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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.