Mount Wilson’s Breenhold Garden is a heritage-listed property featuring 45 hectares of gardens, parklands and native bush. Great Gatsby director, Baz Luhrman set Tobey Maguire’s West Egg Cottage and many of the driving scenes in the film at Breenhold and on the roads around Mt Wilson.
Historically a place of country retreats for Sydney’s wealthy industrialists and merchants, Mount Wilson’s rainforests and ferns were a source of delight during the long, hot summers at the turn of the last century. The building of grand country estates was continued with the founding of Breenhold Garden in the 1960s by Sydney arts and politics journalist turned-sand magnate, Thomas Essington Breen and his wife Charlotte, who was a sculptor.
The region’s cool climate and high rainfall suits the plants of the northern hemisphere and the garden features several thousand flowering shrubs and trees, both native and exotic.
The property features six walled gardens, some with pools and lookouts offering spectacular views across the Blue Mountains. Many of the gardens feature stonework and other materials salvaged from the demolition of Sydney’s grand old mansions. Parts of the walled Celestium Quadrangle Garden were built using sandstone quarried in Pyrmont in the 1860s and recovered from the merchant, Anthony Hordern’s Darling Point home, Retford Hall in the 1960s.
For those who crave a more free-range stroll, Breenhold Garden also offers bushwalking and paths through its forests. Photographers, gardeners and leisurely amblers will be hard-pressed to find a better stop to add to their road trip itinerary.
Image: Destination NSW