Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve, Kareela

Location: Kareela Manooka Pl View on map


Open 9.00am - 5.00pm 7 days a week  Standard Time;

          9.00am - 7.00pm 7 days a week  Daylight Saving Time;

          with the exception of Good Friday and Christmas Day when the reserve is closed.                   


Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve is one of only a few specialised gardens in Sydney devoted entirely to Australian native plants.

Council established the reserve in 1969 as a tribute to Sir Joseph Banks, who collected numerous flora specimens when he visited nearby Botany Bay in 1770. Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820) was the official botanist aboard Lieutenant James Cook's Endeavour which came to Botany Bay in 1770. His name is perpetuated in Australian plants such as the Banksia and Grevillea banksii.

The landscaped garden covers an area of 2.2 hectares of Hawkesbury sandstone and is crossed by 4 kilometres of sealed paths. Many plants are labelled and a section has been established to display Aboriginal food and medicinal plants. The vast array of native plants forms a delightfully relaxing garden and a home for many birds and other native fauna.

The aims are of the reserve are to:

  • display the form and flowering/fruiting characteristics of a wide variety of native plants from many parts of Australia
  • demonstrate how these specimens grow in Sydney's climatic conditions

The Australian Plants Society, Sutherland Group has had a long association with the reserve since its establishment. Members of the group have fundraising activities to help provide plants, interpretive signs and plant labels as well as leading guided walks for interested people at different times of the year. Sutherland Group has monthly work days to plant and maintain some of the garden beds in the reserve and volunteers are always welcome. For more information about the work days or the Sutherland Group, visit their website.

In 2017 Council completed an upgrade at the reserve that included new bbq and picnic facilities. This lovely area includes 5 picnic tables, 2 electric bbq hotplates, directional signage and seating amongst the gardens.  


There is limited wheelchair and pram access in the gardens, due to the terrain. There is an accessible path from the main entry (Manooka Place) to the largest bbq and picnic facilities area in the upper portion of the reserve. There is another accessible path from the main entry to the Sun Tolerant Flowering Garden which passes the Public Toilets that include facilities for the mobility impaired, also in the upper portion of the reserve. Most of the lower portion of the reserve is not accessible due to the terrain.

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Note:  To hold a ceremony or have related photography at the park you must contact Council to make a booking.

More information


Enquiries can be directed to the Sutherland Shire Council on 9710 0333 or


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