E.G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens, Caringbah South

Facilities:
BBQ Toilet Fenced Shade MLAK Toilet Parking Playground Bubbler

Open: Monday - Friday: 9am - 4pm Weekends and Public Holidays, 9.30am - 5pm Standard Time, 9.30am - 6pm Daylight Savings Time. Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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About the Gardens

The E. G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens are perfect for everything from a Sunday picnic to wedding ceremonies. Located in Caringbah and overlooking beautiful Yowie Bay, the Gardens are a favourite with Shire residents and visitors alike.

The Gardens were recognised by the International Camellia Society as a Camellia Gardens of Excellence in 2014.  There are sixty Camellia Gardens of Excellence in the world, with the Camellia Gardens and Lisgar Gardens in Hornsby being the only two in NSW.

Did you know the Gardens turned 50 in July 2020?  The site’s rich history goes back further than 1970 to the popular Matson Pleasure Grounds (1902). During this time it existed as a picnic and boating area for locals and was even used to host the Crown Prince of Japan and officers of the visiting Japanese fleet in 1905. To read more about the history of the Gardens, click here.

Weddings, Ceremonies and Picnics

The Gardens are a beautiful location for weddings, ceremonies and picnics.

Enquire about booking Camellia Gardens for a picnic or ceremony

A location map for weddings and ceremonies may be viewed here.

Download our brochure about the Gardens, including weddings and ceremonies, opening hours, facilities and map.

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The Collection

The Gardens have over 400 cultivars and species donated and acquired since its first plantings began in 1969, in addition to many other rare ornamental and native plants. The collection is of unique value to Australian horticulture.  The Gardens are also a member of the International Camellia Society, a non-profit organisation devoted to the genus Camellia.   

The Gardens have something for all seasons. The camellias are in season during autumn and winter. Camellia sasanqua blooms from autumn to early winter early spring followed by Camellia japonica from late autumn right through winter with Camellia reticulata in bloom from mid-winter to September/October. During springtime the spring annuals are in bloom, which are followed by roses during the summer months.

Visit any day that the sun shines for the atmosphere and a coffee at the Teahouse.

Accessibility

The establishment of the gardens on a steeply sloping site makes sections inaccessible or difficult to access for people who have limited mobility. Access is available from the top gates to the lawn and teahouse areas; from the lower gates access is available to the specially designed Senses Garden and to most of the lower sections of the garden. 

Accessible toilet facilities are available adjacent to the lower entrance, and in the Teahouse adjacent to the top gates (which has a MLAK).

Guided Tours and Displays

Guided tours are often conducted by volunteers between June and August each year which is the main camellia flowering season at Camellia Gardens. For further information about guided tours, please email Stephen Utick at sutick@grapevine.com.au.

Camellias Australia has produced an online interactive guided tour of the collection.   

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The Rose Garden

The rose garden is popular with those with a particular interest in roses, with children who love to race around its maze-like pathway and for brides who use the arch as a backdrop to their special day. During the warm days of summer the perfume of the roses fills the air and drifts on the breeze.

Roses love the heat and are at their best in the warm months. The first flower buds form in September with flowering peaks in December and again in February.  During the cooler moths the plants become less prolific and dormant. 

Feeding the Ducks

At the Gardens, many visitors seek out and enjoy the experience of feeding animals.  Duck food is available for purchase from the Teahouse.

The ducks at Camellia Gardens are wild and free-ranging and move in and out of the Gardens as they please, so food offered by humans is only supplementary to their whole diet.  Their diet includes worms and caterpillars, and frog eggs, invertebrates and algae from the ponds. Staff at the Gardens closely monitor the wellbeing of all the animals at the Gardens and work closely with wildlife carers when an animal is unwell.

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Playgrounds and the Teahouse

There are two playgrounds located within the garden grounds.  One is situated near the Teahouse at the top of the gardens while the other is located at the lower section of the gardens near the barbecue area. 

The Teahouse is located near the top gates, off President Avenue and serves breakfast, lunch, and Devonshire and High Teas.  More information, including opening hours and menus, can be found on their website.

The Teahouse is operated independently of the Camellia Gardens. 

Enquiries

The Gardens are located at 104R President Avenue, on the corner of President Avenue and Kareena Road. 

For enquiries about the Camellia Gardens, please contact Council or ask a member of the Parks Operations Unit within the Gardens.

More information

Enquiries

Enquiries can be directed to Council on 9710-0333 or ssc@ssc.nsw.gov.au

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