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Chinese Gardens, Sydney - NSW

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Stepping into another world it's easy to immerse yourself in a beautiful landscape of waterfalls, lakes and hidden stone pathways. Along the way are traditional carvings and sculptures.
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Initiated by the local Chinese community to celebrate Australia's 1988 Bicentenary, the Chinese Garden is the result of a close friendship and cooperation between the sister cities of Sydney and Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province of China.
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The Garden was design and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners and is governed by the Taoist principles of Yin-Yang and the five opposite elements - earth, fire, water, metal and wood. These principles also stress the importance of qi, the central force of life and energy.
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Yin-Yang plays such a vital role that just one missing element would disrupt the garden's harmony and balance. However, when combined perfectly, the five elements form a fluid and nurturing environment.
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Everything you see in the Chinese Garden has been hand-picked and meticulously placed to capture the five elements and the energy of qi. Some of the garden's highlights include:

Main Entrance
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Guarding the entrance to the garden are two Foo-dogs (Chinese Lions), which have been carved from rare Chinese granite. Always in pairs, the female with her cub guards to the left,
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while the make, with a ball of chi (energy), guard to the right.
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A hybrid of a dog, lion and dragon, they represent loyalty, strength and prosperity.
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Commemorative Pavilion
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Dragon Wall
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Dragon walls are often a feature of traditional Chinese Gardens and are normally created on a solid wall in bass relief. this ceramic wall is special in that it may be viewed from two sides and it is a three dimensional sculpture. It is formed from hundreds of individually crafted and glazed pieces. In this display the dragons of Guangdong and New South Wales are seen playing with the pearl of friendship.

Water Pavilion of Lotus Flavour
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With panoramic views across to distant pavilions, you can watch koi swim amidst the reflections on the still water. In summer the magical fragrance of the flowering lotus drifts across the lake.

Pavilions among Bamboo and Rock
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Featuring a traditional circular moon gate, this intimate courtyard is a garden within a garden.
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Walls of bamboo and a running stream create the atmosphere of a secret garden offering glimpses of the nearby lake and waterfall.

Reading Brook Pavilion
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For viewing the waterfall as well as contemplation and reading, this is a small intimate building at the head of the brook. Seating is the traditional bench with curved backrest. It is only a tiny building whose humble function is reflected in the very simple roof architecture.

Waterfall
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One of three main water sources in the garden the waterfall is the most dramatic.
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From its source on the mountain water drops to a series of smaller bodies beneath to finally end in the Lake of Brightness.

The Seven Sages in Bamboo Forest
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This peaceful grove of black bamboo evokes the Taoist retreat of a celebrated group of third-century Chinese scholars and poets. Bamboo is a symbol of old age and humility.

Dragon Post
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Depicting the traditional dragon motif spiralling around it this carved post also displays the various animals o the Chinese calendar. As a garden sculpture this decorative feature is also a lantern when a lamp or candle is inserted in to the caged section.

The Gurr
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Situated at the garden's highest point is a beautiful hexagonal, two-storey building - the Pavilion of Clear View, known as The Gurr.
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The golden roof tiles and intricate wood carvings are gifts from Guangdong. the ornate lamp signifies prosperity.

The Rock Forest
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based on an ancient Chinese poem, the Rock Forest tells the story of the Dancing Maiden Ashima and the Landlord. There are several variations to this tragic love story, but it always culminates in the drowning of the beautiful Ashima, whose spirit is transformed into a beautiful 'dancing rock'.

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A small simple pavilion with enough room for a visitor to pause and take shelter, this building is the gateway to the mountain.

Dragon Rock
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Dramatic rock forms symbolise mythical creatures. Dragons which can be seen throughout the gardens are seen as benevolent guardians and are associated with good fortune.

Peace Boat Pavilion
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[b]Rock Arch
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Featuring Ying Tek rock stacked and mortared this stone entry to the teahouse courtyard is an extension of the building.
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Not only does one of the upper floor structures 'grow' out of the stone but the only access to the tea house is via the steps through the rockery.
Integrated into the rock is a waterfall and pond.

Other beautiful views in the gardens include:
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The White Ibis
Historically rare in urban areas, the Australian white ibis has immigrated to urban areas of the east coast in increasing numbers since the late 1970s; it is now commonly seen in Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville. Debate continues on whether to consider it a pest or vulnerable species
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Posted by charlystyles 13:32 Archived in Australia Tagged chinese_gardens_sydney

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