At a Glance: A gorgeous space for the whole family to get out and enjoy their first bush walk.
Cost: Gold Coin Donation
Opening Times: Daily 9am - 4pm
Dogs: Yes on a leash
Kiosk or Cafe: Open Oct/Nov
Age Suitability: 3yrs plus
A visit to the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens in Blackheath is a fantastic day out that can get the whole family enjoying nature and perhaps even enjoying a family's first ever bush walk! There are easy mini bush walks located all over this beautiful 45 acre garden. At the end of your explore you can enjoy a lovely family picnic in one of the many idyllic picnic spots throughout the garden.
The Rhododendron (Rhodo) Gardens have been available to the general public for over 40 years. They are managed by the Blue Mountains Rhododendron Society and you can enter the gardens for the meagre price of a gold coin donation. You can visit at any time of the year from 9.00am - 4.00pm, however to visit the gardens at their best, plan your visit in either October or November as the stunning Rhododendrons will be in full flower. When we visited earlier in the year, we were practically the only visitors in the huge gardens. I can imagine that in Oct/Nov the place would be heaving with visitors, they also serve Devonshire Teas during this time from the Lodge that is on site, which would no doubt add to the visitor numbers.
Now for you gardening novices out there who have no clue what a rhodo is, they are a stunning flower that grows on a large bush and they come in many different colours. By the way, you aren't allowed to pick them. Besides the rhodos there are loads of other flowers and natives that grow throughout the garden. The rhodo garden is actually quite famous worldwide because the exotic rhodos have been planted within the existing native bush and this has apparently not happened anywhere else in the world on such a large scale.
When you arrive at the gardens, park your car, slap on the hats and sunscreen and head off on your little expedition. The donation box for your gold coin is adjacent to the car park and you can collect a map of the gardens from here. The walking tracks are suitable for all levels of fitness and most little legs. Some of the garden is pram friendly, but the walking tracks aren't, so if you have babes who can't walk as yet, you will need to use some sort of baby carrier. If you walk throughout the whole gardens it takes about an hour and it isn't strenuous. There are lots of spots to sit and enjoy the view and the flowers. So make sure you take the time to sit and enjoy mother nature in all her glory (if this is possible with young children!).
After you have finished your bush walk there are loads of perfect areas for a picnic and there are also quite a few tables up near the car park for you to enjoy your lunch on. These tables are also close to the very clean toilets and the Lodge. As I mentioned before you can have a light refreshment at the Lodge during the blooming season of October and early November.
So in conclusion, I thoroughly recommend you visit the Rhodo Garden - it is an easy 1.5 hour drive from the Sydney CBD. It is the perfect spot for some flower spotting, having a picnic, breathing some fresh mountain air, and teaching the kids about the basics of bush walking