Mount Penang Gardens
Opened in November 2003, Mount Penang Gardens is considered an enduring and radical contribution to public garden design in Australia.
Things to do
Mount Penang is located at Kariong, just 80km from both Newcastle and Sydney. The parklands are 1 hour north of Sydney, and two minutes from the Gosford exit off the M1.
Mount Penang Gardens
Kariong NSW 2250
Phone: (02) 4345 4450
There is no charge for admission to the Gardens but please note that fees and advance bookings are required for the Guided Tours and commercial hire.
Free on site parking
Convenient free parking is avaible on site in front of the Gardens entryway
Directions by car
- From Sydney
Driving on the M1 Pacific Motorway, take the first Gosford exit - this will bring you onto the Central Coast Highway. Turn left at the third set of traffic lights onto The Avenue, left onto Festival Drive, then right onto Parklands Road.
- From Newcastle
Driving on the M1 Pacific Motorway, take the second Gosford exit (at the Kariong Interchange sign), and turn left into Wiseman's Ferry Road. Then turn left again onto the Central Coast Highway. Turn left at the third set of traffic lights onto The Avenue, left onto Festival Drive, then right onto Parklands Road
Getting there by public transport
- Take the train to Gosford Station
Outside the station, go to the bus exchange. Take bus 34 (Gosford - Kariong - Gosford). Ask the bus driver to drop you off near the Shell service station. The walk to the Mount Penang Gardens’ entry is about eight minutes, with level footpaths and pedestrian crossings along the way.
To view the bus timetable, visit the Busways website, or call (02) 4368 2277.
A stunning community space
Mount Penang Gardens' distinctive design by Anton James sets it apart from the traditional botanical garden.
His 'garden within a garden' produces an understated landscape that is less manicured and in a constant state of being. It continues to evolve today.
12 unique garden rooms
Individual ‘gardens’ are set on and around a large sculptural plateau and walled spaces, abstract pergolas, fountains, ponds, cascades and a 35 metre cantilevered steel footbridge.
Along with waterways and stunning summer aquatic gardens, you’ll find that over 70% of the plants are native to Australia. Marvel at the creative ways in which modern landscapes and Australian native flora blend together to produce amazing seasonal displays.
There is something new to experience all year round as you meander through the Gardens. You can hug a bulbous Bottle Tree, wonder at the Dragon Garden’s strange cacti and succulents, be fascinated by the Wondabyne Stone Sculptures or admire the stunning water lilies and lotus flowers in our Aquatic Garden.
From drought tolerant displays to our playful puddle gardens, every pathway opens up a new world of discovery at Mount Penang Gardens.
A work of art
Historic Wondabyne Sculptures
Within the Gardens you will find a fascinating outdoor sculpture exhibition on perpetual display. Created in 1987 by a group of international sculptors at waterside Wondabyne, these massive artworks carved from Gosford sandstone were handed over to the people of Australia as a bicentennial gift from the artists.
It was Australia’s first ever International Sculpture Symposium and following its success a second symposium was held. You will find this group of sculptures in the nearby Mt Penang Parklands.
With over eight hectares of natural, outdoor space, it is perfect for enthusiasts, family outings, social groups, guided tours parties and business functions. Or maybe just take time out for a stroll in the fresh air. There is no charge for admission to the Gardens but please note that fees and advance bookings are required for the Guided Tours and commercial hire.
Whether it's your garden club, social club, school group or simply a group of friends, a guided tour gives you a fascinating insight into Mount Penang Parklands and Gardens. View the Mount Penang Tours brochure for more information.
Guided tours take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. We allocate one guide per 10-15 visitors, with a minimum of ten people required per booking. Tour booking rates apply. Please provide at least 30 days notice to ensure our Blue Thumb Volunteers are available, as they operate on a monthly roster.
Situated at the entryway to Mpunt Penang Gardens, the Waterfall Café overlooks the magnificent water cascade gardens and provides light meals and morning or afternoon tea.
Enjoy a family-friendly menu ranging from gourmet sandwiches and salads to sweet treats and snacks.
The Waterfall Cafe is open daily from 8:30am-4:30pm. For more information visit waterfallcafe.com.au or call (02) 4340 1660.
This amazing venue is a photographer’s dream and can provide a wedding album to suit the individuality of every couple. From romantic shots, to contemporary or playful images in the Gardens, imagine what your wedding album will look like. We also welcome enquiry for commercial and media photography or filming.
For all specialty photography, commercial photography, wedding photography and commercial video shoots, we require a $90 booking and fee. The fee allows for two hours of commercial filming/photography access in the Mount Penang Gardens & Event Park as well as the Mount Penang Parklands.
Please contact the Corporation's Marketing and Communications Manager by email MtPenang@hccdc.nsw.gov.au to make these arrangements.
Media representatives wishing to take pictures should contact the Marketing & Communications Manager on (02) 4345 4450 or via email on MtPenang@hccdc.nsw.gov.au and provide appropriate details to help facilitate the assignment.
Open grassy spaces, shady trees and a fun puddle garden make Mount Penang Gardens a lovely place for a free family picnic. Bring a blanket, play games, read a book and enjoy nature.
There are three picnic tables on site, in addition to two free barbecues.
Large dams and cascading waterways make Mount Penang Gardens home to a variety of ducks and waterfowl. If you are a bird watcher, bring your binoculars as the different garden spaces provide a variety of habitats. Check out the signage on-site that shows the species that you can expect to encounter during your visit!
Do you have an enthusiasm for nature and gardens that you'd like to share with others? Are you looking for a fun and exciting learning opportunity? Prefer quiet and solitude? Embrace the little details? Love plants and the environment?
If so, you could become a tour guide or a master gardener.
- Our volunteers range in age from 18 to 70+.
- Volunteer opportunities are available year-round, both weekdays and weekends, in a variety of areas.
- You can help out once a week to once a month.
- You don't need to have a green thumb or a plant science background.
- You’ll have fun.
- We are flexible and will ensure volunteering will fit around your other commitments and interests
Mount Penang Event park is specifically designed to host major outdoor events and festivals. Set amid 156 hectares of grassed outdoor parklands, tree-lined avenues, heritage buildings and extensive bushland, this multi-purpose site is a great wide range of functions and events.
This unique space delivers an optimal event and festival environment - with huge open spaces, beautiful surroundings, ample free parking provisions, good public transport and close proximity to the M1, off the Gosford exit.
The multipurpose site is ideal for a outdoor functions, from festivals, motor shows, cinemas, corporate functions, markets, obstacle courses, carnivals, cycle tours, expos, music concerts to a grand gala under the stars. The possibilities are endless.
Function and venue hire
Mount Penang has 12 themed gardens with an amphitheatre, rolling lawns and garden nooks for smaller occasions. The grassed area, surrounded by leafy trees, native plants and flowers can host smaller exhibitions, markets, concerts, weddings and other intimate outdoor functions. During the twilight hours, the gardens come alive with heady fragrance of flowering plants.
Events may be business related, purely social or somewhere in between.
High-quality electrical services, sewerage and mains water.
Situated adjacent to the M1 halfway between Sydney and Newcastle and just 2 minutes from Gosford, the site is also well serviced by public transport.
There is enough space to hold up to 900 vehicles behind the Event Park. Additional parking is also available for hire.