Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden, Lavender Bay


Image Credit: Flickr, Irvin Cisneros

Image Credit: Flickr, Irvin Cisneros

One of the city’s hidden gems, Wendy’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay is a small secluded area of lush greenery that boasts some of the best views of Sydney Harbour. The park has a very personal history, intertwined with the life and loves of Australia’s artistic power couple, Brett and Wendy Whiteley, and their daughter Arkie.

After years of artistic pursuits that took them across the globe, the pair settled in Lavender Bay. However, following Brett’s tragic death in 1992, Wendy began to clean and landscape a patch of derelict land close to their shared home, to create a lasting memory of her late husband. The space was littered with rubbish – old train carriages, abandoned refrigerators, broken bottles – which were removed, allowing her to structure the garden and let nature reclaim the space.

Since then, the spot (which is open to the public) has been referred to as “Wendy’s Secret Garden”, with meandering secret paths, unrivalled greenery and spectacular views of the harbour. Under the giant fig trees there are spaces for picnics, and tables and benches for writing and drawing. So lush is the native flora that there has been a resurgence of native birds, filling the small space with the calls of parrots, kookaburras, owls and wagtails, and there are sculptures and artworks installed throughout. This natural beauty combined with the touching history of the park make it a peaceful spot, easy to get to and perfect for a stroll.

 

 

Check out other Attractions in Sydney!

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