What's on

There is always something new and exciting to see and do at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Our calendar of events changes regularly, so make sure you keep coming back to see what's happening.

  • Tucker Tonic and Tools

    An exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints of native plants that are edible, have medicinal properties or have been used to make tools and implements.


    • Featuring plants that are familiar to many Australians, as well as plants which are less well known, endangered, newly developed or even those considered to be pests.

      Presented by Artists of Nature: Illawarra & Southern Highlands

      When: 13 September to 12 October 2014
      Time: 9:00 - 4:30 daily
      Where: Visitor Centre Gallery

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  • afterDARK Scavenger Hunt

    A fascinating botanical scavenger hunt afterdark for families with treasures and treats to be found. Set out with a series of clues to discover an array of night time plant, insect and animal activity, under guidance from our trained rangers.



    • Finish the night with an open air fire, toasting marshmallows & supper in the Gardens. 'Super sleuth' prize to the first finishers, and certificates for all participants at the end of the night.

      When: Saturday 6 September, Saturday 27 September, Wednesday 1 October, Saturday 4 October Wednesday 8 October, Saturday 11 October
      Time: 7.00pm (Gates open 6.30pm and close at 7pm sharp)
      Venue: Depart from Crosbie Morrison Building
      Cost: $22.50 adult, $16.50 child (5 – 16 yrs) (includes online booking fee)
      Purchase tickets: Click date to purchase - 6 September | 27 September | 1 October | 4 October | 8 October | 11 October | 1 November

      Bookings: Bookings online essential and close 48 hours prior to event


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  • Sustainable Gardens and Australian Plants Workshop

    Explore how new and existing gardens can be made more sustainable through the use of landscape design, plant selection, water retention strategies and the use of renewable materials.

    • Presented by the Australian Native Plant Society.
      When: 27 September
      Time: 9.00 am to 1.00pm
      Venue: Crosbie Morrison Building
      Event information and booking


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  • Bogs and Fens: Artist-in-Residence Forum

    The Bogs and Fens: Artist-in-Residence Forum on 26 September, will bring together all three Artists-in-residence together with members of the community, artists and leaders in the fields of craft, design, environment and conservation.


    • Ideas and information will be shared across disciplines on the unique communities of bogs and fens in the ACT and current environmental protection and conservation initiatives.

      The Forum will offer distinctive interpretations and discussions about bogs and fens, whilst shedding new light and awareness of the work of local, national and international artists, Craft ACT, ACT Parks and Conservation and the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

      Refreshments provided.

      The interplay between craft, science and the environment
      Fri 26 Sept | 9.30 am – 1 pm | Theatrette
      Free | Bookings essential - gwenyth.macnamara@craftact.org.au or call (02) 6262 9333

      Bookings close Fri 19 Sept

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  • Bogs and Fens Workshop with Artists-in-Residence

    Join Melbourne sculptor Annee Miron and local textile artist Sally Blake in a one-day workshop on 25 September, where they will talk about their experience as Craft ACT’s artists-in-residence and share their skills in weaving, plaiting and knotting, and dying fabrics with natural plant dyes.


    • Learn how to extract dyes from plants and then dye your own fabric with Sally Blake.

      Learn weaving, plaiting and knotting techniques and patterns to construct an object or plant form with your dyed fabric with Annee Miron.

      At the end of the workshop you will be able to take home your own handcrafted piece of artwork made from dyed fabric using weaving, plaiting and knotting techniques.

      Price includes materials, morning and afternoon tea. BYO lunch or purchase from Floresco in the Gardens cafe.

      Thur 25 Sept | 10 am – 4 pm | Crosbie Morrison Building
      $50 pp | Spaces limited | Online bookings essential

      Bookings close Fri 19 Sept

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  • Weaving Circles - Honouring Cultures, Living Traditions

    A weaving together of thoughts and emotions into the twists and turns of wool and wheel

    An exhibition of circle weavings created by reusing bicycle wheel rims, cotton twine and jute string, wool, fibres and fabrics, crystals, beads, shells, stones and feathers.

    • Presented by the CIT Yurauna Centre.
      When: Friday 15 August to Sunday 7 September 2014
      Time: 9:00 - 4:30 daily
      Where: Visitor Centre Gallery

      Influenced by the beautiful Maningrida mat weavings and by talking circles, the symbol of circle representing coming together to talk and having the right to speak and to be heard. The weaving circles and the memory sticks have meaning and significance as thoughts and emotions are wound around and are bound up in the twists and turns of wool and wheel – connecting memories of past with fibres and thoughts of present, fastened to circles and hopes of future. Mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, sisters, aunties, fathers, nieces and nephews, granddaughters, grandsons and grandmothers and far away from home students have worked on these delightful and moving weavings.

      The CIT Yurauna Centre first exhibited the Weaving Circles in 2012 at Civic Library, and the continued to grow up until they were on limited display for Canberra’s Centenary celebration at AIATSIS and the opening of the Red Centre Garden at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The Yurauna Centre were asked to display the works over a longer exhibition period in 2014 at the ANBG Visitors Centre.


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  • Breakfast with the Birds

    Observe amazing birdlife in the beautiful Gardens, followed by a delicious hot breakfast at Floresco in the Gardens.

    • When: Saturday and Sunday mornings | 20 September to 12 October
      Time: 7.45 am
      Venue: Crosbie Morrison Building
      Cost: Friends' members $32; non-members $35, for walk & breakfast (event not suitable for children under 8)
      Bookings: Essential through Friends of the Gardens website ; email birds@friendsanbg.org.au or phone 6291 6396.

      More information http://www.friendsanbg.org.au

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  • A LIFE BEHIND A LENS: Choice, Challenge and Change

    An evening with Steve Parish – evening talk

    From Lake Eyre in flood to a feather in a pond, this talk reveals the inner thoughts and feelings of Steve Parish as an artist.


    • Steve Parish feels deeply about, and has a great passion for, Australia's nature, including flora, fauna, land and sea.
      Steve has sustained his life throughout its many challenges, dealing with cancer, the loss of a partner and then the loss of his business in the Brisbane 2011 floods, gaining strength through his connection to nature. Dealing with anxiety and depression are among the biggest challenges facing society today. So, this talk is both popular and highly inspirational.

      When: Friday 10 October
      Time: 6.30pm to 8.00pm
      Venue: Theatrette
      BOOK NOW
      INFORMATION BROCHURE

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  • Steve Parish Nature Photography Workshop

    A Unique Weekend Photo Workshop with STEVE PARISH - designed to inspire photographers at every level. Join Australia's best-known photographer, and benefit from his 50 years of field experience!


    • Advance your landscape, plant and animal photography image capture and post production skills. Find the 'creative you' and challenge yourself to use a range of styles and content to enhance your recognition in an increasingly visually noisy world. Whether your skills are basic or advanced you will come away excited by the mind-boggling opportunities for self expression within nature photography.

      When: Saturday and Sunday 11 - 12 October 2014
      Time: 8.30am to 4.00pm
      Venue: Crosbie Morrrison Building
      BOOK NOW
      INFORMATION BROCHURE

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  • Spring Flower Walks

    See a spectacular display of uniquely Australian spring flowers - from Gymea lillies to Warratahs. Join a Volunteer Guide during the Gardens' peak flowering season.

    When: 13 September - 12 October | Time: 11.00 am and 2.00pm | Depart from the Visitor Centre | Free


  • Wattle Week Walks

    How did the wattle get its name? Find this out and more during Wattle Week at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Join a Volunteer Guide and explore the diversity of these plants, their uses and the part they have played in Australia's history.

    When: 1 - 7 September | Time: 11.00 am | Meet at the Visitor Centre | Free


  • Winter Walks with Famous Australians: Banksia to Wollemi

    Walk with a guide and see plants that have shaped the Australian psyche. Get up close to floral film stars, poetic flowers and literary leaves as you uncover the stories of Australia’s iconic plants.
    Saturdays during June, July & August | 11 am
    Depart Visitor Centre | Free

  • Storytime: Flowers, Fairies and Magical folk

    Enjoy a story, a short walk or craft activity at a special spot in the Gardens. Come dressed as fairies elves, pixies and other magical folk.
    WHEN: Friday 5 September | Storytime is on the first Friday each month.

    • Time: 10 - 11 am | Suitable for families
      Where: Follow the signs from the Cafe or check in at the Visitor Centre for details on the day | Storytime will be held indoors during wet and cold weather.
      Please ensure all children come with sun protection, closed shoes and a supervising adult.

      Bush Magic Storytime Themes

      Flower Fairies and Magical Folk | September
      Birthday Stories | October
      Summer Stories | November
      Christmas in the Bush | December
      Cost: $5 per child | Suitable for pre-schoolers.
      Bookings: Not required.


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  • Tropical Display Glasshouse

    See a spectacular display of sub-tropical and tropical plants. Open 9.30 am – 4 pm daily.

  • Thursday Talks

    Are you interested in the environment? Would you like to learn more about Australian native plants and other aspects of the natural world?

    Find out more in the Thursday Talks run by the Friends of the Gardens at lunchtime from 6 February to 27 November 2014.


    • Thursday talks cover a diverse range of topics. They are aimed at a well-informed general audience and everyone is welcome.

      Where: Theatrette at 12.30 pm | Cost: Entry by Donation


      Wattle Daydreaming
      Terry Fewtrell | 4 Sept
      Hear about the linkages of wattle and its symbols with Indigenous people


      Parks Australia – Strategic Directions
      Sally Barnes, Director of National Parks | 11 Sept
      Learn about the strategic direction of Parks Australia and the ANBG


      Alison McKenzie Memorial Lecture – Plants and Animals: the Eternal Partnership
      Ian Fraser | 18 Sept
      Hear how these two major strands of life are inextricably intertwined


      How do Ants Navigate the World?
      Dr Patrick Schultheiss | 25 Sept
      Discover how two species of Australian desert ants use vision to navigate their world



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  • In Flower This Week

    Find out what's in flower this week and follow our weekly news sheet prepared by one of the Gardens' volunteers. This is the perfect way to get the most out of your latest visit to the Gardens.

    • 23 July 2014


      Let’s walk to the Rock Garden today to see what is in flower there on a cool winter’s day.



      1. 1. Olearia argophylla [Section 305], or Native Musk, on your right is a tall shrub or small tree with felted grey leaves and white, strongly-scented flowers. It is an east coast plant which grows naturally in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.
      2. 2. Grevillea rosmarinifolia ‘Rosy Posy’ [Section 128] on your right is a compact bush with linear foliage and pendent racemes of pink and cream flowers.
      3. 3. Grevillea ‘Goldfever’ [Section 124], again on your right, is a low spreading shrub that produces golden flowers for most of the year. It is a cross between Grevillea rhyolitica and a prostrate yellow-flowered form of G. juniperina, originallymade at Bywong Nursery by Peter Ollerenshaw.
      4. 4. Turn right towards the Rock Garden, past the Wollemi Pines. Go up the steps to your left to notice on the left-hand side Grevillea lanigera [Section 15c] with grey-green foliage and pink and cream flowers on a low bush. This grevillea is very long-flowering and useful in the garden. It is commonly known as Woolly Grevillea, and is endemic to Victoria and New South Wales.
      5. 5. Banksia integrifolia subsp. integrifolia [Section 15c], also on your left, is a vigorous groundcover with dark green leaves that have attractive silver backs. There are both mature and developing upright yellow-green cones on this versatile and hardy plant, which is native to coastal eastern Australia.
      6. 6. Grevillea manglesii subsp. ornithopoda [Section 15d], or Birdsfoot Grevillea, on your right, is a large open bush with divided foliage and white pincushion flower heads all along the stems. It is native to Western Australia.
      7. 7. Acacia pterocaulon [Section 15e] on the right in a pot, just coming into flower, is a much-branched, intricate shrub with very large golden ball flowers and flattened foliage. It is a Western Australian genus.
      8. 8. Androcalva luteiflora [Section 15f], on your right is a rounded bush with small round foliage and yellow cup flowers with red centres. It grows naturally in Western Australia.
      9. 9. Grevillea ‘Little Jessie’ [Section 15g], up to your right, is a hybrid between Grevillea asparagoides and G.calliantha. It is named after the daughter of the originator, Stephen Smart. It is a large open bush with grey-green needle foliage and cream/pink flowers with long red styles.
      10. 10. Grevillea iaspicula [Section 15h] on your left, also known as the Wee Jasper Grevillea, is an endangered shrub that is endemic to southern New South Wales. It is a medium‑sized bush with dense mid-green foliage and pink and cream flowers.
      11. 11. Commersonia magniflora [Section 15g], high on your right, grows in central and western Australia. It is a small sparse bush with oblong grey-green foliage and pink flowers that open from a boxy fused bud.
      12. 12. Acacia alata var. platyptera [Section 15f] on your right has bipinnate flattened phyllodes and very large golden ball flowers. It is native to Western Australia.
      13. 13. Cross the plank bridge and turn right down the hill to see Hakea obtusa [Section 15p] on your left, a small tree with leathery foliage and dark pink powderpuff flowers along the stems.
      14. 14. Go to the bottom of the steps near the waterfall and then turn left up the other set of steps to see Alyogyne huegelii ‘West Coast Gem’ [Section 15r], on your right with clear purple ‘hibiscus’ flowers. The bush is medium-sized with coarse divided foliage.
      15. 15. Further up on your left is Hakea corymbosa [Section 15p], or Cauliflower Hakea, a small tree with incredibly prickly foliage and greenish cream flowers in bunches.


      Rosalind Walcott


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  • Flora Explorer Tours

    Discover the Gardens in relaxing style in this one hour guided tour aboard a 12-seater electric bus.
    When: Saturdays & Sundays | 1.00 pm.

    • Where: Tours begin outside the Visitor Centre.
      Cost: $6.00 adult | $3.00 child under 16 and concession | Children under 3 ride free.
      Purchase tickets: At the Botanical Bookshop in the Visitor Centre | Booking information 6257 3302.

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  • Free Guided Walks

    Free Guided Walks by the Friends Volunteer Guides.

    Daily at 11.00 am and 2.00 pm Meet at the Visitors Centre

  • Visit the new Red Centre Garden

    Journey to the heart of the Gardens and experience the iconic plants, striking red sand and landscapes of Central Australia in our newest garden.

    Open daily 8.30 am – 5 pm