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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

9 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About “The Chinese Garden of Friendship”

“What’s one of the most unique and fascinating landmarks in Australia? The Chinese Garden of Friendship, of course! This wonderful attraction has become a major tourist destination for both Australians and visitors from China who wish to learn more about their shared history. 

But if you’ve ever wondered what makes the Chinese Garden of Friendship so special, read on! Here are nine interesting facts about this historic landmark in Australia, New South Wales.

The Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney, Australia, was built to commemorate the visit of President Jiang Zemin of China in 2000. This garden is the only garden that combines elements from both Chinese and Western culture.

The Chinese Garden of Friendship of Sydney attracts more than 5 million visitors each year from around the world. It’s one of the most visited tourist attractions in Sydney, and everyone should visit it when they come to Sydney.”

It’s probably no surprise that many tourists are curious about the garden, but just how much do you know about it?

“In this article, we’ll reveal nine interesting things you didn’t know about The Chinese Garden of Friendship of Sydney!”

Explore The Chinese Garden of Friendship: An Australian Icon

chinese garden of friendship
Photo by Seb Reivers On Unsplash. Copyright 2022

The Chinese Garden of Friendship symbolises peace and friendship between China and Australia. To understand how and why it was created, we must look back at Australia’s history with the Chinese community.

Known for its colourful sculptures and mosaic tiles depicting various landmarks around Australia, it’s become one of Australia’s most famous tourist attractions.
Designed to reflect many different cultures, it’s perfect for those interested in learning more about worldwide cultures while also getting some sun on their backs! But how well do you know it?

There are a lot of interesting things about the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Australia, New South Wales, including facts you may not have heard before. Did you know that it is one of the largest gardens in the Southern Hemisphere?

Here are some more interesting things you probably didn’t know about The Chinese friendship garden.

1. The Garden Was Built As A Gift!

The Australian government established a friendship advisory committee in 1974 to foster links between Australia and China. Its first task was to consider ways in which Sydney could host an exhibition celebrating China’s cultural, historical and philosophical links with Australia.

When he was deputy prime minister in 1985, Paul Keating signed a memorandum of understanding with China to build a gift for Australia that would recognise our shared interests and future.

In 1987, during his visit to China, then Prime Minister Bob Hawke travelled to Hangzhou onboard HMAS Tarakan, saw a model of what is now known as The Australian Friendship Garden and decided it should be built at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

The Chinese Garden has been constructed over the site of the NSW Fresh Food. The construction of the Chinese Garden of Friendship was funded by China’s Guangdong Province. The Guangdong province is one of China’s most economically successful regions and has long been one of its most culturally influential areas.

2. A Place For Family Time

chinese garden of friendship
Image by Casal Partiu On Flickr. Copyright 2022

If you’re in Sydney or planning a trip to Sydney, the chances are that you’ll be headed to New South Wales. But there is also a New South Wales elsewhere! The state located in south-eastern Australia was named after King George III, who had his original title as Prince of Wales.

(That other New South Wales is actually in southern China, and it features one of Australia’s most significant landmarks: Yang Shoujing’s Chinese Garden of Friendship).
It is the largest representation of traditional Chinese architecture outside China. It was built to celebrate Australia’s first friendship treaty with a foreign country. Today, it remains an iconic attraction for locals and tourists alike.

It is one of five garden attractions that can be found in different locations around Australia. This particular park has a lot to offer visitors, and if you are in long term planning and bringing your family with you, it’s definitely worth checking out.

3. Chinese Garden of Friendship: Tourists’ Attraction

chinese garden of friendship
Photo by Manny Moreno On Unsplash. Copyright 2022

A lot can be said about visiting this garden, like to see its breathtaking scenery, but it does not stop at that. You also have historical monuments, pavilions, lakes and cultural sites that make for interesting visits for daily tours anyone who comes to visit.

A tourist attraction is usually a landmark that attracts visitors due to its unusual or memorable features. Such features could include an unusual structure, landscape, sculpture, artwork, archaeological potential, nature or natural rock formation.

Many tourist attractions are landmarks used as destinations for tourism, education and cultural purposes. The garden showcases China’s rich cultural heritage. The traditional Chinese garden was built by more than 1,000 local and international volunteers, including people from Poynter College in South Australia.

The Chinese Garden is a must-see tourist attraction for those visiting Sydney. A favourite destination for tourists, visiting The Garden could be a memorable experience for both adults and children. The project reflects their respect for China’s culture and values and their friendships.

Throughout its life, The Garden has won numerous awards for excellence in landscape design. The botanical garden offers many plant species and has won numerous awards, including being named one of the ten best gardens in Asia by Time Magazine. 

Visitors to these tourist attractions will not only see unique art exhibits. Still, they can also explore different ethnicities represented by pavilions, such as Japanese, Korean, Indian and Indonesian gardens.

Due to its popularity, there are daily guided tours at 10 am; Opening hours: Daily formally opened on 9.30-5 pm / 9.30-5.30 pm (closed Good Friday). The entrance fee for an adult is 6$.

However, it may also be visited during regular hours with little assistance. Some areas are restricted unless a tour guide is present, so you will want to check with the staff first if you plan on going alone.

Furthermore, they also provide professional tour guide services if there is no one to guide tourists around that day. There are two kinds of tours- one is walking around with a tour guide, and another is driving a bus around without any tour guide on board.

4. Ways To Get There

chinese garden of friendship
Image by Taryn On Flickr. Copyright 2022

The garden is accessible via two main transport hubs, Wynyard and North Sydney data-preserver-spaces=”true”>.

  • From Wynyard, it’s a short walk to Chinatown and Circular Quay, where you can take a ferry to Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour, to access The Garden. The closest airport to The Chinese Garden is Brisbane Airport.
  • From there, you can travel from Brisbane to Tumbalong Boulevard, Darling Harbour by public transport or hire a car. From Toowoomba, you will need to travel around 100 km south by road to reach your destination. Public buses run regularly and take about 1 hour, although you may want to allow extra time for any delays.
  • Take New South Head Road off of Military Road and follow it to Taronga Park if you are driving into town. From there, you should find a parking space in either Taronga Zoo or Phillip Cove. These are accessible parking areas, but note that they fill up fairly quickly on weekends, especially during peak season.
  • Before you start your trip, you may want to know how to get there by train. Getting there by train is one of the good ideas, and it only takes you two hours from Central Station to Taronga Zoo Train Station.
  • Remember, if you’re travelling with a large group of people or travelling at peak hour times, it’s recommended that you travel on an express train as they run more frequently and can often get you home quicker than a stopping service.

5. Things To Do At The Chinese Garden Of Friendship

chinese garden of friendship
Photo by Felipe Palacio On Unsplash. Copyright 2022

It’s about more than just sitting and admiring. The garden features many things to do, strategic management including five different gardens that each hold something special for visitors to enjoy.

The garden is considered one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets, with its amazing blend of natural and man-made wonders, but you can take advantage of the park’s beauty year-round if you know where to go! Here are the top things to do in the garden.

The Chinese garden is also host to a variety of colourful ornamental flowers. A broad collection of plants and shrubs are used in these gardens, giving them a unique look. The Dragon Wall, featuring two flying dragons—a symbol of majesty and perfection in Chinese culture—was a gift from Guangdong Landscape Bureau; the brown dragon represents Guangdong and the blue dragon New South Wales.

If you’re looking for a bright spot on your trip, book yourself some time in one of these ornamental flower gardens today! Tourists can also enjoy food and drink at Temple Lodge Teahouse, which is located inside The Pagoda. You can sip on a selection of high-quality teas in an authentic Chinese setting.

If you don’t feel like sitting down for a proper meal, then pop into Emperor’s Pavilion instead. This small kiosk sells hot dogs, chips and drinks so you can grab something on your way around The Pagoda.

The garden has held some memorable events. Each year it hosts a celebration of Spring Festival and other cultural celebrations. During Lunar New Year, there are colourful lanterns and traditional performances with plenty of authentic Asian cuisine from local food stalls.

Other popular annual events include Valentine’s Day, Earth Day and Halloween celebrations. And if you’re lucky enough to be in town for their annual fireworks display on September 3rd, then you’re in for an unforgettable experience. Tens of thousands converge to see Sydney’s dazzling showpiece firework display at nightfall.

6. Traditional Chinese Ornaments

chinese garden of friendship
Image by Casal Partiu On Flickr. Copyright 2022

Water, stone, lake, elements of water, nature, landscape, and pavilions help to make a picture that’s both harmonious and filled with contrast within the Jardin Botanique’s Chinese Garden. Here we will see what elements the classical garden had and what their meaning represents.

When we visit any Chinese garden, we can experience traditional cultures, including beautiful architecture and unique ornaments. In those sculptures and ornaments, you can see traditional ornaments that have been used for thousands of years.

Traditional ornament usually uses jade and marble to represent heaven, and gold as symbolising the earth. Those 3 elements match with five elements (fire, water, wood, metal and earth) in Taoism culture.

Therefore there are high-quality statues in the garden using jade instead of bronze or stone sculpture to express traditional cultures in it. Gardens often feature small ornamental buildings and sculptures, as well as a range of ornamental features that are meant to represent objects found in nature.

For thousands of years, Chinese gardeners have applied feng shui to their gardens in order to create harmony in their lives and surroundings. Sydney, Australia, has strong feng shui elements which perfectly capture the meaning of friendship, connections, and balance between the two countries.

(A basic understanding of feng shui, the ancient Chinese study of finding balance in one’s environment, can help you to make your home or office more peaceful and productive)

It’s worth pointing out that not all Chinese gardens are entirely Chinese, either. While Australia doesn’t have a large Chinese population (about 1.5 per cent), it is home to one of Australia’s most famous gardens: The Chinese Garden of Friendship.

Located just outside Sydney, the NSW government pays homage to an ancient tradition that many Australian historians (aboriginal people) will be familiar with, even if they aren’t aware of its connection to China.

The garden boasts an impressive array of sustainable features and will soon become a case study for place management NSW. Now let’s find out more interesting things about The Garden!

7. Water Features in the Darling Harbour’s Chinese Garden Design Principles

chinese garden of friendship
Image by Ruth Hartnup On Flickr. Copyright 2022

Water is an essential element in Chinese gardens land. It brings life and softness to any garden’s land. The ancient Chinese believed water had a special connection with heaven, earth and man.

They designed their gardens according to those principles, incorporating five elements; pavilions, waterfalls, lakes, lotus plants, ponds, and canals. Waterfalls not only bring sound but also reflect attractive natural features in a garden design.

What’s Behind Chinese Garden’s Unique Design?

The Chinese Garden of Friendship
Image Source: Depositphotos

The Garden’s Water and Stone Collection are one of the most distinctive features in The Chinese Garden of Friendship of Darling Harbour. It is said that water has a profound impact on human emotions, and this hidden gem must be studied from all angles by designers to bring out its true meaning, beauty and goodness.

A visit to The Garden will show you how designers have paid special attention to water features throughout each phase in terms of construction, maintenance and care. Find Lotus at The Gardens inside the Chinese Garden of Friendship, which can be accessed via Pier Street, Darling Harbour.

The symbolism of the yin yang (The yin yang symbol is an ancient Chinese philosophy that encapsulates the concept of balance) plays its part in the Garden of Friendship’s uniquely Chinese ambience.

Keep reading for some tips. Four elements generally define how water features should be designed and constructed: Water objects; Streams; Lakes, and Ponds.

There Are Three Unique Gardens Inside

A Water Realm, a Forest Realm and a Mountain Realm. Each environment is designed to reflect its corresponding season: winter, spring and summer, respectively. In addition to being used as an ornamental garden, it also has many cultural uses in traditional Chinese ceremonies such as weddings.

In 2012, a member of China’s political elite held his wedding ceremony at The Chinese Garden. He invited 1000 of his closest friends, relatives and colleagues to celebrate with him—and no doubt it was a glittering affair in one of Australia’s most breath-taking venues.

8. Weddings, Functions, Filming and Photography at The Garden design

chinese garden of friendship
Photo by Alan On Flickr. Copyright 2022

Whether you are looking for intimate wedding ceremonies, Christmas day, a private function or simply a beautiful place for photos, The famous Garden has something to offer everyone.

Whatever your requirements may be, whether it is finding that perfect place for wedding photographs or filming at one of our many locations, The famous Garden of darling harbour provides several unique options.

The garden is ideal for wedding receptions, corporate functions, film and photography shoots. The western-designed landscape of The Garden can be partitioned off with partitions or fixed walls if required. The view from the tea house terrace to the dragon wall is awesome.

Some permanent structures can be used for these purposes and exhibitions. This area consists of about 10,000 square feet undercover and will accommodate up to 150 seated guests. It may also be used outside for functions such as barbecues, fireworks displays etc.

If you want to get into photography, there are plenty of opportunities for pictures here that aren’t available anywhere else in Australia. There are also workshops designed landscapes, including those aimed at children who want to learn about basic photography.

9. The Beauty Of The Chinese Garden of Friendship

The Chinese Garden of Friendship
Image Source: Depositphotos

It was opened to enhance public awareness and appreciation for Chinese culture, the Chinese community, land, landscape, and traditions and promote cultural exchanges between the two countries. There are many different reasons people want to visit and learn about the Chinese garden.

Some will be fascinated by ancient history and its amazing accomplishments, while others might focus on modern-day China’s incredible advancements in science, technology, and education.

Tourists can enjoy all these fascinating landmark qualities about Chinese culture and discover countless numbers of other facts in museums throughout the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour.

The Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour offers an escape from your busy everyday life. In my independent advice, this garden is a great place to enjoy walks, school holiday programs and picnics with family and friends, or even read a book. Remember to practice social distancing.

If you love your flowers, you’ll love The Chinese Garden of Friendship. It’s a veritable botanical garden filled with lush trees, exotic plants, pavilions, and colourful plants. But what makes it unique is that all these plants are native to China.

chinese garden of friendship
Photo by Steph Rose On Unsplash. Copyright 2022

The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a symbol and celebration of multiculturalism in New South Wales, Sydney. Not only is it one of Sydney’s most popular tourist attractions, but also one that’s continually being added to!

And since its buildings are also made from wood and stone, like something you’d see in a traditional village in China, the results are stunning. The garden boat set and discover a beautiful design that reflects China’s natural environment, nature, positive energy and culture.

It’s easy to see why many call it one of Australia’s most beautiful gardens!


Nearly 4 years of experience in developing content for company websites, blogs, white papers, business collaterals, case studies. requirement understanding documents and advertising copy. Curious and self-motivated storyteller. Experienced in writing buzz worthy feature articles, news reports, interview pieces, reviews, and content marketing pieces. Accomplished, enthusiastic writer offering a solid background in education and freelance journalism. Skilled in researching and creating an array of materials ranging from lesson plans to published articles.

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