1998 A small group of local enthusiasts formed, looking to establish a large central garden in the Southern Highlands. A Bowral arboretum was mooted, but finally the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Committee was formed.
2003 The Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Incorporated was registered on 7 April 2003.
2009 Following many years of searching for a suitable site on which to establish a botanic garden, the 33 acres (13.4 ha) on the corner of Old South Road and Kangaloon Road, Bowral, was finally selected.
2010 Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales, officially launched the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens project on 28 September 2010.
2010 Foundation Walk was planted, with the last tree being planted by the Hon Stephen Jones, MP, Member for Throsby, on 4 November 2019.
2011 The SHBG Committee engaged Taylor Cullity Lethlean to develop a masterplan for the garden with a vision to display the native and exotic flora of the region which contribute to the uniqueness of its seasonal character. The design would provide education and research in a setting enhanced by public art and managed according to environmentally responsible principles.
2011 Wingecarribee Shire Council, in conjunction with the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Incorporated, developed a Plan of Management for the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens. The Plan of Management sets out the directions and practices council intend to follow to manage the ‘community land’ and identifies issues affecting public open space and outlines how that open space is intended to be used, improved and managed in the future. The POM identifies 14.85 hectares of ‘community land’, comprising eight separate Lots, on the corner of Kangaloon and Old South Road, Bowral, as the SHBG site.
2011 The Volunteer Support Centre (the ‘Shed’) was the first building constructed on the site, built with the first grant from the NSW Government.
2012 Notification of Decision by the (Federal) Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, dated 27 September 2012, made under sections 75 and 77A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, was issued on 27 September 2012 to protect and manage the natural habitat Latham’s Snipe.
2012 SHBG Incorporated registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission on 3 December 2012
2013 The Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Limited was registered as an Australian Public Company, Limited by Guarantee, on 7 June 2013.
2013 The Development Application for the staged development of the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens was approved by council.
2014 A shade house and toilet block were added to the Shed construction, again with grant money and local donations.
2014 Taylor Cullity Lethlean completed the Sketch Design for the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens.
2015 A lease for 21 years was granted to the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Limited over the eight Lots forming the leased land on the corner of Kangaloon Road and Old South Road.
2016 A grant from The Paul Ramsay Foundation enabled SHBG to hire its first part-time employee as a Fundraising and Marketing Manager.
2016 The first two SHBG collections of 23 Betula (Birch) and 21 Buxus (Boxwood) were registered on the National Plant Collections Register.
2017 SHBG undertook an architecture competition, inviting six Australian architects to participate in a design for the Visitor and conference centre. The winning architect, John Wardle Architects, was announced.
2017 The Plan of Consolidation of the original eight Lots into one Lot, DP 1231536, was registered with the Registrar General, NSW.
2018 The 21-year lease was amended by WSC and SHBG to include the Plan of Consolidation.
2018 SHBG developed a comprehensive Business Plan outlining the costs and benefits of the development of the Education Centre, Visitor Centre and car park and the garden. Estimated costings were undertaken by a quantity surveyor.
2019 A second grant from The Paul Ramsay Foundation enabled SHBG to hire its first Chief Executive Officer, a part-time job and a part-time Administration Officer.
2019 SHBG commissioned Urbis, a business consultant, to develop an economic and social impact assessment of the full development of the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens. The assessment included a cost-benefit analysis to identify the net economic and social benefits attributable to the potential expansion of the botanic gardens project on the Southern Highlands region. The report included an estimate of the number of jobs that would be created by the construction activity over two years, as well as by the operations of SHBG and in the tourism industry over a period of 20 years.
2020 Two further SHBG collections of Dwarf Cornus (Dogwood) and Narcissus (Tony Davis Daffodils) were registered on the National Plan Collections Register.