Ngala Tours and connection to country

Ngala Tours and connection to country

‘Discovery Tour’ now available every Wednesday – Sunday

1.30pm – 2.10pm

Offering guided bus tours at the National Arboretum Canberra, Ngala Tours provides the opportunity for locals and visitors to gain insights and learn more about the forests and gardens at the Arboretum and to enjoy the spectacular views offered at the lookouts.

The word Ngala (pronounced Naa-la) means ‘any tree’ in Ngunnawal language. The Arboretum was kindly given permission by the Traditional Custodians of Canberra to use this word. With over 44,000 trees in the ground, we are proud to have a Ngnnuawal name for our tours that ties in with the globally significant work that we do at the Arboretum.

The bus artwork was adapted from an original painting by Indigenous Australian artist and Worimi woman Krystal Hurst. Krystal’s commissioned artwork represents key sites at the National Arboretum Canberra and has been also used for the Ngala Tours logo and on the uniforms of our friendly staff in the Village Centre.

The main round circle represents the Village Centre as a meeting point, and the pathways out to the smaller circles are symbolic of popular sites such as the Bush Tucker Garden, POD Playground, Himalayan Cedar Forest, and the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia.

Prior to the first public tour, Ngambri Elder Aunty Matilda smoked the Ngala bus, inside and out, to allow for safe passage and a good journey. Following on from the Smoking Ceremony, Aunty Matilda spoke of her Indigenous culture, her continuing connection to the land and the importance of maintaining and sharing this connection.

This week, Ngala Tours launches with the ‘Discovery Tour’ which features the highlights of the Arboretum and will be followed by two more tours currently under development by our Indigenous Tourism Officer that will take you off the beaten track.

We could not have offered Ngala Tours without the support of the Friends of the National Arboretum Canberra. We extend our many thanks to the Friends of the who generously sponsored the bus and give special thanks to the Friends Council who provide continuing support and fundraising for the Arboretum.

We would also like to thank our many talented and hardworking volunteers at the Arboretum who will help drive the bus and provide important interpretative tour information. Their contributions are highly valued and vital to the growth of the Arboretum.

We hope you’ll join us to be immersed in the beauty of the landscape and learn more about the Arboretum.

The ‘Discovery Tour’ departs Wednesday – Sunday, and every public holiday at 1.30pm.

Bookings at the Information Desk or online here.

Guided Ngala Tours are also available for corporate and group hire. For more information please contact us or call 02 6207 8484.