This ‘Indulgence on a Budget‘ idea is my most favourite. I’ve lived in Sydney all my life but it wasn’t until recently that I stumbled upon Sydney’s best kept secret: Wendy’s Secret Garden.
Wendy is the widow of late artist Brett Whitely and her magical garden, which was created in memory of Brett, is one of the most perfect picnic spot you will ever find.
It is hard to imagine that once, this land was merely a large patch of junk owned by NSW Rail Corp, adjacent to her home.

Wendy's Secret Garden - Sydney's Hidden Secret, Lavender Bay

Now, full of secluded chairs and benches, quiet spots, tucked away paths and a myriad of gorgeous ferns, trees and plants, both exotic and native, this scenic garden in Lavender Bay is the setting of this spectacular ‘Indulgence on a Budget’ post – a picnic at Wendy’s Secret Garden.

View of Sydney Harbour Bridge from Sydney's best kept secret - Wendy's Secret Garden

Often when we think of indulging, things such as pampering at a day spa or fine dining come straight to mind, but these are not only expensive things to do, they’re also hard to keep up with, if indulging on a weekly basis is your thing. So here’s something you can do all day, any day.

Lawn and seats at Wendy's Secret Garden - Sydney's Hidden Secret, Lavender Bay

A simple homemade picnic with fresh produce at a secluded corner in Wendy’s Secret Garden, with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, this will definitely turn into the highlight of your week.

The perfect picnic spot at Wendy's Secret Garden, Lavender Bay, North Sydney

Tomatoes and figs are both in season right now. With the tomatoes, it needs nothing more than a sprinkle of sea salt flakes, cracked black pepper, olive oil, finely chopped basil and a gentle drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Sometimes for something slightly different, I’d even replace the balsamic with a glossy sweet kecap manis which gives it a beautiful Asian twist. Rub a clove of garlic on toasted sourdough and serve.

Fresh figs

Figs, figs, figs, where do I start! I adore juicy ripe figs which is just fabulous paired with anything salty such as jamon or prosciutto. So for an easy peasy starter, put together a cured meat platter with your favourite cuts (be as economical or as gourmet as you like) and arrange with some fresh figs, olives, caperberries or cheese.
Wendy’s Secret Garden is nestled between Clark Park on Lavender Street and the Lavender Bay rail shunting yard. It is easily accessible by car or is a short stroll from North Sydney train station. Enjoy! xx

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Wendy’s Secret Garden
Near Clark Park, Lavender Bay, NSW

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • It seems indeed an ideal location for a relaxing picnic day during the Easter weekend (if it is not raining) … thanks for showing us this place!

  • Jen

    Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed the post :)

  • Jen

    No probs! It’s even more stunning when you see it in person… Enjoy! x

  • Jen

    I just hope that as this place becomes more popular, people will continue to clean up after themselves and not ruin such a beautiful place…

  • Jen

    Thank you! Yes, we will have to :)

  • Jen

    The flowers and ferns are just lovely aren’t they! Bring some mozzie repellent if you want to hang around the damper area near the bamboo trees 😉

  • Jen

    A pleasure! Oh I would have loved to watch that documentary, I’ll have a look around for it… It’s such a beautiful place to be able to share with everyone :)

  • Jen

    Ah great! A picnic there just enhances the the gorgeous landscape and views I think; you’ll have to give it a go :)

  • Love the new layout. The photos are spectacular.
    Such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing.

  • Oh wow! Thanks for sharing. I would have never known that this place existed!

  • You know.. Now that you’ve mentioned this spot, it would no longer remain a secret.. It looks like such a beautiful place Jen. My bf works near there; maybe I should take him there one day. Thanks for sharing!

  • Zen

    Woah! What beautiful pictures you have there! Love the new borders! :)
    We should do a picnic there next time.

  • Wow Thanks Jen! I never knew! But I love it already! Got to see it soon… :)

  • I actually saw years ago a documentary on Wendy’s efforts to change what was a dump into something people could enjoy. I had forgotten all about it. Thanks so much for doing this post. It really is a Sydney gem.

  • Thanks for pointing this out – I knew about this spot, but had never thought about having a picnic there!