Nestled into the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP) in Forest 20, is the Bush Tucker Garden, showcasing traditional Ngunnawal plants, berries and grasses.

The garden was first established in 2018 as part of the STEP and National Arboretum Canberra masterplan with Indigenous Australian caretakers of the region, the Ngunnawal community.

Designed by the Arboretum’s horticultural staff, in consultation with Aboriginal communities, the Bush Tucker Garden layout was inspired by the landform and the rivers of the local region. The first two tiers of the garden represent the local hills and mountains, while the garden’s footpaths flow together and converge, representing the local rivers and waterways.

The Bush Tucker Garden features a basket weaving area and offers a great opportunity for all visitors to learn about local Ngunnawal culture, with plants that have been used for thousands of years as food, fibre, shelter and for their aromatic and medicinal qualities.

All Bush Tucker Garden plant species have been selected from the ‘Ngunnawal plant use’ publication that was developed in consultation with Ngunnawal elders and community, as well as ACT Government and Greening Australia.