The Chinese Garden of Friendship, located at the south end of Darling Harbour, is a symbol of friendship between Sydney and Guangzhou in China. A walk in the garden is akin to stepping back in time, and to another place, as the peacefulness of Chinese architecture and balance of natural elements prevail. The Chinese Garden of Friendship features no lawns or planted flowerbeds, but rather a recreation of wild landscapes like mountains, waterfalls and forests in a controlled space.
- Garden Tour – Tours through the Chinese Garden of Friendship run on a schedule throughout the day and are included with your ticket cost. They take around 35 minutes and are a great way to become familiar with the history, landscape and cultural heritage of the garden space.
- The Emperor’s Quest – A wonderful activity for children (although adults will love to tag along) this activity is free with an entrance ticket and takes you through the garden searching for sculptures of the 12 signs of the zodiac. Afterwards, kids can enjoy a visit to the Teahouse for The Emperor’s Feast, a selection of food and drink for AUD$9.
- Fish Feeding – At 11:30am every day visitors to the Chinese Garden of Friendship can join the horticulture team in the Lenient Jade Pavilion to feed the amazing koi fish. The koi that call the garden home can be called by clapping your hands, and thanks to the special care they receive, can live up to 35 years.
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- Photography Centre – There is a photography centre on site where visitors can dress up in Imperial Chinese costumes and have their photographs taken as Emperors and Empresses.
- Audio Tour – There is an audio tour available at the front desk (in both English and Mandarin) for AUD$4.
- Garden Information – There is a lot of information around the garden making obvious to visitors the small details of the site, but brochures and a map with more details are also available from the ticket office.
- Traditional Teahouse – The Chinese Garden of Friendship has a teahouse perfect for having a nice cup of traditional tea, and a nice light snack or meal, while looking out at the beautiful gardens.
- Walk – A short walk from the main Darling Harbour area, which in turn is accessible from most places in the city with a walk of no more than 20-30 minutes.
- Train – Get off at either Town Hall or Central Stations for a short walk to the garden.
- Light Rail – Get off at Haymarket Station.
- Bus – The 443 Bus runs from Circular Quay to the Darling Harbour area.
The Chinese Garden of Friendship was designed by Sydney’s Chinese sister city, Guangzhou in China to be additional to the rich Chinatown area of Sydney, an Australian icon of Chinese culture. They were opened as a gift to celebrate Sydney’s bicentennial in 1988, and named the Garden of Friendship to symbolise the standing bond between the two countries.
- The garden is modelled on typical private gardens of the Ming Dynasty.
- It was designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners to follow the Taoist philosophy of Yin-Yang and the five opposite elements: earth, fire, water, metal, wood.
- Part of the Chinese Garden of Friendship was used in the 1995 Power Rangers film Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.