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Budding Botanists

By Rose Cunningham

Through 2020’s many challenges and surprises, thousands of Australians have turned to caring for plants, learning more about their plant species, and going on bushwalks, (I know I have). This year, I have looked after two pots of Kalanchoe, have repotted and pruned 5 Graptopetalum paraguayense (AKA Ghost plant,) and have been getting out to weed garden beds and water the plants. I have really enjoyed the sunset walk around my suburb where mum and I have talked about our favourite places to look at and learn about plants. I have done bushwalks and walking trails where we have identified many types of ferns, flowers and trees and have decided that this summer I am going to the Royal Botanic gardens (again). Here are some of the best places to enjoy this summer if you are interested in flowers and plants!

Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney.

The Royal Botanic Garden of Sydney is definitely one of the places I most love to visit. The RBG contains thousands of species of plants (literally) and covers 72 full acres in Sydney. A short walk from the Opera house, you can bring a picnic and enjoy the trails, snaking through the paths and plant displays. You can visit the herbarium or the cafe, or if succulents are more appealing, visit the succulent displays. I love to visit during the spring, when the temperatures are at their best, with plenty of sun. This is when the flowers are at their peak.

Katoomba falls round walk

Hidden amongst the scenic world and echo points in the blue mountains, the Katoomba falls is a magnificent sight to see. The crystal clear flowing water over the smooth rocks make it a wonder to behold. This circuit hike is an easy walk, suitable for those who just want an amble activity amongst nature. The walk is a short but sweet, 2kms, with a track time of around 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours. This track starts between the main entrance to the scenic world and the car park. The walk includes many lookouts at picturesque places before coming to the waterfall. You can then follow the walk back to the starting point, before walking the track again or visiting some of the many other attractions in the area.

The Great North walk - Thornleigh to Hornsby.

The Thornleigh to Hornsby walk is a brilliant one to do with friends as it can take around 4-4 ½ hours. The 11.3 km track starts and ends near train stations so it isn’t hard to reach your car once you have had a day in the bush. This track passes through areas that do occasionally experience back burning due to a large amount of bush. However, it is absolutely delightful to see the new saplings and plants that are regenerating. This track is tricky in some areas so you should always have a friend to hold onto on some of the slightly loser rocks, and bringing a water bottle is a must ( especially in summer) due to the heat. On this track, listen out for the sound of flowing and the various frog and bird species that are abundant in this area.

If you want some more guides on walks, trails and tracks, seek out your local bushwalking club, or refer to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Nature trail guide found here:



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