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.

  • Luminous Botanicus III – Enlighten

    Thursdays and Fridays 2, 3, 9 & 10 March, 7.30pm – 10.00pm*

    Experience the mystique of the Gardens after dark and immerse yourself in our ‘lit’ natural world as you stroll an easy 1.4km loop from rainforest to Red Centre. Live music performances, along with amazing new lighting technology are matched to diverse and beautiful Australian landscapes. 


    • Cost: Adult $26 / Concession $21**

      A choir in the rainforest to flames in the Red Centre, with special performances by Veronica’s Boyfriend and Mr Michael 2 & 3 March; and No Hausfrau and Leonard Weiss with Fiona Dawes 9 & 10 March.

      Grab a bite to eat under the eucalypts – includes complimentary beverage or desert – with bar facilities, wood fired pizzas and cranky rolls available for purchase.

      Buy your ticket now


      * Please note that the gates to the Gardens free onsite parking open from 7:30pm with staggered entry to *Luminous Botanicus III from 8pm.*

      ** For this event, a one off-service & handling fee from $3.95 per transaction applies on all purchases (Ticketek). All ticket/item prices include GST, if applicable, and are quoted in AU$. Ticket orders purchased by credit/debit card are subject to credit/debit card approval and customer account verification.


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  • Junior Ranger Program

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

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

    26 February – Pond dipping: Explore the Gardens ponds and take a closer look into the extraordinary miniature world of freshwater ecosystems.

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

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

      Purchase tickets (advanced bookings required)

      February – Pond dipping

      March – Eucalypts

      April – Cryptic cryptogams part 1: Fungi fun

      May – Cryptic cryptogams part 2: Mosses, liverworts and hornworts 

      June – Indigenous plant use

      July – Nature treasure hunt

      August – BYO Bee Hotel

      September – Spotlighting adventure (evening session)

      October – Breakfast with the birds (early morning session)

      November – Our furry friends

      December – Insects in the Gardens


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  • Native Plant Sale presented by the Australian Native Plant Society

    Saturday 18 March – 8.30am - 1.30pm

    Find the best range of Australian plants in Canberra, including many local species. Thousands of plants to choose from. Come early and bring a bag or box for your purchases. 

    • With over 50 years of experience growing Australian plants in the Canberra region, ANPS Canberra specialises in providing well labelled, good quality, competitively priced plants which are ideal for new and established gardens. 

      Located in the Gardens southern car-park. Gates open at 8.30am.

      Plant lists will be available before the sale from the ANPS website


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  • Australian Plants as Bonsai Exhibition

    25 - 26 February, 9.30am – 4.30pm; Demonstrations 2pm

    Over 30 bonsai on display showcasing the breadth and diversity of the use of Australian plants in the art of bonsai. Featuring bonsai by Canberra-based artists as well as some interstate artists.

    The exhibition also includes some bonsai from the personal collections of artists who are currently represented at the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia.

    • Demonstrations will help you learn about growing and styling Australian plants as bonsai, each day at 2pm.

      Cost:  $5.00 for Adults, $3.00 for Concession Card holders (including students). Children under 12 free.

      Join guided walks through the Gardens to visit full-sized versions of species represented in the exhibition – departing from the Crosbie Morrison Building at 12pm daily. Groups will be restricted to 15 participants.

      You can also vote for your favourite bonsai and buy tickets in the raffle, with a choice of prizes including an Australian native bonsai and a book.


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  • 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


      2017 Monthly Themes

      To be advised.


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  • Thursday Talks

    Thursday lunchtimes from 2 Feb to 23 Nov 2017

    Are you interested in the environment? Would you like to learn more 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

      2 February – From Gallipoli Oaks collected by John Monash to the Crop Trust and Svalbard Vault: collecting seeds matters more than ever

      Tim Fischer AC

      Tim Fischer, Vice-Chair of the Global Crop Diversity Trust since 2012 (with overview of the seed vault in North Norway), will link the acorns of Gallipoli, sent by Monash to his wife, with the philosophy of seed-banking today.


      9 February – Walking the Blooming Simpson

      Dr Rosemary Purdie

      In July-August 2016 Rosemary spent 3 weeks on a camel-supported walk in the central Simpson Desert in Qld and NT, collecting plants. Following rain in the preceding months, the desert was carpeted in wildflowers. Rosemary will talk about the trip, focusing on the landscapes traversed, the species in flower, and daily life travelling with camels.


      16 February – One flew over the cuckoo’s nest: the amazing arms race between brood parasites and hosts

      Dr Illiana Medina

      Avian brood parasites are birds that must lay their eggs in the nests of other species to reproduce. There are around 100 species of obligate brood parasites in the world and hundreds of hosts, hence, brood parasitism is a very ubiquitous interaction for birds. The coevolution between brood parasites and their hosts has led to the evolution of complex defences in hosts and many different tricks in brood parasites to parasitise their victims.


      23 February – Taking a closer look: the fascinating lives of our local butterflies

      Dr Suzi Bond

      Discover the wonderful variety of butterflies to be found in the ACT, from common butterflies encountered in gardens through to cryptic species restricted to nature reserves. Suzi will be happy to sign copies of her new field guide after the talk.


      2 March – Louisa Atkinson: A voice from the country

      Dr Penny Olsen

      Louisa Atkinson (1834–1872) was writer and naturalist who lived near Berrima and collected as far afield as the Canberra region. A frail but independent young woman, at 19 she became Australia’s first woman natural history journalist and, not long after, the first Australian-born woman novelist. She began illustrations for a book on Australian natural history. The initial plates were sent to Germany for publication. However, war intervened and the plates were lost.


      9 March – Australian Orchids

      Dr Mark Clements

      Mark, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, will describe some of the 1300 species of Australian native orchids that he has collected and curated.

      Dr Mark Clements’ career spans four decades and in that time he has discovered about 250 new species of Australian orchids and curated tens of thousands of specimens. In 2016 Mark was awarded the prestigious Westonbirt Orchid Medal from the Royal Horticulture Society.


      16 March – Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks

      Deirdre Slattery

      Deirdre will celebrate National Parks Week by talking about ‘Baldur Byles: A forester above the tree line.’

      I have chosen to tell you about Byles (1904-75) because he was one of my unsung heroes of Kosciusko National Park as we know it today. Although he was a forester, his lasting memorial is his work for the snow country, where he was active in both science and administration from 1932 to 1967.


      23 March – The Kimberleys: wet and dry season expeditions in search of new plant species

      Dr Russell Barrett

      Russell, an experienced taxonomist and photographer, will reflect on the place of the Kimberleys in the unfolding story of Australia’s unique flora.

      Dr Russell Barrett grew up in the Kimberleys and his fascination with this vast area of gorges and desiccated sandstone escarpments has endured. Russell worked as a Research Botanist with the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority in Perth prior to moving to the Australian National Herbarium in Canberra. He is currently located with the ABRS.


      30 March – Venezuela, an extraordinary natural province

      Dr Francisco Encinas-Viso

      Learn about the stunningly diverse biodiversity of Venezuela.

      After undergraduate study in his homeland, Francisco did postgraduate studies culminating in a PhD in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, followed by post-doctoral research at CSIRO in Canberra where he continues to work on Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics.


      6 April – Adventures with Rosie

      Matthew Higgins

      Rosenberg’s Monitor is a large goanna that is rarely seen in the ACT. It is listed as a threatened species in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. This presentation looks at these beautiful reptiles in an ACT context, focusing on a project that recorded key activities of the monitors on Mt Ainslie in central Canberra.


      Queries to sue.serjeantson@bigpond.com


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  • 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

    Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays – 10.30 am & 1.30 pm. Additional tours daily at 10.30 am during school holidays – 24 Dec to 29 Jan (closed Christmas day)

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


    • When: Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays – 10.30 am & 1.30 pm. Midweek daily through 29 January – 10.30am.

      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.


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  • 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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