E.G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens, Caringbah South

Location: Caringbah south 104 President Avenue View on map

Facilities:

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.

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, Camellia Gardens are a favourite with Shire residents and visitors alike.

There are hundreds of different camellia cultivars growing at the Gardens.  The camellias flower from the start of autumn till early springtime and are at their best between April and August each year.   Visit any day that the sun shines for the atmosphere and a coffee at the Teahouse.

The Gardens were recognised by the International Camellia Society as an International Camellia Garden of Excellence in 2014.  The Gardens are only one of 40 International Camellia Gardens of Excellence in the world and the only such gardens in New South Wales.

About the Gardens

Did you know the Gardens turned 50 in July 2020?  The site’s rich history goes back further than 1970 to the poplar 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.

E.G Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens began as a project under the 1970 Captain Cook Bicentenary program, with the first plantings made in 1969. They are named after the late Professor Eben Gowrie Waterhouse, a leading world authority on camellias, who lived in Sydney. The Gardens have grown over the years into their present beauty, in part due to the generous donations by numerous groups and individuals.

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

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.

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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 international organisation devoted to the genus Camellia and classifies its collection according to the International Camellia Register.   

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.   

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.

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. 

While the roses are bare in winter the archway over the entrance to the rose garden comes to life. The orange trumpet vine (Pyrostegia venusta) comes into leaf and bursts forth clusters of bright orange.  Seasonal displays of annuals also provide blocks of bold colour in the surrounding beds.

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).

Playgrounds

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

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

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 the Sutherland Shire Council on 9710 0333 or ssc@ssc.nsw.gov.au

Documents

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Camellia Gardens Enquiry

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