The Village Centre
The wonderful, architecturally acclaimed,
Village Centre is the first destination for most
visitors. It offers an information hub, cafe,
restaurant and gift shop. It is also the
meeting point for guided walks led by our
friendly walk guides. The following three
attractions are located adjacent to the
The Bonsai Pavilion
The bonsai pavilion, housing the superb
National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of
Australia. Native and exotic exhibits are
rotated through the seasons so there is
always something new on show.
The Canberra Discovery Garden
Established by ACTEW Water to help
Canberra gardeners better understand
climate, soils and geology, and assist them
in making sustainable water-wise choices.
The garden is a series of linked garden rooms including a covered outdoor learning area which facilitates free community workshops, talks and tours, and an interpretive trail which allows visitors to engage in self directed learning and discovery. The garden design and plant selections aim to inspire visitors to develop healthy, water wise gardens in their own backyards through sustainable gardening practices.
The Canberra Discovery Garden is located on the event terrace next to the visitors centre at the National Arboretum Canberra, and is open daily 9am to 4pm.
Visit ACTEW Water for more information about the Canberra Discovery Garden
The very popular Pod Playground is
based on a theme that acknowledges
seeds as the beginning of life in the forests.
The playground is designed to stimulate
imagination and keep children active.
Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP)
Another attraction is the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP),
located in Forest 20, with its special focus
on regional biodiversity. It is managed by
STEP, a community group, in partnership
with the National Arboretum Canberra.
Ceremonial tree plantings
The Central Valley features around 40
ceremonial tree plantings. These have been
planted by visiting dignitaries, politicians,
sports people and royalty. As the trees
grow, it will become a shady zigzag
walkway through a diverse range of trees,
representing many people and many places
from around the world.
There are no entry fees but parking charges
apply at the Village Centre.
The grounds are open daily from 7:00 am to
5:30 pm (Eastern Standard Time) and
6:00 am to 8:30 pm (Daylight Savings
Time). The Village Centre and the National
Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia
are open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily,
except Christmas Day.
For more information, visit the National Arboretum Canberra website.