National Arboretum Canberra

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Every day activities

Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy every day at the Arboretum. Free guided talks and walks are provided every day of the year except 25 December. With spectacular views and forests, plus the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, cafe, restaurant, Conservatorium gift shop, picnic deck and barbeques, lookouts, outdoor sculptures and more, every day is different at the Arboretum.

Short introductory talk at the Village Centre

Enjoy a free introductory talk about the Arboretum.
Duration 20 minutes.
Easy access for all abilities.
Wheelchair and stroller friendly.
Meet at the Welcome Desk in the Village Centre.


Tours depart regularly between 10am - 3pm.

Forest walk

Discover some of the Arboretum's forests with a friendly and knowledgeable guide. Learn about the trees and their stories.
Duration one hour.
Moderate walk, uneven ground in places.
Wear sturdy shoes and a hat and bring drinking water. Free activity.
Meet at the Information Desk in the Village Centre.

11am - 12 noon Wednesdays
2pm - 3pm Saturdays
11am - 12 noon Sundays

Long forest walk

Join an experienced guide and delve into the forest. Learn more about the trees, forests and seasons.
Duration 2 ½ hours.
Moderate walk, uneven ground in places.
Wear sturdy shoes and a hat and bring drinking water. Free activity.
Bookings essential at the Information Desk or call 02 6207 8484. Meet at the Information Desk in the Village Centre.

9.30am - 12 noon.
Third Sunday of the month.

Picnic and barbeque

  • Surround yourself with tall trees and enjoy a picnic or barbeque at the Himalayan cedar picnic deck, a short and easy stroll from the Himalayan cedar car park. Free electric barbeques are available (Forest 11).
  • Soak up the peaceful atmosphere in the Cork oak forest (Forest 1) and enjoy a picnic at this special spot.
  • Bench seats are dotted throughout many of the forests and make great picnic spots.

Pod Playground

Pod Playground encourages children to climb, explore and have fun. A unique and adventurous playground featuring giant acorn cubbies and banksia pods.

Spectacular views, cafe, restaurant and shop

Visit the award-winning Village Centre and enjoy panoramic views while relaxing at the Sprout Cafe, Conservatory Restaurant and the Curatoreum gift shop.

National Bonsai and Penjing Collection

Be fascinated by this extraordinary national collection of miniature trees and forests.

Canberra Discovery Garden

Learn about water-efficient, sustainable gardening at the Canberra Discovery Garden. The Discovery Garden demonstrates what to grow to achieve an interesting garden all year-round, while using minimal water.

Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP) Forest 20.

STEP (Forest 20) is a regional botanic garden, education and conservation centre demonstrating trees and other plants native to the local area, the Southern Tablelands. Meander through STEP and see over 16 different types of local Eucalypt trees and many local shrubs, flowers, ferns and grasses. A short walk from the main car park.

The Clearing

STEP features The Clearing, a comfortable and quiet outdoor education space for school groups and a place for visitors to rest or enjoy a picnic. The Clearing is an accessible sitting space with a wide open outlook that integrates with the surrounding eucalypt trees.

More highlights.

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