Explore the gardens of the world all within one park.
After a beautiful drive through Dural and Galston, I arrived at Fagan Park. Feeling slightly overwhelmed at the prospect of exploring 55 hectares, I drove in, paid the $6 all day parking fee, and looked around. At first glance it seemed just like a large park: many shelters and barbecues available; rustic, shed toilets, and a large playground for kids to play on.
As I continued to walk down and looked around I saw a breathtakingly, beautiful lake in the middle of the park. Around the lake, at the edge of the park were different gardens representing different nations. The park was so tranquil and spacious: it is the perfect place for a group or family outing, or an intimate date.
There are two playgrounds in the park but the park at Carrs Rd was under construction. However, the Arcadia Rd playground was still impressive with its many swings and play structures. There was even a swing that fit a wheelchair, making the park accessible for less mobile children and adults. The park had smooth pathways which would allow wheelchairs and prams to travel without a problem.
Toilets were scattered throughout the 55 hectares with signs and maps indicating where they were. The barbecues require $1 coins to use but they are clean and there are several to choose from.
Fagan Park has many features aside from the picnic shelters, barbecues, and playgrounds. With two entrances, you can choose which section of the park you would prefer to stick to.
The most noticeable feature would be the lake in the centre of the park. A gazebo and two bridges allow you to enjoy the landscape. Ducks and native birds roam freely on the grass and swim on the lake. When I got to the lake, a small group of ducks were approaching a family with a young family with a small, scared baby. There are signs telling people not to feed the ducks: you can see that the ducks have already formed an expectation of people and almost entered the family’s tent.
Around the lake is The Garden of Many Nations. I enjoyed taking my time peering into each garden which all had different flora and you could distinguish each garden from the next. It was only after I had done a full loop of the park that I realised I had missed out on the Japanese and Chinese garden and I’m interested in checking them out next time I visit.
There is also a rural museum where you and your children can see what life was like a century ago and see equipment in the blacksmith’s workshop or the 100-year old sulky.
Besides the rural museum is the ego garden where children can learn about sustainable living and investigate the plants that are growing in the garden. They can learn about composting, bees, and eco-gardening. There are free workshops (http://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/environment/flora-and-fauna/community-gardens/fagan-park-eco-garden/eco-garden) you can attend throughout the year.
Pros and Cons
The park is spacious and was tranquil when I visited on a weekday. It is perfect for picnics, dates, family outings, walks with your dog, or quiet meditation. If you are thinking of exploring the whole park I would recommend making a whole day of it with activities and food to sustain you, but it may take more than one visit to truly appreciate the park. There are paths laid out to each garden and feature making the park accessible.
I will note that people should be aware of their litter and food scraps. Please clean up after your visit and ensure that wild animals cannot get to your crumbs and scraps which can make animals and birds very ill.
I had a great time exploring the park, but my favourite feature would be the lake. I could spend hours beside the waters, reading a book or listening to a podcast while watching the birds swim and play. As I walked around, I got a pretty good workout in, but it did not seem at all tedious. Whenever I thought I found everything in the park, I would turn a corner and something new would interest me.
100-year-old sulky owned by Waddell family restored by Fagan Park Museum volunteers
“Hey Tosser” Stern message from Fagan Parks 3-D birds
Address: 33-48 Arcadia Rd, Galston NSW, 2159
Phone: (02) 9847 6853
Monday-Sunday | 7am-6:30pm