What's on

There is always something new and exciting to see and do at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Our calendar of events is changing all the time.

  • afterDARK Firefly Tours

    Saturday 3 June (sold out), 1 July or 5 August; 6.30pm – 8.30pm

    Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the Gardens and flora by night. Enjoy hot chocolate and make your own ‘firefly lantern light’ to illuminate your way on this ranger-led tour. 

    • Suitable for adults and children over five years only*. Tickets $26 adult and $21 consession.

      Saturday 3 June - SOLD OUT

      Book Saturday 1 July

      Book Saturday 5 August

      Gates open 6pm and close at 6.30pm sharp. Late arrivals will not be able to join the group.

      Start the evening with a delicious hot chocolate, then construct your own hand made lantern.

      Your tour leader will then take you on a fascinating after dark discovery of the Gardens using your ‘firefly lantern light’ to help guide the way.

      Online bookings close 5pm the Wednesday prior to each tour.

      *Tour is not pram accessible and not suitable for those with limited mobility.

      Please wear flat shoes and warm clothing. Event will proceed in light rain and ponchos are provided if needed. In the event of cancellation for weather, ticket holders will be notified by SMS.


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  • Junior Ranger Program

    Last Sunday of every month from 10 am – 11 am (exceptions apply)

    Become a Junior Ranger, explore Australia’s amazing environments and learn about its plants and animals.

    30 July: Nature treasure hunt

    It’s winter in the gardens and the animals have to spend more time searching for food. Are you as good at finding things as they are?

    • Junior Rangers will take part in different activities in the Gardens each month.

      Cost: Single sessions – $15; 6 sessions – $75 (save $15 and use for any six sessions).

      *Additional costs for materials apply

      Please Note: all bookings close three days before the event and will open again the following week

      Purchase tickets (advanced bookings required)

      July – Nature treasure hunt

      August – Build Your Own Bee Hotel*

      September – Spotlighting adventure (evening session)*

      October – Breakfast with the birds (early morning session – purchase your own breakfast)

      November – Our furry friends

      December – Insects in the Gardens


    Learn more Close
  • Wake Up With the Birds

    Saturdays and Sundays, 23 September – 15 October 2017

    Guided bird watching walks through the beautiful Botanic Gardens every Saturday and Sunday from 23 September until 15 October 2017 coinciding with Floriade.  

    • Guided bird watching walks through the beautiful Botanic Gardens will resume every Saturday and Sunday from 23 September until 15 October coinciding with Floriade.

      Meet at the Visitors Centre at 7.45am and finish your tour at the newly renovated Pollen café around 9.15 am where you can purchase a coffee or breakfast at your expense and leisure and chat to the guides.

      Bring binoculars if you have them. Some binoculars will be available.

      Cost is $12 for friends members, $15 non members

      Not suitable for children under 8 years. Numbers are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

      Bookings essential at www.friendsanbg.org.au

      For further information email birds@friendsanbg.org.au or after 24 August, phone 0421 131 898


    More Information Close
  • Lessons on Trees – Drawing in the landscape weekend workshops

    19-20 August or 26-27 August (2 days) 10am – 3pm

    Join Canberra artist Genevieve Swifte for an intensive weekend of drawing under the rainforest ferns, tall eucalypts, hakeas, grevilleas and banksias in these 2 day workshops.

    • Cost: $180 Full; $162 Concession/Friends of the ANBG

      To book or for more information: mail@genevieveswifte.com 

      or follow the link: http://genevieveswifte.com/works/drawing-workshops—master-classes/405

      This intensive weekend workshop will respond to the rich diversity of native flora on display. The workshop will begin on Saturday morning with an introduction to landscape art, materials and techniques, before heading for the trees with paper and charcoal in hand for an immersive weekend of landscape drawing.

      Suitable for all levels, this course is taught by Canberra based artist Genevieve Swifte who’s practice has taken her from the coastline of NSW to the fjords and glaciers of the High Arctic and the Andes of Patagonia.


    More information Close
  • Exhibitions at the Visitors Centre

    Exhibitions in the Visitor Centre Gallery aim to provide enjoyment for visitors through a broad program of display material including fine art, craft, photography, sculpture and other creative forms.


    Learn about upcoming exhibitions
  • Friday Storytime for Preschoolers

    First Friday of month from 10 to 11 am (different theme each month)

    Have fun with stories, songs, rhymes and creative activities brought to life by the ACT Storytellers. An engaging treat for pre-school children, parents and carers. $5 per child – No bookings required.





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  • Thursday Talks

    Thursday lunchtimes from 2 Feb to 23 Nov 2017

    Learn about Australian native plants and other aspects of the natural world.

    Join us for Thursday Talks at lunchtime.

    • 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

      2017 Talks

      1 June - Birds and plants in subtropical NSW

      Dr Brian Hawkins 

      Learn about the relationship between birds and their food plants in the forests of the Dorrigo-Bellingen-Coffs Harbour area. Brian, now a scientist with Bush Blitz in Canberra, shares insights from his earlier work as an ecologist in Northern NSW. 

      8 June - Recent results of the effects of fire on grassland plants and animals

      Dr Brett Howland

      Brett will describe his work on natural resource management programs. Over the last seven years he has been involved in the implementation of a kangaroo monitoring program using pellet counts; the creation of an ACT vegetation map; and the establishment of a research monitoring program looking at the effects of kangaroo grazing on reptiles and grass.

      15 June - A walk through some great gardens

      Ben Walcott 

      Ben will walk us through some gardens in Britain, Europe and other countries, with differing styles and plant choices.

      22 June - A necessary weevil: the pollination biology and evolution of cycads

      Dr Rolf Oberprieler and Dr Thomas Wallenius 

      Of the seven groups of weevils associated with cycads in the world, four have evolved exclusive pollination mutualisms with their hosts, depending on cycad cones for breeding while the cycads depend on them for pollination. The physiology of the cycad cones is tightly correlated with the behaviour of the weevils, in that the cones release specific odours and heat up in the evening to both attract and repel the weevils.

      Rolf will talk to the broad evolutionary relationship between weevils and cycads, and Thomas will place this in the Australian context.

      29 June - Alive with the songlines! Following in the footsteps of the Seven Sisters

      Professor Margo Neale 

      Get exclusive background on the Seven Sisters’ rock art, the next major exhibition of National Museum of Australia opening in September. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how this exhibition was put together by the curatorial team in collaboration with Aboriginal communities, and why it is considered a pioneering model where communities work with Museums rather than how Museums work with communities. Margo is Senior Indigenous Curator, National Museum of Australia.

      6 July - Charles Darwin in Galapagos and Australia

      Dr Sue Serjeantson AO 

      Go on an exploration of Darwin’s diaries from the ‘Voyage of the Beagle’ that revealed Nature’s Grand Plan from Sue, Chair of the Thursday Talks committee.

      13 July - How are Australian birds affected by climate change?

      Dr Janet Gardner 

      Discover how the use of time-series available through museum collections and bird-banding, are used to explore the dynamics of natural bird populations. This talk will focus on how Australian birds are affected by our changing climate and will provide insights into the mechanisms that are driving change. Janet is a Research Fellow at ANU.

      20 July - To breed or not to breed? How the European wasp queen suppresses her daughters’ reproduction

      Dr Philip Spradbery

      Philip, a research entomologist, has been asking himself this question for twenty years.

      27 July - Australian trees and their botanists

      Dr John Turnbull

      Hear about the association of Australian trees with overseas botanists and their amazing stories encompassing adventure, mystery, sex and even murder. John is a retired CSIRO scientist and volunteer guide at the Gardens.

      3 August - History of Australian Plant Breeding

      Angus Stewart

      Learn about the history of Australian plant breeding and Angus’ personal experience in breeding iconic kangaroo paws. Angus is an expert in Australian native plants and media personality.

      10 August - News from the National Seedbank: from coast to desert

      Dr Lydia Guja

      Find out about the work of the National Seedbank with Parks Australia, from Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands in the west to Norfolk Island in the east, to Uluru-Kata Tjuta in between. Lydia is manager of the National Seedbank at the Gardens. 

      Queries to sue.serjeantson@bigpond.com


    Discover upcoming Thursday Talks Close
  • Grandparents Playgroup

    Thursdays from 10.00 am – 11.30 am in the Gardens

    Venue: Banks Building – Spaces limited

    For playgroup membership enquiries email: gpgcanberra@gmail.com

  • Flowers, Fruit and Foliage

    Pick up a leaflet at the Visitor Centre and follow the numbered posts to explore a selection of our plants, many are flowering now. Distance and time varies from week to week.


    See what's in flower
  • Flora Explorer Tours

    Sat, Sun and public holidays at 10.30 am and 1.30 pm

    Discover the Gardens in relaxing style with a 45 min guided tour aboard our 13-seater electric bus.


    • Where: Tours begin outside the Visitor Centre.

      Cost: $6.00 adult – $3.00 child under 16 and concession – Children under three ride free.

      Purchase tickets: At the Botanical Bookshop in the Visitor Centre – Booking information 6257 3302.


    Learn more about Flora Explorer Close
  • Free Guided Walks

    Meet a volunteer guide at the Visitor Centre for a free one-hour tour of the Gardens. Tours depart daily at 11.00 am and 2.00 pm.

  • News from the Gardens

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