National Arboretum Canberra


Outdoor attractions

The Himalayan Cedar Forest barbeque and picnic area

Photo of the Himalayan Cedar Forest barbeque and picnic area

The charming picnic and barbeque deck in the Himalayan cedar forest (Cedrus deodara) is nestled among tall shady trees. A short walking path and a wheelchair accessible gravel path leads visitors from the Himalayan cedars car park to the picnic deck.

The barbeque and picnic area is available for public use and cannot be reserved or booked. The electric barbeques are free of charge.

Dairy Farmers Hill

Photo of Dairy Farmers Hill

The lookout at Dairy Farmers Hill offers spectacular 360o views over Canberra and beyond. Nest III, the metal sculpture of an eagle on its nest, sits at the top of Dairy Farmers Hill.

A short wheelchair accessible gravel path leads from Dairy Farmers Hill car park to the lookout deck and Nest III sculpture. A circular platform with wooden bench seats makes Dairy Farmers Hill a wonderful venue for functions of up to 60 guests.

Outdoor sculptures

Nest III

Photo of Next III Sculpture

A striking metal sculpture of an Australian wedgetail eagle on its nest, Nest III is made from welded steel found-objects, mostly abandoned farm machinery. The sculpture was created by Richard Moffatt in 2007 and sits at the top of Dairy Farmers Hill.

Wide Brown Land

Photo of Wide Brown Land Sculpture

The three words in the 'wide brown land' sculpture come from the famous poem 'My Country', written by poet Dorothea Mackellar when she was 22 years old, living in England and missing her home country, Australia. Many Australians are familiar with the second verse of the poem which includes the well known phrase "The wide brown land for me!" The sculpture's form and style were inspired by Mackellar's handwriting.

"The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!"

'Wide brown land' is 35 metres long and 3 metres high, made from corten steel and steel rod by Marcus Tatton, Futago Design Studios and Chris Viney in 2010. To learn more about Dorothea Mackellar and her poetry, visit the website.

Two new sculptures for the Arboretum

The new sculptures, 'Breezing in Canberra' and 'In the Stream', were commissioned by artsACT.'Breezing in Canberra' resembles a bird moving in the air and stands seven metres tall, close to Tuggeranong Parkway, while the 12 metre tall 'In the Stream' is a more abstract design and is set back from the road within the forests.

The sculptures are designed to be seen together, reflecting and complementing each other.

The artist, Mr Kozo Nishino is a leading figure in large-scale metal sculpture who has received international acclaim for his public art pieces. He creates enormous yet delicate sculptures using materials such as titanium, stainless steel and iron. Each of Nishino's pieces possess a surprisingly intricate and skeletal steel wire structure, and moves smoothly, reacting to natural movements of the air as if it were a living thing.

Kozo Nishino has sculptures on public display across the world including in Tokyo, China, Korea and at the World Trade Centre site in New York.

Download the 10 second video here. (MOV 1 MB)

breezing in Canberra

A replica model of 'Breezing in Canberra' is on display in the Village Centre.

Artist's statement

"I want to create something that evokes air and wind.

I would like my sculptures to exist as expressions of the lives we humans live cradled by this atmosphere.

Instead of converting the things I see and experience into signs and committing them to memory, I tend to let them stay in my mind as the images they are, in other words to perceive things sensuously.

If these things are substituted with words or letters, I feel that the original impressions rapidly weaken. I view my work in much the same way. There is no elaborate planning in advance. My way of creating is to persevere with experimentation and manual work, for example, by bending metal rods into various shapes to draw delicate curves.

I have always explored imprecise things that, while not clearly visible to the eye, without doubt exist. Like a spider's web, for example, which appears for a moment in the sun's rays and is revealed in silhouette by raindrops, even though it cannot be seen distinctly by itself. At the same time, I would like my works to also refer to our human lives, which are lapped in a great, universal "something". Never cold, but always existing with humans."

Kozo Nishino

About the artist Mr Kozo Nishino

Born in 1951, in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, Kozo Nishino has been active as an artist since the 1980s. Nishino has produced a large number of grand-scale public artworks of superb visual beauty and
structural strength working with metal materials such as titanium, aluminum, stainless steel and iron.

Nishino's works have been installed at sites in Tokyo, Canberra, China, Korea, the World Trade Centre site in New York and other locations around the world, and are held in art museum collections such as the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and Shanghai's Power Station of Art.

In 2011, Nishino was awarded the Shin Hongo Prize, and in 2012 exhibited at the 9th Shanghai Biennale.

For more information, visit Kozo Nishino's website at: http://nishinokozo.com/

Armillary Sphere Sundial

Armillary Sphere Sundial - photo by spelioArmillary Sphere Sundial at sunset - photo by G Nelson

The Armillary Sphere Sundial on Dairy Farmers Hill was presented to Canberra on behalf of the people of Queanbeyan to celebrate Canberra's Centenary and Queanbeyan's 175th birthday.

It is a tangible reminder of the unique bond between Canberra and Queanbeyan and faces Queanbeyan, only 15 kilometres from the Arboretum.

It was unveiled by Katy Gallagher MLA, Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory and Cr Tim Overall, Mayor Queanbeyan City Council on the 27th September 2013.

Made by Hendrik Forster, the sundial is made from patinated brass and stainless steel.

How to read the sundial

Running through the centre of the sphere sits a rod (gnomon), perpendicular to the sun's position on equinox, and its shadow on the numbered scale inside the sphere indicates Local Solar Time (Local Apparent Time).

Local Solar Time differs from Eastern Standard Time by two factors: the longitude and the Equation of Time, and a third during Eastern Summer Time.

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