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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
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.
* 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.
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
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 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.
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 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!
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.