Venue hire at the Australian Botanic Garden FAQs

Find answers to the top venue hire questions at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.

Find answers to the top venue hire questions

The FAQs listed below are to be read in conjunction with the General Terms and Conditions.

Making your booking

Do I need to book?

If you wish to engage a supplier to service your event, use an area exclusively, or guarantee a venue location, a booking will be required. 

We recommend making a booking for groups of 10 people or more to avoid disappointment. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a picnic without making a booking, however this does not guarantee you exclusive use of the site.

Groups of all sizes can book a picnic spot. By booking a picnic site you may bring additional infrastructure into the Garden. Please check out the information listed under each venue.  

What type of event can I have at the Garden?

We have venues available for almost all types of bookings!

  • Picnics
  • Birthday party 
  • Corporate party 
  • Product launches
  • Christmas party 
  • Indoor functions
  • Wedding ceremony 
  • Wedding reception
  • Wedding and engagement photography
  • Commercial filming and photography
How do I book my preferred event location?

Complete the booking request form on the venue page. A team member will action your request and send through an invoice for payment within 72 hours.

Where our venues have a ‘BOOK NOW’ option, you can book your event for immediate confirmation. You will need to complete the event details, create an account, and submit your credit card details for payment.

How far in advance can I make a booking?

Bookings open 18 months in advance.

I need help choosing the right venue

We have a venue available to suit every event type! Here is an overview to get you started. Our Picnic Comparison Table (PDF, 95 KB) will help you compare picnic sites.

 

Venue Booking times availableCapacityApprox. distance to amenitiesClosest entry 
gate
Overview
Acacia Theatre8:30am - 4:30pm120On-site in the PlantbankNarellan Road
  • Large open space ideal for large presentations.
Eucalyptus Room8:30am - 4:30pm16On-site in the PlantbankNarellan Road
  • Features a data projector with projection screen 
Livistona Room8:30am - 4:30pm16On-site in the PlantbankNarellan Road
  • Features AppleTV 
Persoonia Lab8:30am - 4:30pm30On-site in the PlantbankNarellan Road
  • Lab classroom-style seating 
  • Equipped with a data projector and projection screen.
Telopea Gallery8:30am - 4:30pm200On-site in the PlantbankNarellan Road
  • Views of PlantBank courtyard toward the Cumberland Plain Woodland Conservation Area. 
  • Features bar facilities and a kitchenette.
The Undercroft8:30am - 4:30pm50On-site in the PlantbankNarellan Road
  • Sleek and stylish, combining open space with outdoor areas making it a fantastic option for wedding ceremonies. 
Lake Nadungamba Picnic area8:30am - 4:30pm100300m at Woodland Picnic Area
 
Narellan Road
  • Gorgeous grassy area is easy to find on the picturesque Lake Nadungamba.
Woodland Picnic Area8:30am - 4:30pm200On-siteNarellan Road
  • Situated on the edge of the endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland
  • Picturesque spot for any celebration or occasion.
  • Ample parking 
  • Open green space.
Connections Garden8:30am - 4:30pm or 5pm - 10pm for evening receptions7050m in P3 carparkMount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Verdant rainforest backdrop
  • Suitable for wedding ceremony or cocktail reception.
Bowden Centre8:30am - 11:59pm120On-siteMount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Nestled within lush woodland
  • Kitchen facilities
  • Covered outdoor entertaining space 
Fruit Loop Garden8:30am - 4:30pm10050m in P3 carparkMount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Private grassy space 
  • Located behind the cafe and not far from the playground 
  • Perfect for family gatherings
Lakeside Lawn8:30am - 4:30pm40020mMount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Perfect for larger weddings, this landscaped vista offers shade in the summer thanks to the trees and ample seating for your guests.
Lakeside Pavilion8:30am - 4:30pm20010mMount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Perched above the Marquee Lawn
  • Award-winning structure 
  • Stunning views of the hills surrounding the Lakeside Lawn and the lawn itself
Marquee Lawn8:30am - 4:30pm60020mMount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Largest manicured lawn 
  • Stunning lake backdrop
Bottlebrush Picnic Table8:30am - 4:30pm1050m Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Perfect spot for a quiet catch up with friends or family
Bottlebrush Shelter 18:30am - 4:30pm5040m Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Perfect spot for a quiet catch up with friends or family
Bottlebrush Shelter 28:30am - 4:30pm10020m Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Perfect spot for a quiet catch up with friends or family. 
Wattle Garden-Whole Garden8:30am - 4:30pm150020m Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Two gorgeous wedding ceremony locations 
  • Loads of open space
  • Perfect for weddings and other big celebrations.
Wattle Picnic Table8:30am - 4:30pm1010m Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Under the trees at Wattle Garden you'll find a nice little spot to relax and unwind.  
Wattle Garden Shelter8:30am - 4:30pm5030m Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Shelter in the Wattle Garden
The Island at Wattle Garden8:30am - 4:30pm10050m Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Hidden little gem at the back of Wattle Garden with a lovely water back drop, draped in trees.
Banksia Picnic Table8:30am - 4:30pm1050m Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Wide open space
  • Perfect spot for the kids to run wild.
Banksia Shelter 18:30am - 4:30pm5040m Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Wide open space
  • Perfect spot for the kids to run wild.
Banksia Shelter 28:30am - 4:30pm10070mMount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Wide open space
  • Perfect spot for the kids to run wild.
Buffalo Lawn at Banksia8:30am - 4:30pm40On-site Mount Annan Drive / Narellan Road
  • Lush greenery
  • Perfectly manicured lawns 
  • Idyllic tropical backdrops
  • Set in the heart of Banksia Garden on the southern road loop of Caley Drive 

 

What are the Garden's opening hours?

The Australian Botanic Garden is open daily, from 8am to sunset. 

The Garden is open every day of the year, however opening hours vary throughout:

 

January, February, November, December8am - 8pm
March, October8am - 7:30pm
April, May, June, July, August, September8am - 5pm

 

All bookings must finish at least 30 minutes prior to closing time so you and your guests are able to leave before gates are locked.

Want to book outside of opening hours? Consider booking one of our indoor venues which allows for bookings up to midnight.

What does the venue hire include?

Venues at the Garden are a bare site hire. The venue hire includes exclusive use of your location, including set-up and pack-down time. 

For wedding ceremonies, we offer the platinum package ceremony styling. Additional fees apply. The standard platinum package offers:

  • 20 white gladiator style chairs
  • Black carpet aisle 
  • Small black and white mosaic signing table with 2 matching chairs
  • Additional chairs can be booked 
  • A seating plan is required from you with your preferred set up 2 weeks prior to your event

For Bowden Centre bookings, the following is included: 

  • 7 hours of hire - you must allow for bump in, event and bump out in this time
  • Your choice of furniture layout choosing from 15 trestle tables, 120 white folding chairs, 6 high tables, 24 stools and 2 wine barrels
  • Security guard for 7hour period (additional time past this is available subject to availability and will incur additional fees)

What's not included:

  • Catering
  • Linen
  • Crockery, cutlery, glassware or serving ware
  • Any styling or decorations
  • Food nor beverages

We will set up the furniture for you based on how you would like it set up. Please send us a drawing of your preferred layout.

For corporate bookings in the Acacia Theatre in The Australian PlantBank, we will set up the furniture for you. Please send us a drawing of your preferred layout.

Please see the specific venue listing to see what you are allowed to bring and do at that site.

What are the fees to hire the venue?

Check out the venues and lawns page to find the rates for each venue.

I still need help with my booking

Please email us at [email protected].

Can we cancel our booking after it has been confirmed?

All requests for cancellation must be done in writing to [email protected].

If you have booked one of our picnic and garden party venues, wedding ceremony or wedding photography and wish to cancel your event, you must do so by providing us with written notice. The following cancellation applies:

Cancellations due to wet weather:

  • If you wish to cancel your booking on the day of the event due to wet weather, please provide written notice before 9am on the day of your booking. In this instance your booking will be refunded 50% of the fees paid. 

Cancellations unrelated to wet weather:

  • Cancellations received more than one month prior to your booking will be given a 50% refund of the venue hire fees paid.
  • Cancellations less than one month prior to your booking date are non-refundable.

For all other events, the following cancellation applies:

  • More than six (6) calendar months before the Occupation Date, the Trust will be entitled to 50% of the Venue Hire Fee;
  • One (1) to six (6) calendar months before the Occupation Date, the Trust will be entitled to 70% of the Venue Hire Fee;
  • Less than thirty (30) working days before the Occupation Date, the Trust will be entitled to 100% of the Venue Hire Fee; and
  • A cancellation fee of $500.00 (inc. GST) to cover the Trust’s administrative costs up to the time of notification will be payable by the Licensee.

Planning your event

Can I make any changes after confirming my booking?

Please email [email protected] with your changes required. We will endeavour to accommodate your request subject to availability, however additional fees may occur.

What furniture and decorations can I have?

Minimal furniture is permitted at many lawn locations to minimise damage to our venues. 

  • Up to two tables
  • Seating for up to 60 people 
  • Up to two 3m x 3m shade structures - such as chuppas, mandaps, gazebos, wedding covers or similar (please note, marquees or tents with sides are not permitted and all structures must be weighted, not pegged)
  • Picnic blankets, carpets, runners, cushions 
  • Freestanding decorative items such as wedding arches (all freestanding items must be flat based and weighted)
  • Red carpet (with no rubber backing)
  • Columns/Plinths
  • Cut flowers (no soil can be brought into the Garden)

Please do not attach decorations to trees, buildings or other structures. No pegs or spikes are allowed in the lawns and all items must be weighted. To keep our lawns green and clean, the throwing of confetti and rice is not permitted. Flower petals are permitted in some locations only. Where permitted, they must be removed as soon as possible by a Garden contractor. Additional fees will apply.

Other items prohibited are shade structures and marquees, balloons, candles, bat and ball games, party streamers, sparklers, fireworks (any form), and bamboo torches. You will be requested to remove any unauthorised equipment by Rangers.

What catering options are available?

You are welcome to self-cater or engage a commercial caterer. For events in the Australian PlantBank, only preferred caterers can be used. 

Self-Catering 

You can provide your own catering. 

External Catering Supplier 

You can engage your own external caterer to provide for your event. All caterers must comply with statutory health and WH&S (Work, Health and Safety) requirements. 

For picnics, please refer to the picnic comparison table for external catering permissions. 

For the Bowden Centre if your caterer will be cooking at the venue an onsite venue induction will be required. Gas BBQs are currently permitted at the Australian Botanic Garden. The caterer’s equipment is included in the furniture allowance. 

You must provide Public Liability Insurance to the value of $10M for your caterer. 

Food Trucks 

Gas or electric food trucks are permitted at certain locations and venues only and must be enclosed. Food trucks should be self-sufficient with power and water. All food trucks/carts must be placed on a sealed pathway. 

Food trucks and food carts such as fairy floss, gelato and bars must receive prior approval to operate on site. Please advise of venue site positioning and dimensions to ensure the carts will fit in your allocated areas. Vendors may be required to complete an onsite induction. All vendors must have valid public liability insurance and/or workers insurance. All suppliers must bump in and out within your venue hire booking timeframes. 

In the event of a total fire ban the food truck will not be permitted to operate on Botanic Garden Trust Land unless they have received an official exemption from Rural Fire Service. 

Alcohol 

The Australian Botanic Garden permits the supply of alcohol at your event subject to conditions, the supply of alcohol must be undertaken by a licenced caterer.

The service of alcohol at your event must be carried out under the authority of a valid liquor licence, a copy of which must be provided to the Trust no later than 14 days prior to your event.

The supply of alcohol must cease at the earlier of 1 hour prior to the end of your event or as required by any licence condition.

Events involving the supply of alcohol require an Event Ranger at the ratio of 1 to 100 patrons.

Rangers will ensure RSA requirements are adhered to and remove any intoxicated persons.

Directions by Rangers regarding the service of alcohol must be obeyed.

This requirement does not remove any requirement or obligation from the Liquor Licensee with regard to the service of alcohol and monitoring of service by RSA qualified persons.

The liquor licensee must comply with any conditions of their licence and any conditions set out in the Liquor Act 2007.

How do our suppliers access the venue?

You are welcome to engage a professional supplier. All items must receive prior approval and adhere to Garden regulations and venue hire terms and conditions. 

All suppliers must be approved and listed on your booking documentation or access will not be permitted. If you wish to add more suppliers, you must submit a request to the Garden to add suppliers to your booking. Please complete and return the online Supplier Form. 

All suppliers must have Public Liability and Workers Compensation insurances to the value of $10M. 

For certain venues, supplier inductions will be required. 

Supplier access will be granted within your booking timeframe only. 

Vehicle Access

Food trucks are permitted to remain parked at the venue only. 

For the Bowden Centre, parking is available at P3 or the Overflow carpark. Vehicles are not to be parked on the pathways around the Bowden Centre. A bond deduction will apply for any breach of the above. 

For all other locations, if your suppliers require vehicle access to your event site, you can book a Ranger escort. Additional fees will apply. You can make this booking at the time of booking your site. Access cannot be granted on the day.

Where can wedding vehicles park?

There is free parking throughout the site, but please be aware that the general public also have access to this parking.

For ceremonies at Connections Garden or Lakeside Lawn, there are short-term drop off and collection zones for suppliers and wedding cars. A parking permit (maximum of 3 per booking) must be obtained from our venue team and displayed on the vehicle dashboard whilst on site for the duration of the event.

Is there power available at our location?

Power is not available at our lawns, and generators are not permitted. 

Power is available in some indoor venues.

All electrical items and equipment must be tested and tagged prior to use and they must display the certification tag.

Can we take photos at our event?

If you hold your event at the Garden, you are permitted to take photos at any outdoor site within the Garden that isn’t exclusively booked. 

This doesn’t include access to our indoor venues.

All commercial filming and photography bookings require a separate permit.

Can I have speakers or music?

Yes, you can use a low-volume, battery-powered portable speaker or amplifier. Please position speakers towards your area to minimise impact on other visitors. 

You may have a live acoustic ensemble of up to four people or low-volume pre-recorded music. Bagpipes, drums, pianos or other amplification systems (such as electric guitars or keyboards) are not permitted. 

Please note sound must be contained within the boundary line of your site.

Are there any restrictions on what I can bring?

The following items are prohibited to ensure the peaceful enjoyment of all guests and minimise damage to the venue. 

Prohibited items:

  • Shade structures and marquees larger than 6m x 3m
  • Balloons
  • Candles
  • Bat and ball games
  • Party streamers
  • Sparklers
  • Poppers
  • Fireworks (any form)
  • Fires (including kerosene lamps) 
  • Bamboo torches
  • Podium or stages
  • Drones (unless permit issued for commercial operations)

You will be requested to remove any unauthorised equipment by Rangers.

Can I fly a drone?

Flying of drones is only available for commercial activity (no private bookings, such as weddings) and must be approved prior to the activity. 

An application to fly a drone must be submitted, with all necessary documentation provided before permission can be granted. Use of a drone will only be permitted if its use is compliant with the law and CASA regulations and operated by qualified and CASA certified persons in a controlled environment.

Can we bring pets to our event?

No animals, including dogs, are permitted inside the Garden except for an approved assistance animal with a permit that is in harness.

Can we have a BBQ?

Yes, the use of portable gas BBQs that have legs preventing them from sitting directly on the grass are permitted as part of your booking (except during periods of total fire ban).

Hot oil, hot or frozen liquid from the BBQs must not be dumped anywhere with the Garden, they must be taken with you when you leave.

The lighting of fires in the Garden is prohibited. Mobile wood-fired pizza ovens are also not allowed. Adequate fire extinguishing equipment must be accessible at all times.  

Is there rain coverage?

Please remember if you are booking one of our outdoor venues your event will be exposed to all weather including rain. If rain is a concern, consider booking a lawn with a pavilion shelter or one of our indoor venues.

There is no permanent shelter for wedding ceremonies in the Australian Botanic Garden, however there is a wet weather back up option that you might like to book just in case (this is subject to availability and additional fees apply).

Please indicate on your booking form if you wish to book this space as it is very popular and we cannot guarantee that it will be available if you try to book it at a later date. 

Can we bring a marquee or shade structure?

A tent or pop-up structure can be erected as part of a venue hire booking. The maximum size permitted is venue specific. Please see the specific venue listing to see what you are allowed to bring and do at your site.

Larger structures can be permitted and must have a safety inspection completed to receive approval and sign off for safety certification. 

Important – the largest structure permitted without certification sign off is 6m x 3m (certain venues only) and all structures must be weighted with 20kg weighted per leg or 40kg weights per leg if the structure is walled. No pegging is permitted.

On the day

Can we arrive early to set up?

No, your booking time includes your set up and pack down. If you need additional time, you can add extra hours to your booking with prior Garden approval. Additional fees will apply.

What parking is available?

Free car parking is available throughout the Garden and is available to all visitors on a first come first service basis. A coach parking bay is available around the central loop area as well as at Wattle Garden.

Special permission may be granted for off-road access for drop-off and pick-up of equipment at designated picnic sites only if approved in advance as part of the booking application process and only under Ranger escort.

What do I do with our waste/rubbish?

Please take your rubbish with you and dispose of it responsibly. As a sustainably focused, self-funded public asset we ask for your help to reduce waste within the Garden. Events can generate significant amounts of rubbish and whilst general and recycling waste bins are provided throughout the Garden, we ask that you please take your rubbish with you when you leave.

This not only reduces the potential danger waste poses to Garden wildlife, but it also enables us to keep waste disposal costs to a minimum and instead invest precious funds into tree conservation and planting and other essential maintenance of heritage features, amenities and other Garden facilities.

Discharge of waste matter, fluid, oil, fat, ice or dry ice is prohibited. Waste removal is included in the hire of the Bowden Centre. Please ensure you bring enough rubbish bags and that all rubbish is neatly bagged and placed in the bins provided. Please do not dispose of styling or packaging waste (e.g. polystyrene, cardboard etc.) in the garbage bins provided, these must be removed and disposed of offsite.

What if someone is already using my booked venue when I arrive?

The Garden is a public space and other events may occur at the same time. However, your chosen event location will be reserved for your exclusive use. 

Should you encounter any problems on the day including occupation of your reserved site, please contact the Rangers on 0409 122 953

It is forecast to rain! What can I do?

If you need to cancel because of inclement weather, we will offer a 50% refund of the venue hire fee. Please email the team at [email protected] by 9am on the day of your event. We require all cancellations to be in writing to process the refund.