Sunday 18 March 2018

Chinese Garden of Friendship and Tea House, Sydney

The Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney was a fitting place to catch up with an old friend and her husband.  I visited there many years ago with E and loved it, though I remember it being busy.  This visit it seemed less busy but every bit as peaceful.  It was a great place to wander around with friends and chat in a relaxed surrounding.  It is all the more oasis of calm for the constant reminder in the surrounding skyscrapers that we were in the midst of a busy city.

The gardens have many areas and I read you can't see all of the gardens from any one point.  Here is the bonsai garden that greeted us upon entering.  It was good to have a map to find where we were and what paths we could follow.

There were lots of interesting views through windows into the garden.

When I saw a couple dressed in Chinese robes I thought they must be part of a Chinese organisation.  But no.  They had just hired the robes to wander around in.  It was quite amusing seeing groups wearing Chinese dress.

The waterfall was really lovely.  It was a very popular spot for photographs.

The Clear View Pavillion was clearly visible from afar and a great place to view a lot of the gardens.

This gorgeous little statue was tucked away behind the Clear View Pavillion.  Can you see two little mice on the statue?

We spotted a lot of water dragons as we wandered around.  They are very ugly but fascinating to see.  Sylvia didn't like them at all.  There were also lots of large koi carp in the lake.

The Peace Boat Pavillion was one of my favourite buildings.  I also loved the weeping willows.  I am very fond of them because we had a weeping willow in my backyard when I was young and particularly loved it because we had an Andy Pandy book where he made a house in his weeping willow.  But I digress!

Here is a little of the intricate detail in the Peace Boat Pavillion.  And here is Sylvia being very intent on her Emperors Quest map.

The Emperor's Quest was a kid's activity where they had a map and clues to find the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac.  Each zodiac animal was a little red metal statues like this monkey here.  It was a fantastic way to keep Sylvia's interest throughout the garden walk.

Finally we got to the Tea House at the end of the journey.  It had large open archways with spectacular views of the gardens.

I was quite peckish, having only had very little at lunch at a vegetarian-unfriendly restaurant.  I was tempted by the vegetarian dumplings and the scones but went for the spinach quiche and salad.  It was good basic food.  The quiche was nicely warmed and the salad was as substantial as a green salad can be without dressing.  It was good to have a light meal this late in the afternoon as we were planning to go out for tea.  Sylvia had a milkshake and a strawberry cupcake.  Clare enjoyed a traditional tea.

By the time we finished, we hadn't enough time for the Powerhouse Museum but I think the Chinese Garden of Friendship was a better option.  It was nice for Sylvia to run around outside and a garden is far more relaxing than a museum when catching up with friends.   I look forward to the next time I have the opportunity to visit these gardens.

Read more about my recent Sydney visit.

Chinese Garden Teahouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chinese Garden of Friendship
Corner of Day Street and Pier Street
Darling Harbour, NSW, 2000
(02) 9240 8888
Emperor's Quest (kids activity)


  1. It looks like such an amazing place and I'd love to visit it, if I was ever in your part of the world. It amused me to see people hired Chinese robes to dress and wander in. I can see children doing this, but adults - amusing. Oooh i love the statue and yes, I do see the little mice. Iadore little details like this. And like you I like weeping willows it takes me back to my childhood days where I would sit under a willow tree in the park with a book, whilst my siblings played on the swings etc. So good to read you had a good time catching up with a friend.

  2. It does look very peaceful, so soothing and green.

  3. I visited the garden so long ago now, but I loved it. Such a pretty, peaceful place to wander around, and so many photos just asking to be taken! I can't see the little mice though!

  4. I've still only been there once but it was really beautiful. And I don't get why places don't dress green side salads. So many must go back uneaten.

  5. What a fantastic place. I hadn't even heard of it (although am not very familiar with Sydney)! It looks really peaceful and a great place for a catch up.

  6. Wow what a beautiful place! I didn't go in here when I went to Sydney but now I'm wishing I did!


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