Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden is an oasis of Australian native plants located at Dee Why in the heart of the northern beaches. It is famous for its spring floral displays and is the perfect place for a walk, picnic, or intimate functions such as weddings. Every year it hosts a Spring Festival.
The garden is jointly managed by Warringah Council and a Volunteer Advisory Committee. It is free and open every day of the year, including public holidays.
Intricate walkways take visitors to a variety of microclimates. The main circuit takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and in 2013 was extended to include the accessible sensory track – where people of all abilities can experience the Australian bush like never before. Signs along the sensory track point to plants you can touch, taste, smell, and look at, to observe the garden with all your senses. There are also side tracks for the energetic and inquisitive.
Spring is the best time to view the vivid colours of the garden’s fabulous floral displays. However, the beauty of the garden is breathtaking all year round.
Regenerated and Revegetated
Stony Range was given its name because it sits on 3.3 hectares of Hawkesbury Sandstone escarpment.
In the 1950s, Stony Range was a disused stone quarry. Had it not been for a few visionary locals with a green thumb, the reserve may never have been established. In 2007 it became a Regional Botanic Garden of Native Bushland.
Since it was opened, Stony Range has been extensively weeded, regenerated and revegetated by a enthusiastic group of volunteers with the aid of public donations and funding from Warringah Council. Native plants from all over Australia have been planted in the garden alongside local indigenous species.
Stony Range Botanic Garden has several microclimates: the rainforest gully, the sandstone heath, and the lush ecosystem of the Federation Cascades.
After half a century of growth, the rainforest gully is regarded as one of Alec Blombery’s (one of the garden’s founding members) greatest achievements in the reserve. When Stony Range was first created, the area along the main creekline was badly infested with noxious weeds such as lantana and privet. Today, it is a cool oasis populated with cedar, coachwood, flame trees, hoop pine, lilly pilly, ferns and palms.
The site of the sandstone heath in the upper area of the reserve was part of the stone quarry which was reclaimed with soil fill. Today there is a collection of grasses, grevilleas and baeckias which all create a picturesque display at different times of the year.
The waterfalls that form the Federation Cascades were constructed by volunteers in 2001 to commemorate 100 years of Federation in Australia. Since then they have created their own ecosystem and now abound in lush plants and ferns.
Stony Range Volunteers
Stony Range volunteers partner with Council to maintain the garden with plants propagated from seeds and cuttings in the garden’s nursery. Volunteer sessions occur on Tuesday mornings between 8:30am-12:00pm and Saturday afternoons between 1:30-5pm. Stony Range volunteers are both young and old and there are activities to suit all levels of participation. If you would like to become a volunteer come along on a Tuesday morning 9 – 9.30am or Saturday afternoon between 2-4pm when you will be welcomed and introduced to the many activities available.
Stony Range Botanic Garden can be booked for small functions such as weddings. A decorative pond separates the purpose-built stage from the seating.