The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens cover an area of 140 hectares, much of which has been preserved as natural bushland. The Gardens are designed, developed and managed by a non-profit company of volunteers.
To welcome visitors, the Gardens have a Visitors Centre, outdoor cafe, gift shop and reference library. Devonshire teas and light lunches are served daily, or visitors can picnic in the Gardens. Walks and excursions are organised regularly, and there is a program of special events.
The Gardens are constantly growing as new displays are developed for recreational, educational and scientific purposes. Australian and introduced species are laid out in theme areas including acacias, banksias, proteas, grevillias, ferns, bushtucker plants, succulents and palms. Rare and endangered Australian species are also cultivated.
Many of the plants are suitable for the home garden, and the landscaping is an inspiration for the keen gardener. Expert personal advice is available on plantings and propagation, and a large selection of plants and herbs can be purchased at low prices.
Easy walking trails provide access to the natural bushland with its mature blackbutt, angophoras and swamp mahogany forests and its understorey of more than 150 native plants. Their forests are the natural habitat of goannas, wallabies, lizards, brushtail and ringtail possums, sugar gliders, bats, a small group of resident koalas and many birds.