What is an arboretum?

Arboretum [Pronounced "aa-buh-ree-tuhm"]

An arboretum is a botanical garden devoted to growing trees for conservation, scientific research or educational purposes. Arboreta (plural) play an important role in the preservation and management of trees, and provide a place where endangered species can be protected.

The term arboretum was first coined by John Claudius Loudon in 1833, although the concept of an arboretum has been around for much longer.

Arboreta may be monocultural (single species forests), polycultural (scatterings of different tree species), or specialise in growing particular types of trees.

The National Arboretum Canberra is the only monocultural arboretum of its size in the world.

About the National Arboretum Canberra

Winner of the 2019 Canberra Region Tourist Attractions award, the National Arboretum Canberra is a mosaic of living forests surrounding an entertainment and events hub, with spectacular views and unique experiences.

Spanning over 250 hectares, the Arboretum is one of the world’s largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees. The site is also home to the iconic Margaret Whitlam Pavilion, award-winning Village Centre with its onsite restaurant, cafĂ© and gift shop, POD playground and the renowned National Bonsai and Penjing Collection.

Opened to the public in 2013, the Arboretum is celebrated for its conservation, science research, education, award-winning architecture and a network of multi-use trails.

The National Arboretum Canberra is part of the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate of ACT Government.


Please direct any media enquiries to the Arboretum by:

Phone: 02 6207 8484

Email: arboretum@act.gov.au





General enquiries

Information desk

02 6207 8484

Monday to Sunday
9am - 4pm


Weddings and Venue hire

Ginger Catering

02 6273 4366


Arboretum Cafe bookings 

Ginger Catering

02 6130 0173


The Curatoreum Gift Shop


02 6251 3371


Tour bookings

Information desk

02 6207 8484


Education enquiries (including school visits, activities and school holiday programs)

Education Officer

02 6207 8156


Media enquiries

Arboretum Media Coordinator

02 6205 2269



Public Use Policy

This document outlines the operational policy applying at the Arboretum in regards to access, public safety, public convenience, public orientation and the engagement in recreational activities. In principal, the policy also applies to the undertaking of private functions, public events and other events. This policy is consistent with ACT Government policies where applicable.

Please view the Public Use Policy here.