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Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden by the lake is near the end of the main path – about 900 metres from the garden entrance. It has a shady area with seats and tables for relaxation and contemplation after a walk.

Take time to explore the many subtle aspects of the Japanese Friendship Garden: the lake and its reflections, the gently curved red bridge, the zig zag bridge – which thwarts bad spirits following. There is a traditional Japanese pavilion, contemplation spaces, rock garden and over 170 thoughtfully placed plants including Japanese maples, Sasanqua Camellias, cypress, juniper. On the lake island is the dainty Baby Panda Bamboo and lofty Golden Bamboo.  The nearby Children’s Labyrinth is a favourite for children exploring their world.

The Japanese people design gardens that are places to relax, meditate and reflect.  They are designed to represent a “microcosm of nature” and are a form of three dimensional landscape art. Features include lakes and waterfalls as well as beautiful rocks, representing mountains or islands. Bridges are used to lead the eye to other features and perspectives of the outside world. 

Near the Pavilion is the Karesanui also known as a rock garden or zen garden – a place to be still and reflect. The Japanese Friendship Garden embraces the principles of ‘Wabi’ and ‘Sabi’. Wabi emphasises simple unadorned objects, quietness, simplicity and naturalism. Sabi represents the outer material side of life.  The aim is to reflect nature with glimpses of that outside world. 

Gardeners from the botanic garden in Sasebo, the sister city to Coffs Harbour, helped design and build this special garden encompassing the elements of Shakkei (borrowed scenery) with rock emplacements and traditional buildings. Sasebo is located near the very south west tip of the 6,000km long archipelago of the Japanese islands and has a humid sub-tropical climate similar to Coffs Harbour.

Download a leaflet here.