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A botanical garden located in Canberra which houses a diverse collection of trees from Australia and other countries.
Pleasing Exuberance in National Arboretum Canberra
The first area that you must take a look when you come to National Arboretum Canberra is the Forest and Trees Collection which comprise of more than 44,000 trees growing in 94 forests across the huge 250-hectare site. Two of the most well-known forests in this site are the Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara), the native plant of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, West Nepal and Tibet where the trees are highly valued for their timber and healing properties, and Cork oat (Quercus suber) where the visitors will be able to immerse among the radiating cathedral-like avenues of these captivating trees . Besides forest, this wild and educational area also focuses on the conversation, display and study of rare, endangered, and significant trees from Australia and around the world.
Despite located in Australia, National Arboretum Canberra houses one of the largest collection of National Bonsai and Penjing Collection and Bonsai Welcome Garden in one of its venues. The living artworks of this national collection feature some of the greatest miniature trees and forests in the world which is created by some of Australia's bonsai and penjing artists. The display presents about 80 bonsai and penjing trees in both traditional and modern styles, as well as Australian native and exotic trees. Bonsai and penjing trees are known to convey concepts, ideas, emotions, and stories based on its shape and age. The oldest trees in the Collection are more than 60 years old, whereas the oldest known bonsai and penjing in the world is over 800 years old.
Just like its name, Canberra Discovery Garden will lead you to find out about plant selection, garden design, growing requirement, and water conversation through a series of demonstration gardens which resulted in a beautiful, sustainable, and water-efficient garden in any season. The Garden Room is divided in three rooms, namely room 1 as a space to learn about soil preparation, water collection and conservation, propagation and container planting, room 2 which focuses on the varieties of plant and inspiration provider for planting based on your garden's climate and conditions, and room 3 which exhibits varieties of turf and looks at water use and the value of water as a precious and limited resource. After you learn all about the garden and plants, you can rest and eat at a large wooden deck with shady trees with your family or friends.
Specialized for the children, Pod Playground is designed to challenge and excite the kids in exploring the outdoors. The area features giant acorn cubbies in the different shape for older children (late primary and up) who can use the cube on stilts connected by net tunnels and ended in a spiral slippery slide, whereas the younger children are able to play in the single ladder leading into a single cube with a normal-sized slide. In addition, other facilities which can be used for children with a range of ages are provided, such as two large nest swings, two toddler swings, sand, musical instruments and bridge, and banksia pods which surrounded by impressive views that will please your eyes.
How to Get Tickets?
There is no entrance fee for National Arboretum Canberra as it is open to the public and free of charge.
How To Get Around?
Everyone are able to explore National Arboretum Canberra, including people who have walking impairment as there is a sealed and graded gravel path leads from the Himalayan Cedar car park to the forest, picnic deck, and Wide Brown Land outdoor sculpture which is specifically designed for wheelchair user, as well as free loan wheelchair for those who need to use it. On the other hand, there are three disabled car parking spaces available at the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion which is free of charge.
What Should I Wear?
It is best to wear comfortable outfits which you can arrange based on the weather, such as light and long-sleeved top which is paired up with light and long trousers in warm weather along with wide-brim hat to protect skin from the sun and sunscreen, whereas in cold weather, the visitors are advised to wear warm and windproof clothing and a hat along with raincoat. Sneakers and enclosed shoes must be worn at all times as the walking path has uneven ground.
Best Time to Visit
Generally, you can visit National Arboretum Canberra from 6 am to 8:30 pm every day during Daylight Savings Time and 7 am to 5:30 pm during Eastern Standard Time (Non-daylight Savings Time). On the other hand, The Village Centre, National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, Sprout Cafe, and The Curatoreum Shop are open from 9 am to 4 pm every day except on Christmas day.
Australian Dollar (AUD)
Will I Need a Guide?
A tour guide is not necessarily needed as you can do a self-guided visit which is free of charge. However, bookings are essential for all school groups at least one week before the planned visit by contacting 6207 8156 or email via the ACT Government feedback form.
How To Get There?
You can reach National Arboretum Canberra by taking bus number 910 and 981 from Canberra Airport, bus number 200 and 300 from Daily Grind Cafe, The Club Group Headquarters, and Bread & Butter, and bus number 300 from Hog's Breath Cafe. It usually takes 21 minutes for buses to reach the arboretum from the heart of the city.
There is a parking fee that applies from 9 am to 4 pm daily at the rate of AUD 2.10 per hour with a maximum of AUD 7.80 for a day.