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National Arboretum

Home > Canberra > Cycling | Lookouts | Outdoor | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Diana Tan (subscribe)
Arbonne Independent Consultant..loving the outdoor life!
Published January 3rd 2014
An uphill romance with Canberra's newest gem
After it was devastated by the bushfire a decade ago, this piece of legacy has finally re-opened its gate to the public. I had the chance to attend its opening festival last year, but haven't returned since. During the long Christmas break, I decided to give an old friend a well deserved visit.

With the time on my side, I left my car at home and opt to give my bike a much needed spin. Being a novice rider, this is definitely a veracious test of my physical fitness.

The arboretum has one main entry point which is accessible via the western section of Lake Burley Griffin cycling loop. There are other trails available as well that will eventually lead you to the arboretum, on which one of them can be accessed from the Aranda Bushland Reserve.

Following the sign to the cork plantation, I already got a preview of what lies ahead of me.
national arboretum cork oak plantation aranda bushland
my first uphill challenge

A clearly signed post with the details of the opening times and the major sites within the arboretum can be seen once you go past the gate.
national arboretum cork oak plantation aranda bushland
side entrance via Aranda Bushland Reserve

This dirt road track lies along one of the many lush forests, now growing abundantly in the arboretum - the Cork Oak forest.
national arboretum cork oak plantation aranda bushland
cork oak plantation

These trees are the primary source of cork for wine bottles and a variety of commercial products which are briefly explained on the display board visible at the end of the trail. Very interesting facts.
national arboretum cork oak plantation aranda bushland
key ingredient for making cork

national arboretum cork oak plantation aranda bushland
usage of cork oak explained on the display board

My next stop is the Himalayan Cedar Forest, which can already be seen along the trail towards the main road of the arboretum.
national arboretum cork oak plantation himalayan cedar aranda bushland
view of Himalayan Cedar Forest along Cork Oak road

Upon reaching Forest Drive, my riding challenge I've been anticipating has begun.This road is a continuous ascent till you reach the main carpark area where the Village Centre is located.

Prior to reaching the main centre, I took a right turn towards the Himalayan Forest which made no difference as the ground angle and elevation were increasing gradually. For a moment I wanted to give up but courtesy of what I've learned from my spin classes, I fired up my legs and eventually made it to the forest. Catching up with my breathe, I had one of the magnificent views of Canberra.
national arboretum himalayan cedar forest lake burley griffin
overlooking Lake Burley Griffin

Right next to the forest is one of the highlights in the arboretum - a sculpture made from corten steel and steel rod and is 3 metres high and 35 metres long. These three words came from the 2nd verse of the poem written by Dorothea Mackellar.
national arboretum himalayan cedar wide brown land Dorothea Mackellar My Country
My Country

Thanks to gravity, the speedy descent from the hill was exhilaratingly fun. More determined, I aimed to go higher - the Dairy Farmers Hill. The road leading up to the top of the hill was more daunting than I previously thought.
national arboretum dairy farmers hill
a long steep climb up to Dairy Farmers Hill

The slow and painstakingly ride was immensely paid-off with an astounding view of this piece of paradise.
national arboretum dairy farmers hill
like a painting on a canvass

The arboretum is more than just an entertainment facility to play and have fun. It's a piece of history and living museum containing various endangered trees from Australia and different parts of the world. I may not remember all the names of the flora species but this place has surely captivated my heart and made a lasting impression that makes me want to come back for more.
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Why? No pain no gain
Where: Tuggeranong Pkwy, Weston Creek ACT 2611
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Gorgeous photos! J
by Julie Mundy (score: 3|1725) 1560 days ago
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