Forests, trees & gardens

The National Arboretum is home to over 44,000 trees growing in 94 forests across the huge 250 hectare (617 acres) site. While many of the forests are still young, two are almost 100 years old – the Himalayan cedar and Cork oak forests.

One of the largest tree conservation projects in the world, the National Arboretum focuses on the conservation, display and study of rare, endangered and significant trees from Australia and around the world.

Be part of history in the making as the Arboretum grows into one of the world's great arboreta, a place of outstanding beauty and scientific and educational value.

View a list and map of the forests at the Arboretum here.

The Himalayan cedar forest

Photo of the Himalayan cedar forest

The Himalayan cedar forest is one of the oldest forests at the Arboretum, planted in 1917-1930 and 2010. These tall shady trees surround an attractive timber picnic and barbeque deck.

Himalayan cedars (Cedrus deodara) are native to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, West Nepal and Tibet where the trees are highly valued for their timber and curative properties. Their botanical name means 'timber of the gods'. See the full story.

The Cork oak forest

Photo of the Cork Oak Forest

Planted in 1917 and 1920, the Cork oak forest (Quercus suber) is one of the oldest forests at the Arboretum and has a special place in Canberra's history. The Cork oak forest allows visitors to immerse themselves among the radiating cathedral-like avenues of these enchanting trees.

Many of the trees were grown from acorns provided by Walter Burley Griffin, the architect of Canberra. See the full story.

The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection

Photo of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection

This fascinating collection of living artworks is home to some of the finest miniature trees and forests in the world, produced by some of Australia's leading bonsai and penjing artists. See the full story.

Bonsai Welcome Garden "Yokoso Niwa"

New Bonsai Welcome Garden, Yokoso Niwa

The Bonsai Welcome Garden, or "Yokoso Niwa" is inspired by Japanese bonsai and moss gardens. The garden represents a landscape of mountains, symbolised by the large rocks, with a dry river bed flowing between them. See the full story.

The Canberra Discovery Garden

Canberra Discovery Garden - photo by Victor Tawagi
Photo by Victor Tawagi

Through a series of demonstration gardens, Canberra Discovery Garden shows visitors how to grow a beautiful, sustainable and water-efficient garden in any season.

Visitors can learn about plant selection, garden design, growing requirements and water conservation in the home garden. With a large wooden deck and shady trees, it’s also a delightful spot for a rest or a bite to eat.

The flexible outdoor spaces also facilitate educational groups, community workshops, tours, talks and demonstrations.

Garden Room 1 is a space to learn about soil preparation, water collection and conservation, propagation and container planting.

Garden Room 2 focuses on plant varieties, providing inspiration for planting to suit your garden's climate and conditions.

Garden Room 3 showcases turf varieties and looks at water use and the value of water as a precious and limited resource.

The Canberra Discovery Garden is located on the Events Terrace next to the Village Centre and National Bonsai Collection, and is open daily from 7am to 5:30 pm during Eastern Standard Time and daily from 6am to 8:30pm during Daylight Savings Time.

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