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Australian National Botanic Gardens - Canberra

Home > Canberra > Day Trips | Escape the City | Free | Gardens | Outdoor
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I love travelling, discovering hidden gems & food. Experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass. Owner of do check it out for grazing platters and more :)
Published October 14th 2019
From lush rainforest gullies to stunning Australian flora
The Australian National Botanic Gardens is a natural wonderland that awakens your senses. It is home to approximately 75,500 plants from over 6,000 species (nearly a third being Australia's native plant species) and spans across 223 acres (90 hectares).

The Gardens are also home to the world's most extensive collection of Australian native plants, with species from all parts of the country. It showcases a centred number of themed exhibits of Australian habitats and plant diversity, including rainforests of the coast to the iconic landscapes of Australia's Red Centre, and Australia's rare and endangered plants.

Discover the many pathways that lead to different exhibits and displays across the Botanic Gardens

Each collection is presented by:
Geographic Origins.
Horticultural attributes.
Suggested ways to create a garden at home.
Means Indigenous Australians use them.
They are in a group to members of their botanical families.
Australian National Botanic Gardens is an inspirational, informative and connecting place of interest. It is also presented beautifully and with horticultural excellence.

The Gardens offer several unmissable highlights, including discovering Australia's diverse habitats to botanical wonders.

Explore the vegetation environments from around Australia, get lost in lush rainforest gully, or admire lawns studded with eucalyptus. Meander through various gardens, including an Aboriginal Plant Use Walk that displays many plants used for medicinal and practical uses or spot out water dragon lizards by the Rock Garden Pools.

Highlights Include:

* Daisy (Asteraceae) Garden
This dazzling exhibit features more than 80 colourful species, including ten threatened species. This garden exhibit highlights the immense variety of the daisy family, which is one of the largest plant families in the world.

* Eucalypt Lawn
There are more than 70 different types of eucalypts found at the Eucalypt Lawn, along with plenty of spots to relax in the shade under these mighty towering trees. Scattered around the soft green lawn are around one-fifth of Australia's iconic eucalypt species, making this exhibit quite special.

* Paperbark Treehouse & Garden
Constructed mainly of recycled timber, the Paperbark Treehouse & Garden is a three-level treehouse that sits in the canopies of lush paperbark forest. The Treehouse has a ramp-accessible platform at 2.5 metres high. From there, a ladder takes you up to a crow's nest in the forest canopy.

Spotted these two cuties enjoying a stroll

* Proteaceae Displays
This exhibit showcases the beauty and diversity of the Proteaceae family, including the iconic Australian flowers like banksia, grevillea, hakea, and waratah. There are numerous displays of these throughout the Gardens with the main highlight being the Proteaceae collection of the unusual white waratah, which blossoms in abundance of beautiful white blooms in spring.

* Rainforest Gully
The Rainforest Gully is the perfect spot for serenity. Surrounded by fresh, shady, lush plants from diverse rainforests across Australia's east coast, including Tasmania and Queensland.

The beautiful lush trees and shrubs at the Rainforest Gully exhibit

There are two boardwalks: Upper and lower boardwalks. Both offering tranquil and picturesque scenery, interpretive signs providing details about the spectacular rainforests, and daily misting that enhance the ambience and refresh temperatures.

The Lower Gully Boardwalk at the Rainforest Gully exhibit

* Red Centre Garden
Inspired by ecosystems within 500km of Alice Springs, this exciting exhibit presents Australia's red centre. It encompasses the northern parts of South Australia, western Queensland, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the southern parts of Northern Territory. It features vast dunes to rocky mountains and desert rivers. There are iconic plants from central Australia, including the mulga, desert oak, ghost gum, spinifex and saltbush.

The exhibit also showcases the significance of the region of the physical and spiritual heart of Indigenous Australia.

* The Central Meeting Place
This highlight is part of the Red Centre Garden and showcases a paved artwork with a beautiful interpretation of country by Indigenous artist Teresa Pula McKeemam.

* Rock Garden
This much-loved Rock Garden exhibit is one of the Australian National Botanic Gardens' most popular exhibition.

There are displays of a sundial, a waterfall, lawn spaces as well as a wide variety of plants that naturally occur in habitats ranging from alpine areas to deserts.

The Rock Garden is also home to some of the smallest, most intricate plants that nestle on carefully prepared garden beds.

* Sydney Region Gully
This forest and woodland exhibit feature gum trees, bushy Lilly Pillies and the remarkable Gymea lily that boasts sword-like leaves and striking red flowers.

The exhibit also features more than 600 plant species, which include a diversity of flora around Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Plants include banksias, melaleucas, and tea trees in the dense heathland.

History Facts:

In the 1930s, Canberra was known as the 'City of Flowers' in the official tourist guide, event though the city did not have any botanic gardens.

After the War, in the 1940s, construction works were taken to start the Botanic Gardens. In 1944 research began and in 1945 planting of a range of eucalypts began.

The Botanic Gardens began to take shape in the 1950s where two annexes to the Gardens were established to increase the range of plants grown.

In 1967 the Botanic Gardens opened to the public and featured a carpark, walking paths with interpretive signs along the trails, bridges placed in the steep gullies and buildings for the Herbarium and Nursery.

The Telstra Tower can be seen from the Red Centre Garden exhibit

In the 1970s the Botanic Gardens developed into one of Canberra's major national attractions.

In 1978 the name changed from Canberra Botanic Gardens to National Botanic Gardens.

The amphitheatre was built in 1980, which became a popular venue for public functions, concerts and later for weddings.

Learn more about bees at the Bee Hotel

In 1982 unique easy-access garden opened for disabled people, together with an associated building and glasshouses for teaching horticulture skills. The Banks Centre still provides training for people with a wide range of abilities.

In 1981 the pie-van was replaced by a café next to the Tasmanian section of the Rainforest Gully, and proved a popular eating place since 1981!

In 1985, Prince and Princess of Wales opened the present Visitor Centre with its exhibition centre, Botanical Bookshop and a Public Reference Herbarium for visitors to identify specimens.

In 1983 and 1989 construction of boardwalks took place
for better access at the Rainforest Gully.

In 1989 the Gardens were nominated for National Estate Listing.

In the 1990s the Gardens teamed up with both the general community and the scientific community. After the meeting in September, Friends of the Botanic Gardens officially launched.

In 1992, the first intake of volunteer guides undertook extensive training course before starting a program of free guided tours, which are still available today.

There are informal guided walking tours around the Gardens available at 11 am and 2 pm daily. See website for more details.

With so many things to do, see, experience and explore, such enjoying quiet relaxing strolls, exploring the range of walking trails, discovering new plants and animals, running around the open-space lawns, enjoying a picnic, browsing the bookshop to relaxing and enjoying a coffee at the café.

Australian National Botanic Gardens is the perfect family day out with something for all ages and interests enjoy. Be sure to visit this attraction this weekend!

Entry to the Gardens is free, however, $3.40 per hour or $14 per day parking fee applies when using the on-site carpark.

Visitor Centre is opened daily, from 9:30am-4: 30 pm (Closed Christmas Day)

The Pollen Café is opened daily from 9am-4pm (Closed Christmas Day)

The Jindii Eco Spa is opened daily from 8am-5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
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Why? A perfect day out surrounded by nature
When: All year round
Phone: (02) 6250 9588
Where: Clunies Ross St, Acton
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Definitely one to add to the list for a Canberra visit.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9628) 985 days ago
Looks beautiful
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|4831) 984 days ago
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