FAQs


1. What is an arboretum

An arboretum is a botanical garden devoted to growing trees for conservation, scientific research and educational purposes. You can read more in the About section of the website.

2. What does and arboretum do?

The primary purpose of an arboretum is the preservation and management of trees, and to provide a place where endangered species can be protected.

The National Arboretum Canberra also conducts research about trees, forests and their ecology, and provides a robust range of facilitated educational programs for students of all ages.

3. What can I do here?

The National Arboretum Canberra offers an exciting variety of things to do, see and experience for people of all ages and levels of ability. Check out our suggestions, or grab a brochure from the Village Centre and make your own adventure.

4. Can you give me advice about trees or how to care for my garden?

We recommend you visit your local nursery or talk to a horticulturalist or arborist in your area for questions about the health of your trees, pruning techniques or species selection.

5. Can I buy seeds here? Are the trees for sale?

The trees and plants at the National Arboretum Canberra are not for sale - think of the Arboretum as a museum for trees. To purchase plants, visit your local nursery.

6. Where can I learn more?

The Arboretum offers a range of talks and guided activities for visitors of all ages and abilities. Talk to the friendly visitor services staff in the Village Centre or read more in our Talks and guided tours section.

7. How can I contribute/be a part of the Arboretum?

There are lots of ways to get involved and support the Arboretum. You can join our community and volunteer across a range of activities, become a member of the Friends of the Arboretum, donate a garden or bench seat, provide sponsorship, a bequest or make a monetary donation. Read more in the Support us.

8. Can I plant a tree in someone’s honour or dedicate a tribute?

The National Arboretum Canberra is not a memorial site, however, there are a number of options to enable the memory of special events or life moments to live on. You can donate a garden in the Central Valley Gardens, sponsor a garden seat or give the gift of a picnic setting for all to enjoy. Learn more at Sponsorships, donations and bequests.

9. Why are the trees so small?

Established after the devastating 2003 Canberra bushfires, the Arboretum opened to the public in 2013. Most of the trees at the Arboretum are young and at the start of their life cycle, with the exception of the 100-year old Himalayan Cedars and Cork Oaks forests and a cluster of Radiata pines on Dairy Farmers Hill which survived the 2003 bushfires. With the first new trees being planted in 2007 (and more trees still being planted today), the Arboretum is a developing site.

The National Arboretum Canberra is working to nurture, protect and grow these trees to enable an immersive forest experience for visitors as the trees grow. Read more about Our history.

10. Where can I ride my bike?

You can ride your bike on sealed roads (observing speed limits) and on the 20kms of multi-purpose tracks and trails throughout the Arboretum site. You can also connect up with Canberra’s extensive bike path network (including the Centenary Trail) from the Arboretum.

11. Where can I leave my bike?

Bike racks are available for public use at the POD playground and in the main car park outside the Village Centre. Don’t forget your lock!

12. Are there any smoking areas on site?

No, the National Arboretum Canberra is a non-smoking site.

13. Can I fly my kite here?

Yes, the best place to fly kites is the amphitheatre outside the Village Centre. The Arboretum also offers regular facilitated kite making workshops - Check the What’s On calendar for details.

14. Can I fly my drone on site?

No, drones are not permitted on the site unless prior permission and licence has been granted by the National Arboretum Canberra. For enquiries contact arboretum@act.gov.au

15. Can I take photos?

You are welcome to take photos for your personal enjoyment. Please make sure you tag us @nationalarboretumcanberra if posting on Facebook or on Instagram.  Please read more here or contact us if you’d like to photograph on site for commercial and advertising purposes. Fees apply.

16. Can I film on site?

Filming your family and friends for personal use is ok. All filming for commercial use must be pre-approved by the National Arboretum Canberra. Read more here or contact us for more information.

17. Can I bring my pets to the Arboretum?

Yes, domestic pets are permitted on lead throughout the site, except in the Village Centre. Service dogs are welcome in all indoor and outdoor parts of the Arboretum.

18. Can I bring my own food into the Village Centre?

No, café tables provided are for Arboretum Café and Ginger restaurant customers only. You can consume your own food anywhere else on site. There are picnic tables at, the POD Playground and Dairy Farmers Hill and a free electric BBQ in the Himalayan cedar forest.

19. Can I bring my own alcohol to the Arboretum?

BYO alcohol is not permitted in licenced areas such as the Village Centre, outdoor decks, the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, Terrace Room or the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion. Alcohol may be brought and consumed responsibly in most other outdoor public areas.

20. Can I have a private party at the Arboretum?

Small informal picnics are permitted in the Arboretum forests. Please ensure you take all rubbish with you offsite.

All pre-planned onsite events including indoor and outdoor weddings, wedding proposals, christenings, family celebrations, community get togethers, sporting events, commercial photography and video filming must be approved by the National Arboretum Canberra. Fees may apply. For more information, see our Venue Hire page.

Please note the Himalayan cedars forest and BBQ area is available for general public use on a first come, first serve basis and cannot be booked.