We’ve already written about The Best Playgrounds in the Sutherland Shire, and are continuing to check out new playgrounds all the time, but the Shire also has some stunning parks and gardens that don’t revolve around swings and slides.
The benefit of visiting parks and gardens without playgrounds is that children spend more time observing the natural world around them. Watch as the blank canvas of nature encourages them to use their imaginations and make their own fun.
Exposure to green spaces is important not just for your children, but for you too.
A recent research study revealed that…
spending at least two hours in nature per week contributed to improved health and well-being of both adults and children.
This was found to be especially noticeable in built-up suburbs.
So even if you’ve had a sleepless night or are just having a hard time finding the motivation to get up and going in the morning, it’s worth the effort of getting everyone dressed and heading outdoors!
Start with these beautiful local parks and gardens, where you can encourage the kids to bring their binoculars and maybe even do a scavenger hunt. Walk through some of our best local native plants, sit among rainbows of flowers or by beautiful bodies of water and enjoy the benefits of being exposed to the great green outdoors.
The Shire’s Top 5 Parks and Gardens
Little explorers will adore this walk through signed specialised native trees and plants. Stop for a picnic lunch, to observe the stingless bees and take in the sounds and sights of the bush on safe (and even some pram-friendly paths) suitable for all ages.
This pretty garden sits beside the art gallery and cafe so the kids have space to play, run and even observe art exhibitions dotted around the garden, and you can couple the experience with some breakfast, lunch or a coffee if you wish.
Recently re-turfed, the open space beside Audley Weir is perfect for large group picnics and gatherings but can just as easily be enjoyed as a place for peace and quiet where you can sit by the water. The Audley Boatshed (currently being refurbished and due to reopen in June/July 2021) offers rowboats, canoes, kayaks and aqua bikes you can hire to really immerse yourself in the environment and the Audley Dance Hall Cafe offers refreshments for afterwards.
Monro Park in Cronulla is a bright, beautifully-tended park lined with every coloured flower imaginable, and is a perfect place for Mother’s Group or open-play with babies and younger children. It is conveniently located across from Cronulla train station, so if you don’t live locally and can’t be bothered with parking at Cronulla, catching the train is an easy option. Then you can peruse Cronulla Plaza’s plethora of takeaway options to enjoy out on the grass.
Though breath-taking Camellia Gardens actually has two playgrounds on its grounds, there’s enough to do here that you can completely avoid them if you choose to. It is a magical spot for exploring the surroundings where you are likely to spot such amazing animals as bearded dragons, large fish, families of ducks and more if you keep your eyes peeled! There are small waterfalls and immaculate rose gardens to take in, and you can finish off your visit with a bite or drink at the Teahouse.
There are plenty of other great parks and gardens in the Sutherland Shire. After checking out those above we recommend Prince Edward Park, Shelly Park and Oak Park for parks where you can also enjoy a swim in the river or ocean pools, or a visit to the pretty but smaller parks like Forby Sutherland Memorial Park, and Peace Park, which are both in the heart of Sutherland.
Still searching for somewhere to go?
If you’d like to venture outside of the Sutherland Shire then you may want to check out this list of where to find the best parks in Sydney, but if you prefer to stick to local playgrounds, follow along with our Undercover Mum’s adventures.