The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens cover an area of 140 hectares, much of which has been preserved as natural bushland. The Gardens, which were opened to the public in 1986, are designed, developed and managed by a non-profit company of volunteers. The development of the Gardens was recognised in 1999, with the winning of the 'Significant Regional Attraction' award in the Hunter Regional Awards for Excellence in Tourism. The Gardens was a finalist in these awards in 2000, and won Newcastle City Council Environmental Awards in 1999 and 2000.
The Gardens are an ideal venue for environmental excursions for schools, tertiary institutions and community education groups. Valuable resources include the Theme Gardens, Gundabooka Trail and outdoor class room, botanical library, indoor display and bush walking trails.