Canberra’s Newest Attraction is here
During my visit to Canberra recently I had the pleasure of visiting The National Arboretum Canberra. I recently discovered this place was awarded Landscape of the year 2014. This place is stunningly beautiful and must be seen when your next in Canberra.
National Arboretum Canberra – a botanical garden dedicated to trees
The National Arboretum Canberra was opened in February 2015 and was born out of 2003 bush fires which damaged the outskirts of Canberra. The government considered restoring this area and decided to hold an international design competition for an Arboretum.
The winners of the competition were Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL), landscape architects based in Melbourne and Adelaide in Australia.
The remaining of the bush fire left behind two small plantations of forests. A Himalayan cedar and Cork oak forests. The designers took that idea and decided to have 100 forests from trees all around the world. This meant that people could come into this Arboretum and be taken to a different part of the world each time they visited the site.
The National Arboretum contains 100 forests of various endangered species from around the world. 50,000 trees have been planted over the 300 hectare. The forest is laid out across the site in an orthogonal grid. What that means is each time you go into a forest it’s a unique experience, different flowers, different smells and different textures according to the different species that’s there.
There is an outstanding visitor centre that sits beautifully in the topography of the setting and looks out onto Canberra and to the Arboretum. The views from this place reminded me of the beauty of nature. This breathtaking, structure highly praised, Visitor Centre is the first point of arrival for most visitors. It provides an information desk, cafe, restaurant and gift shop.
Located adjacent to the visitor centre is The Bonsai Pavilion which houses the wonderful National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia. This is open daily from 9am to 4pm.
As well as the forests there is a huge playground called “Pod playground” which is based on a theme that recognizes seeds as the beginning of life in the forests. The playground has a unique structure and the kids love it.
How to get here
Address: Forest Drive, Canberra City ACT 2601
Has anyone visited the Arboretum? We always love to hear from our readers. You are welcome to leave us a comment below.