Explore the gardens

 1 Yellow Box Way
 02 6393 8000
 [email protected]


The Gardens incorporate the former Clover Hill farm which was set aside for the development in 1981. The unifying feature is the ‘country walk’ which winds through the site. The Gardens now cover 17 hectares and are owned and operated by Orange City Council with support from Friends of the Orange Botanic Gardens (FOBG) and other volunteer groups.

This self-guided walk follows the ‘country walk’, this track winds its way around the Gardens. It starts and finishes at the Clover Hill Centre.

As you enter the Gardens from the carpark you walk under a stone and metal archway which was donated by the Orange Garden Club in 1999. You will pass a line of large pin-oaks on your left as you walk up the path into the Clover Hill Gardens. On your left is the silver birch lawn which is underplanted with spring bulbs. On your right a path leads to the Sensory Garden, Weeping Elm Lawn, Viburnum Garden and the Winter garden. Many of the larger trees in this area are remnants of the original homestead garden.


SENSORY GARDEN: This area was planned to provide sensory pleasure, especially to those with impaired sight or mobility. There is easy wheelchair access and the water feature provides a trickle of water at an accessible level. This garden was established with assistance from the Orange Lions Club. The plantings consist mostly of herbs and perennials.
WINTER GARDEN: This is designed to provide colour and interest during the winter months. A flowering Chinese quince, honey bush (Melianthus major) and Tibetan cherry tree with striking mahogany bark are attractive features.
VIBURNUM GARDEN: This collection illustrates the wide range of species available. Most are deciduous. Some of the flowers are very fragrant and some bushes develop spectacular orange and red berries.
CLOVER HILL CENTRE (CHC): The original homestead and stables were demolished to make way for the Clover Hill Centre which was built in 1988. The CHC contains the Clover Hill Function Centre, Discovery Centre and Public Toilet facilities. The Function Centre, and other spaces in the Gardens, are available for hire by the public
CERAMIC PROJECT 1988: This bicentennial project consisted of a thousand soft bricks, carved by school children, at the Apple Country Fair in early 1988. The bricks were used to create walls, totems, seats and plaques that can be found through the Gardens.
ORCHARD: The development of this area reflects the fact the Orange has been an important fruit-growing area since the early 1900s. There are 76 apple varieties, 25 crab-apples and some pears. There are several old apple varieties, including trees budded from the original Macarthur orchard at Belgenny Farm, SW of Sydney. Different styles of pruning are demonstrated in the orchard.
LOW SHRUB GARDEN: The colourful bank is planted with heathers, hellebores and other perennials as well as small conifers. The garden also features a weeping Himalayan cypress (Cupressus cashmeriana). On the other side of the track are two unusual shaped tall conifers (Sequoiadendron giganteum ‘Pendulum’). Other features in this area include Dogwood and Rhododendron collections.
SUNDIALS: Here you will find a traditional sundial and an analemmatic sundial (sundial of human involvement) The stones used are local basalt. Instructions for reading the time are given on the bronze plaque between the sundials.
CONIFER GARDEN:This large open area is being planted with a wide range of conifers,including Australian and exotic. The collections contained here include Taxodiaceae, Australian Native Conifers and the Junipers.
AUSTRALIAN GRASSES: This display shows a sample of Australian grass species. They are generally either warm-season or cool-season growing, with a small number growing all year round. They include Kangaroo Grass, Wallaby Grass, Weeping and Snow Grass to name a few.
BUSH REGENERATION HILL: This area is a demonstration of the revegetation of the area. A path leads through it to a seat overlooking the billabong.
FEDERATION ARCH: This sculpture was commissioned by The Orange Regional Arts Foundation and designed by Bert Flugelman. It was donated to the Gardens in 2001 to commemorate the Centenary of Federation. The patterned polished stainless steel reflects the surroundings from many angles. As you walk through the arch this signifies the transition from one millennium to the next.
BILLABONG: The billabong and island are an important bird habitat. The beds of rushes and reeds provide shelter for numerous waterbirds. Ducks, dusky moorhens and little grebes regularly breed in this area. A list of all bird species recorded in the Gardens can be found at the CHC. A boardwalk crosses the marsh near the Federation Arch.
BLUESTONE FEATURES: Bluestone has been used throughout the Gardens in walls, stages, pavements and for the causeway. These features are all made from local bluestone salvaged from roadside curbing in Orange.
HERITAGE ROSE GARDEN: This is approached through a lichgate and two brick pillars designed as part of the Ceramics Project. The garden commenced in 1991 by the Orange/Central Tablelands Branch of Heritage Roses in Australia Inc. and is maintained by this group. It features the largest species rose collection in NSW including rugosa roses, hybrid musk roses, and tea roses.
COUNTRY CHURCH: This is at the top of the hill within the Heritage Rose Garden. This small timber building was initially St Paul’s Anglican Church in Cobar, western NSW, and was moved to Shadforth, near Orange, in 1901 and subsequently deconsecrated. The church was moved to the Gardens in 1988. It was reconsecrated in 1998 and can now be used again for religious ceremonies.
AUSTRALIAN PLANTS: This dense planting of Australian species, mostly small eucalypts and acacias, is another favoured bird habitat.
ROUND HOUSE: The walls of this shelter were made from pit-sawn timber saved from the original Clover Hill Farm stables. The shelter was built with a ‘hung’ roof, often used in the early days as it could be erected by one man.
PLANTS OF THE ORANGE AREA: After passing through a grove of casuarinas the country walk enters the plantings which reflect the vegetation of Mt Canobolas and the Mullions Range.
CANOBOLAS GARDEN: This grassy clearing in this area has an excellent view across Orange to Mt Canobolas, the highest peak in the Central Tablelands (1295m). This area has been planted with species from Mt Canobolas.
EUCALYPT WOODLAND: This grassy lightly-wooded area has many original eucalypts including yellow box and apple box. (There are approximately 50 species of eucalypt in the Gardens). Near the billabong is an area outlined by ribbon gums which encloses a bluestone stage and rotunda (donated by the Niven family of Orange). Both are used for performances.
BONSAI HOUSE: This is housed in the shadehouse adjacent to the CHC. It is being developed by the Bonsai group of the FOBG. The collection is open to the public on the first Sunday of each month.

Plan your visit

Venue Information

Opening Hours

7.30am till dusk

• Off street car parking available
• Dogs on leads are permitted
• Bike riding is not permitted in the gardens
• Guided tours for large groups are available on request


  • Playground and BBQ facilities area available nearby at the Orange Adventure Playground
  • Toilet facilities are available
  • Function Centre – Contact Council to make a booking


  • There are gently-sloping paths throughout the garden
  • Accessible toilets
  • Address: 1 Yellow Box Way, Orange, NSW 2800
  • Phone: (02) 6393 8000
  • Email: [email protected]