • duck feed pellets (available from farm supply stores)
  • earth worms, or worms from your compost.

Yes, we have an abundance of wildlife in the garden.

All of our wildlife is protected including snakes, spiders, lizards and birds.

Please be aware, wildlife can sometimes display unpredictable behaviour. If you have any concerns during your visit, please call us on (02) 4227 7667.

Rules

No. To make sure the Garden is safe and enjoyable for all of our visitors, bikes, skateboards, scooters, rollerblades, skates etc. aren't allowed in the Botanic Garden. Slowing down and walking is the best way to absorb the natural surroundings!

You are welcome to walk your bike through, or leave it at the bike racks provided at the Murphys Avenue entrance.

To make sure the Garden is safe and enjoyable for all of our visitors, and to protect our plants and wildlife, ball games and similar activities such as frisbees aren't allowed in the Botanic Garden.

To protect our plants, wildlife and their delicate habitat, you cannot climb trees or go in any of the garden beds.

Please stick to the designated paths or enjoy our grassy areas instead.

If you feel like climbing, you can climb the grass hill to the historic Glennifer Brae manor house for some spectacular elevated views!

Wollongong Botanic Garden is a smoke and alcohol free zone.

We have two free click-start BBQs near the All Abilities Playground with a herb garden nearby, in case you need any fresh parsley or other herbs. Please note, BBQs are currently closed for public safety.

You cannot bring your own gas, coal or fire BBQs, and camping is not permitted.

The Botanic Garden is an important wildlife refuge, so you can't bring dogs or pets.

Accredited Assistance Dogs accompanying visitors with a disability are the only exception to this rule.

If you’re looking for an outdoor space to enjoy with your dog, check Council’s Dog Beaches and Parks page.

For the safety of our visitors, and so everyone can enjoy the garden scenery, private marquees and large shade structures are not allowed. We do allow small shade tents for young children and infants, and we have many shady areas on offer.

Marquees hired through external suppliers may be approved as part of hiring a space. Contact us to discuss the options available.

Please help us protect and preserve our plants and wildlife, and respect other visitors’ right to share and enjoy the Garden. Penalties for not following the rules exceed $100.

Events

We may still go ahead if there's light rain. But if there's heavy rain, or if it’s rained for several days and the ground is very wet, we will usually cancel all outdoor activities.

If you’re not sure, check our Facebook page or call us on (02) 4227 7667 to confirm.

We can take bookings with one week's notice.

The Botanic Garden is a popular wedding ceremony venue, so we do recommend you book in advance as much as possible to secure your preferred location and date.

No. We host wedding ceremonies only.

If you're looking for a reception venue, you may like to consider Wollongong Art Gallery or one of Wollongong City Council's Community Centres and Halls.

We have two free click-start BBQs near the All Abilities Playground with a herb garden nearby, in case you need any fresh parsley or other herbs. Please note, BBQs are currently closed for public safety.

You cannot bring your own gas, coal or fire BBQs, and camping is not permitted.

For the safety of our visitors, and so everyone can enjoy the garden scenery, private marquees and large shade structures are not allowed. We do allow small shade tents for young children and infants, and we have many shady areas on offer.

Marquees hired through external suppliers may be approved as part of hiring a space. Contact us to discuss the options available.

Wollongong Botanic Garden is a smoke and alcohol free zone.

Filming and photography

Absolutely! Visitors are welcome to take photos throughout the Garden, however drones are not permitted. See our filming and photography page for more information.

No bookings are needed.

Wedding groups are welcome to drop into the Garden for photos any time during our opening hours. See our filming and photography page for more information.

See our filming and photography page for more information.

Gleniffer Brae

A walk around the surrounding Sorensen Garden and the house perched at the highest point of the garden is a must-see when visiting the Garden. However at the moment, the inside of the building is not open to the general public.

You can attend one of our 'Step Back in Time' Tours where we bring history to life with an entertaining theatrical guided tour of the house and garden. Keep an eye out on our Events Calendar for upcoming dates.

Some of the Manor House is used by the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music (The Con), so people attending classes at The Con can access part of the building.

During the 1950s, Gleniffer Brae and the land around it were bought by the Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School (SCEGGS). The school added various classroom buildings from the 1950s to 1970s. You can learn more on our History page.

The classroom buildings are used today by the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music.

Paul Sorensen was a well known 20th Century landscape designer. He designed many notable and now-heritage listed gardens in New South Wales. He had a long association with the Hoskins family (the original owners of Gleniffer Brae) and designed the landscaped gardens around the house.

Over time some parts of Sorensen’s original design have changed, but we’ve been working to reinstate many of the garden’s original features.

You can learn more at one of our 'Step Back in Time' Tours where we bring history to life with an entertaining theatrical guided tour of the garden and through Gleniffer Brae manor house. Keep an eye out on our Events Calendar for upcoming dates.

A draft plan to care for and protect the heritage value of Gleniffer Brae has been developed. This is called a Conservation Management Plan (CMP).

This CMP is now with the NSW Heritage Council for their approval. Once approved, the plan will be used to guide ongoing maintenance and improvements at Gleniffer Brae to make sure it’s around for many more years to come.

At present this historic building is not suitable as a venue for weddings or functions.

But you can certainly take photos and use the areas outside the house – it makes a great backdrop!

The Conservation Management Plan (currently awaiting approval) will guide the future use of Gleniffer Brae for functions and community events.

Visit our Gleniffer Brae page for more information about this historic property.