Sydney Camellia Gardens wins International Award


Sutherland Shire’s beautiful E. G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens has been awarded the prestigious International Camellia Garden of Excellence Award, becoming one of forty such gardens in the world to receive the accolade. The award, announced by the International Camellia Society, was made in mid-March at a ceremony at historic Soutomaior Castle near Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain. It is the first such garden in Sydney and New South Wales, and now joins the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Stangate House in the Adelaide Hills and Araluen Botanic Park south of Perth among Australian gardens that hold the award.


Camellia Gardens’ Foundation Stone Plaque (left); Camellia sasanqua ‘Weroona’ originally raised by Professor Waterhouse (right).


Historic Soutomaior Castle near Pontevedra in Spain

Containing in excess of 400 camellia species and cultivars, the E. G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens, located at President Avenue Caringbah was named after the late Professor E. G. Waterhouse OBE CMG, at the time one of the world’s greatest authorities on camellias. His home at Eryldene in Gordon is celebrating its centenary this year. The Camellia Gardens at Caringbah, occupying 2.1 hectares, was opened by Lady Cutler in July 1970 as part of the Captain Cook Bicentenary Celebrations.


Popular Wedding Walk at the Camellia Gardens

Two features of the Camellia Garden’s successful application are worth special note. A photographic tour of the Camellia Gardens’ collection of rare camellia flowers will be launched online later this year. Another significant

project of the Garden undertaken together with Glenorie Nursery Camellias-R-Us has been the Camellia Ark Project which aims to conserve for Australia its rarest camellias, given the restrictions now on importation of camellia cuttings. These camellias include some of the horticultural treasures of China and Japan including Camellia reticulata ‘Tongzimian’ the fabled flower god of Western China and the wonderful Higo camellias of the Samurai from southern Japan.


Some Some of the treasures being preserved for Australia: Camellia reticulata ‘Tongzimian’(upper left) and animist shrine to Tongzimian at Mt Zixi, Yunnan, China. (upper right); Magnificent Samurai Higo camellias from Japan, Camellia japonica “Mikuni-No-Homari’ (lower left) and Camellia japonica ‘ Hiodoshi’ (lower right).

Further enquiries: Dr Stephen Utick, Director for Australia (2013-2015), International Camellia Society, email:, mobile: 0421972287. Kathryn Lord, Manager Communications and Events, Sutherland Shire Council, email:, mobile: 0422008328.


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