Breenhold Gardens
Experience | garden | Picnic | Blue Mountains | New South Wales

Breenhold Gardens

Turning over a new leaf

by Susie Baber  |  28 May 2022

Mount Wilson | 2km | easy

As the colder weather sets in Jen and I decided to head up to the mountains and catch the last of the fading autumn colours. Driving into Mount Wilson, our first stop was Breenhold Gardens which is open to the public in Spring and Autumn. These 45 hectares of gardens, parkland and native bush straddle The Avenue as you enter the little village.

Parking under the deciduous trees on the main road, we begin to wonder if we have left our run too late, as the trees above us are looking worryingly bare. We wander over to the main gate where we are greeted, pay our entry fee ($15 per person – cash only, thank goodness for sisters who carry cash) and receive a map of the gardens. The larger portion of the garden is on this side of the road, we did wander over the other side later in the day and it is mostly open parkland, not as spectacular as this side, but still very pleasant.

Entering the main gate and walking up the long, lined driveway, formal gardens can be seen to each side. There are 6 walled gardens with varying focal points and many lawns to relax and play on. In spring these areas are filled with colour, from flowering azaleas and rhododendrons to Japanese cherry trees, magnolia and dogwood. In Autumn the colour is just as vivid with the reds, golds and yellows of the maples shining through, and there is still some colour to be seen even this late in the season.

Some of the best know photography spots that you see popping up on Instagram are the Laburnum Steps, Bailey Paths, and the Pine Tree Avenue near the main entry. Further afield are terraced bush trails and forest walks leading to lookouts with panoramic views over the Blue Mountains National Park. We spent a couple of hours exploring the gardens, trying to cover all the trails, and ended up walking about 2km with plenty of time for admiring views and picnicking.

Breenhold was first planted in 1965 by Thomas Essington Breen and his wife Charlotte. Over six decades thousands of exotic trees and shrubs have been planted, representing every continent of the globe. Inspired by the historic gardens of Britain, Italy and France, the heritage listed gardens are in the care of Tom and Charlottes son and his family.

This is just one of several beautiful gardens that open throughout the year in this quaint mountain town, opening days and times vary with the seasons so check before you go. Another beautiful garden we visited on our day in the mountains is Windyridge Garden, read more about that one here.

While you are in the area have a picnic at the beautiful Cathedral Reserve (where you can also camp) or take a stroll to the Cathedral of Ferns and along Waterfall Walk. If you are after a bit of history, try the Turkish Bath Museum at the end of The Avenue, which houses a display of local history by the Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine Historical Society.

There are no shops or permanent cafés in Mount Wilson, the day we visited there was a very cute little coffee van open which we gratefully patronised. Nor is there any phone reception, ATM’s or fresh drinking water available, so make sure you pack everything you need for that picnic!

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