To most visitors the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney is immaculately groomed, formal and distinctly European in appearance. There is not even the slightest hint that the site once supported people, plants and animals in a natural balance, as well as carrying the spiritual meaning of an Indigenous culture for thousands of years. Cadi Jam Ora: First Encounters, the Gardens' most recent garden display, is set to change that perception.
Featuring native plants that once grew around the Sydney Harbour foreshore, Cadi Jam Ora: First Encounters creates an experience of what happened on this land at the time of European settlement. The site of the Royal Botanic Gardens is where Europeans and Aboriginal people had some of their earliest prolonged encounters, leading ultimately to the tragic demise of the Cadigal.
The display's most dramatic feature is a a 50-metre long 'storyline' that weaves its way through four garden beds like a giant mythical serpent. The storyline presents an Indigenous perspective on the history of the site from the Cadigal dreaming to the present day.
Aboriginal Guided Tour:
Come on a journey of discovery with an Aboriginal guide and learn about the Gardens' rich Aboriginal heritage. Find out what this site meant to the Cadigal, original inhabitants of the Sydney city area, and what it means to Aboriginal people today.
Departing at 2pm Fridays, this one-hour Indigenous experience will give you an insight into plants of legend, plants that originally grew here, Aboriginal use of plants, and how the Europeans tried to establish the first farm here. Bookings essential: Phone Community Education on (02) 9231 8134.
Accessible paths, gates and toilets. Accessible routes and toilets are signposted.
02 9231 8111
Royal Botanic Gardens
Sydney, New South Wales, 2000
Cafe, Guide, Public Toilet, Shop, Visitor Information Centre
Experiences you can enjoy at Cadi Jam Ora First Encounters:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Flora/Fauna, Nature based