Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
North Shore Living

KILLARA LIVING: Unwind at Sydney's Secret Garden

Written by Olivia Esveld
Despite our best efforts, life can sometimes get a little hectic. Between organizing family, juggling work and meeting all your other commitments, sometimes you just have to remind stop, take a moment and relax.

While life moves at a fairly fast pace here on the North Shore, we’re fortunate to have a few places to do just that. To escape from the everyday, even just for an hour or two.

One magical place has become my own little hideaway. But shhh! You have to promise to keep it a secret.

Driving down Stanhope Road in Killara, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s just your average suburban roadway. But tucked away behind some large trees and hidden amongst the houses is one of Killara’s best kept secrets.

Swain Gardens. Or what is often referred to as Sydney’s Secret Garden.

As property experts, we’ve seen a LOT of gardens in our day. But none even compare to this extravagant, leafy green wilderness, spanning over three hectares.

If we had to guess how Alice felt when she fell down the rabbit hole, we’d say that it’s is a pretty similar experience as you walk down the long driveway into what can only be described as a Wonderland.

Swain Gardens was created by a local resident, Mr Arthur Newling Swain. In the early 1960s, he discovered the land next to his home was due to be developed. To save the land, he purchased the entire development.

Instead of filling it with more houses, Mr Swain spent over a decade planting large, exotic trees and shrubs. Two stonemasons were employed to construct bridges and terraces amongst the difficult terrain. Eventually, Mr Swain’s very own floral haven came to life.

When Mr Swain died in 1973, he gifted the gardens to the public. Now everyone can enjoy his handiwork. Well, those lucky enough to know about it that is.

But enough with the history lesson. Why is Swain Gardens the perfect place to enjoy the peace and quiet?

Maybe it’s the sound of the trickling creek to your left as you enter the gardens. A sound that instantly feels like it’s washing your troubles away. Or the sight of native wildlife making themselves at home amongst the greenery. King parrots, eastern rosellas, pygmy possums and more call Swain Gardens home.

Another allure is perhaps the secret pathways just waiting to be discovered. The fresh perfume wafting through the air from the Camelia garden, or the walking tracks that wind through the bush, designed to get your endorphins pumping.

But what makes Swain Gardens truly tranquil, is the fact that it feels like a secret place that Mr Swain himself passed onto you. The large size of the garden often makes it feel like you’re secluded from the rest of the world. Perfect for a moment of peace to unwind.

If you’re heading to Swain Gardens for a solo trip, we suggest taking a moment to sit with your eyes closed and take in the sounds of nature around you.
The gardens truly are the perfect picnic location. There’s barbecue facilities, multiple lawn areas and toilets all on site.

A little picnic tip from McConnell Bourn to you, stop by Lindfield on your way to the gardens. You can grab everything you’ll need for a delicious grazing platter from Harris Farm Markets on Lindfield Avenue.

Or if you’re feeling really peckish, grab yourself a takeaway coffee and meal from Goodfields eatery right next door. Their fish and chips are our favourite! We’re sure they’d taste even better on a picnic rug amongst the gardens.

Swain Gardens is open from sunrise to sunset every day and entrance is free. You’ll find the entry at 77 Stanhope Road Killara. Just park on Stanhope Road and walk down the driveway into paradise. No secret password required. You can find more details about Swain Gardens here.

If you’re thinking about making a tree change closer to the greenery at Swain Gardens, stop by our Lindfield office while grabbing your picnic supplies. We’d be happy to show you the properties that are currently available or are soon coming to market.

McConnell Bourn – The most informed property experts in “North Shore Living”.

Keep Reading

Platinum Support For Special Olympics Upper North Shore and The Kuringgai Chase Fun Run or Walk

Grab your running shoes, throw on your active wear, pin on your racing bib because it’s time for North Shore locals to get active for a very important cause. Read More

ST IVES LIVING: The Perfect Place to Tee Off

In the 95 years since Pymble Golf Club first opened, it has transformed into something rather spectacular, boasting one of the area's most beautifully maintained golfing greens Read More