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Royal Botanic Gardens: Mrs Macquarie's Chair

A tip off about a suspicious canister set to go off at midnight...

A deadly gas that could destroy the Botanic Gardens...

Only you can solve the clues to disarm the device!

Add the excitement of cracking a secret code, to your outdoor adventure, with our self-guided puzzle-based walking trail, through the natural, relaxing beauty of the Royal Botanic Gardens.  Nestled next to the Opera House and overlooking a sparkling harbour, you find 74 acres of peace, fun, exploration and education, making it one of Sydney’s most visited locations. 

On this site in 1788, Governor Phillip established the first farm on 'Terra Australia' and named the bay, Farm Cove.The farm failed but work to improve soil fertility and cultivation has been ongoing.  

In 1816 Governor Macquarie established the Botanic Gardens here. It is Australia’s oldest scientific institution and one of the world’s most important historic botanical establishments. It is open every day  of the year, sunrise to sunset and access is free. 

A succession of botanists continued to develop these gardens into today’s stunning surrounds. Land was reclaimed from Farm Cove to increase the space and the cove 'wall' remains today.   The Botanic Garden was home to Sydney's first zoo (1862-1883) before it moved to Moore Park.

This trail is one of two Botanic Gardens circular tours. Focusing at the north end, it takes you from the Opera House, via stunning harbour views to the historic Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, an exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench, on a peninsula in Sydney Harbour, hand carved by convicts from sandstone in 1810 for Governor Macquarie's wife Elizabeth.

Pass under limbs of giant fig trees. Uncover statues in the exotic Oriental Gardens. Search for the eels under massive leaves in the Lily Pond!  Feel the history at Fleet Steps. 

For added amusement, search for clues, cracking the secret code and thwarting a dastardly plot!!

Further information on gate openings, maps and events on the daysee Most importantly, don’t forget to take your camera to capture the stunning views!

How to get there..

Your PuzzleTrail starts and ends at the Opera House Gate; a Botanic Gardens entrance, near the front of the Sydney Opera House. 

Closest public transport stop is Circular Quay. A 5min walk along Bennelong Point will take you to the Opera House and Botanic Gardens entrance. It is also walkable from Wynyard Train station.

There are plenty of city carparks (google Wilson Parking for online deals) and Bus/train/ferry Transport info is available from TransportNSW (google Sydney Transport to easily locate). Also, the city has free street parking on Sundays.


Wheelchairs and strollers are welcome however garden rules prohibit bringing in ‘non-service’ animals.

Additional things to do:

  • Take a picnic and games:  Expansive lawns (which you are encouraged to walk on!) great harbour views and many shady trees mean you can pick your own special spot or even take a ball or Frisbee! Just don’t feed the birds, or you might have more lunch guests than desired!
  • Sydney Opera House: Entry to the foyer is free, or you can choose an official tours from their booking office.
  • Another PuzzleTrail: For the really energetic, try another close-by trail!


    Let’s get PuzzleTrailing!

    • Your downloaded booklet provides info on facilities found en-route and all you need to complete the trail and find all the clues. Miss one? Simply retrace your steps or if really stuck follow the SMS instructions in your booklet to get some hints!
    • Each clue will help you fill in the answer grid. Fill the whole grid and follow the instructions to crack the secret code required to outwit the bad guys and save the day!

    Last word…….  RememberSlip, Slop, Slap”  (Google that if needed!)  ...and have lots of fun!! 

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