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Tiny Adelaide Botanic Garden Model

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Re-creating Adelaide's first-ever hot air balloon lift-off

Until Sunday the 29th of January 2023, you have the opportunity to view the Tiny Adelaide Botanic Garden model at the State Herbarium. This diorama re-creates the story of Adelaide's first-ever hot air balloon lift-off in the late 1800s. Features include tiny picnickers, flowers, trees, fountains, historic buildings, and of course, a hot air balloon.

The miniature model was crafted by members of the South Australian Railway Modellers Association for a television show that aired on ABC last year. It took a team of eleven hobbyists more than 90 days to create. Their skills were simply unbelievable. As a former engineer myself, I take my hat off to them for a job well done.

They used old photographs and records to re-build the wisteria arbour and exhibition building which no longer stands. As for the palm house, the hobbyists were able to physically measure its dimensions before putting it together. Some of the crafting materials used were rather unique too. Emu feathers and tiny seeds added detail to the palm house while tea bags became tents! I reckon you'll be looking at everyday objects differently after you've seen the model.

The State Herbarium is located in the Adelaide Botanic Garden near its Goodman Gate entrance just off Hackney Road. Entry is free. For more information, please visit
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Why? Re-creating Adelaide's first-ever hot air balloon lift-off
When: Until 29 January 2023
Where: State Herbarium, Adelaide Botanic Garden, Adelaide, SA
Cost: Free
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