Spring is blooming at the Australian National Botanic Gardens! The wattles are bursting with gold, the lush green gardens are blooming with gorgeous colour, and the bees are busily buzzing about.
With sensuously warm days now upon us in Canberra, spring is the perfect time to visit the Gardens and breathe in the fragrance of the season.
There's lots to do at the Gardens with the family, your friends, and even on your own. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy this spring:
1.Guided Bushland Nature Walks. Join a volunteer guide on this easy to moderate 3.2 km return walk along the Bushland Nature Walk and enjoy spectacular views over Lake Burley Griffin. The walks will take place on Thursday Sept 20 at 10am and Thursday Oct 18 at 10am. The walks are free but bookings are essential. Go here for more information.
2. Wake up with the birds. Taking place on Saturdays and Sundays between Sept 22-Oct 14 from 7.45am-9.15am, this is a wonderful opportunity to observe the feeding and nesting behaviour of the Gardens' birds and their young. Bookings are essential. Cost is $15 per person. Not suitable for children under 8 years old. For more information, go here.
3. Make your own DIY beeswax wraps for Pollinator Week. Use less plastic at home and get creative at the same time. Join Annette Boyd in this fun and relaxed workshop in a creative setting. There will be two workshops (10am session and 2pm session) on Sunday November 18. Cost is $30 per person. Suitable for 18 years and over. To book your place go here.
4. Exhibitions at the Visitor Centre. The exhibitions explore the Australian environment through diverse creative forms including fine art, craft, photography and sculpture. Go here to find out the free exhibitions on show at the Visitor Centre this spring.
5. Friday Storytime for Preschoolers.
Held on the first Friday of the month. Have fun with stories, songs, rhymes and creative activities brought to life by the ACT Storytellers in beautiful natural surroundings. Cost is $5 per child. Bookings not required. To find the storytellers, just follow the signs from the Café bridge.
6. Thursday Talks.
Thursday lunchtime talks cover diverse aspects of the natural world in Australia and around the globe. Every Thursday from 12.30pm at the Theatrette. Go here for information on upcoming talks. Entry by donation.
7. Explore the gardens.
The Gardens contains the world's largest collection of Australian plants set within 35 hectares and have been arranged around several themes. Take a wander through the native daisy garden, explore the rainforest gully which feature the lush rainforest plants of Australia's east coast, wander through the Red Centre garden which feature iconic plants from Australia's centre, and stroll along the eucalypt lawn, where there are 70 different types of eucalypts.
There are also several themed self-guided walks you can do, such as the Aboriginal Plant Use trail walk, the Flowers, Fruit and Foliage walk, and the Who did that? children's discovery trail. Grab your free maps and guides at the Visitor's Centre. For more information go here.
Join an experienced and knowledgeable guide aboard the 12 seater electric Flora Explorer bus as you discover the Gardens in comfort. Bus tours operate on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays at 10.30 am and 1.30 pm. Cost is adults $8, children under 16 and concession $5, children under three years old free.
For more information go here.
9. Climb the Paperbark treehouse.
Climb the Paperbark Treehouse. It's made mainly out of recycled timber and is nestled amongst swamp paperbark trees.
The wonderful paperbark treehouse, for little kids and big kids too!
10. Have a picnic or enjoy lunch at the award-winning Pollen café.
There are some wonderful spots for picnics at the Gardens such as the Eucalypt Lawn and the Rock Garden Lawn. Or enjoy breakfast or lunch at the award-winning Pollen café and restaurant which offers modern, delicious, healthy food in relaxed surroundings. Pollen is open from 9am-4pm daily. Go here for their menu.
The award-winning Pollen cafe, tucked amonsgt the trees
11. Revitalise, recharge and replenish at Jindii EcoSpa.
Spoil yourself at Jindii EcoSpa which offers a large menu of exquisite spa treatments, using locally sourced botanical ingredients. Jindii also hosts self-care and well-being sessions and a special one day women's retreat on Oct 21. For more information about Jindii, go here.
12. Finally, don't forget to drop in at the Visitor Centre and Botanical Bookshop.
The very knowledgeable volunteers at the Visitor Centre will help you find out everything you can see and do at the Gardens. The Visitor Centre is open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm seven days a week (closed Christmas Day).
And the Botanical Bookshop has a wonderful selection of books, gifts and souvenirs inspired by Australia's diverse plants and wildlife, including locally sourced Canberra honey, lemon myrtle products, teacups, exquisite jewellery and children's books.