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.

  • Sticky and Maratus: Film Night – National Science Week Event

    Thursday 17 August; 6.30 – 8.00 pm

    Screening of two award winning Australian short films: ‘Sticky’ is an animated film telling the story of a remarkable stick insect, exiled from the tropical paradise where they evolved, a tiny population survived under a single windswept bush – the Lord Howe Island Phasmid. AND ‘Maratus’, a documystery. When a garbage collector took a photo of a tiny colourful spider he had no idea how it would change his life.

    • Cost: $10 adult; $5 children (17 and under)

      Purchase tickets

      Following the films, Stuart Harris, who has discovered several new species of peacock spiders. Stuart Harris will talk to the audience and answer questions to conclude the night.

      Maratus –WINNER – BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY, Antenna Documentary Film Festival 2015
      WINNER - AUDIENCE AWARD, Stronger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival 2015
      BEST FILM & PEOPLE’S CHOICE - Scinema International Documentary Film Festival. Directed by Simon Cunich


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  • QuestaGame Challenge – Bushland Nature Walk for National Science Week

    Take a guided walk along the Bushland Nature Walk, learn about plants along the trail and complete the QuestaGame (mobile app) as part of the Great Biodiversity Challenge.


    Booking information Close
  • Seed Experiment Workshop – National Science Week Event

    Sunday 13 August or Sunday 20 August; 10.30 – 11.30 am

    Conduct a scientific experiment to test different treatments on seed from a native Acacia and discover the special conditions some seeds need to sprout. After the session, take your specimens home and watch them grow.

    • Cost: $15. Suitable for Adults and children over 5 years. Bookings essential.

      Book Sunday 13 August

      Book Sunday 20 August

      Not all seeds germinate easily. Some need special physical or chemical conditions so that the seed only germinate at the best time to grow.

      Take photos and share your findings with us on Facebook.

      Bookings close the day before the event.


    Booking information Close
  • Close to Nature Photowalk

    Saturday 19 August; 2.00 – 3.30 pm

    Begin your photographic exploration of the natural world in the Gardens and embrace close-up or macro photography. Join this introductory course to learn about the basics of macro photography in nature.

    • Cost: $19 (ticket includes a $10 donation to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance)

      1/2 hour talk followed by 1 hour guided walk.

      Book on the World Photo Day website

      Suitable for beginners and families. Even if you have never done any close-up work before, there will be something for you to see and photograph in the Gardens.

      Meet in the Gardens Theatrette for the workshop followed by the photowalk in the Gardens

      What to Bring

      A camera. This could be your smart phone or any camera that you have. A phone camera can be really good because you can get in close to your subject. Please make sure that you know how to use whatever camera you have as we will assume that you at least know which button to press to get an image!

      Something to hold the camera steady: When you are taking close-ups or macro shots, getting the focus right is key. It is a lot easier to do this if you can hold your camera steady. Some sort of support such as a tripod can be a big help.

      Appropriate clothing: A hat, sunscreen, good shoes – the photowalk will be in the gardens so be prepared to be outside.

      A keen eye: be prepared to be on the lookout for small details and items of interest in the ordinary and the unusual.

      Workshop Outline

      Focus: Getting the focus right is one of the most important aspects of successful closeup photography. Deciding where and how to focus is the key to creating interesting images.

      Exposure: All photography is about the light but when you get up close to things getting enough light can be tricky. We’ll talk about some of the ways to get light into your close-ups.

      Composition and Mood: Successful images tell a story so we’ll talk about some ways to do this.

      We look forward to seeing you in the Australian National Botanic Gardens on World Photo Day. Please note that there is a charge to park in the carpark at the gardens.

      Photo Competition: 5 Extra Entries

      Participating in this event will give you an additional 5 entries into the Our City: Canberra photo competition, a value of USD $9.95.


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  • Eco Art Therapy Workshops for Women

    Saturdays 5 August & 2 September, 9.30 am – 4.00 pm; & Tuesdays 15 August & 19 September, 10.30 am - 2.30 pm

    Connect with other women, immersed in nature, creativity and conversation through mindful making with materials reclaimed from nature. Learn healing processes and transformational techniques to nurture your inner nature.

    • Saturday sessions cost: $95

      Tuesday sessions cost: $65

      Bookings email jacntrees@gmail.com or call 0497 491 791


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  • Paint an Acacia in Watercolour - with botanical artist Cheryl Hodges

    Wednesday 6 September, 9.30am - 4.00pm

    Create a realistic painting of a spring flowering Acacia specimen from the Gardens. Observe and draw the plant, discuss composition, tone and form, then achieve detail with dry-brush work in this workshop. Beginner to intermediate level.

    • Cost: $100 – bookings essential

      Further information and bookings contact Cheryl

      Ph: 0402 436 723 or email: hodgespc@bigpond.com


      Venue:  Banks Building, Australian National Botanic Gardens


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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.

    27 August: Build Your Own Bee Hotel

    Join us for a pollinator investigation and learn about the importance of bees. Make your own Bee Hotel to bring pollinators to your garden. Additional material charge per Bee Hotel. Families may want to make one together. 

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

      Cost:  $15 for 1 hour programs; $20 for 1 1/2 hour programs
      *Additional costs for materials apply for selected sessions  

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

      Purchase tickets (advanced bookings required)

      August – Build Your Own Bee Hotel (1 1/2 hours) *

      September – Spotlighting adventure (evening session)*

      October – Wake up with the birds (early morning session)*

      November – Our furry friends

      December – Insects in the Gardens


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  • 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


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  • 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.


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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.





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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

      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.

      17 August - Out of the Woods

      Max Bourke AM

      Max, agricultural scientist and volunteer, will be talking about the early history of tree planting in Canberra and the planters themselves: Charles Weston, Max Jacobs and Lindsay Prior.

      24 August - The woman who mapped the oceans

      Dr Liz Truswell

      Liz, Visiting Fellow at ANU and practising artist, will describe how geologist/cartographer Marie Tharp, working with the artist Heinrich Berann, produced maps of the global sea floor that contributed significantly to the development of plate tectonics.

      31 August - How the marbled gecko helps science reconnect fragmented farm landscapes

      Geoffrey Kay

      Geoff, research ecologist at the Fenner School, ANU, examines how the quality of farming landscapes influence the movements of small ground-dwelling fauna, like reptiles.

      7 September - Wild Flowers of South Australia – the beautiful botanical illustrations of Fanny Elizabeth de Mole

      Catriona Donnelly

      Catriona, a curator at National Museum of Australia, will explore the life and art of Fanny de Mole, one of a select group of colonial women botanical illustrators, in de Mole’s “Wild Flowers of South Australia” (1861).

      14 September - The Wide Black Land: reflections on the Carwoola bushfires

      Martin Butterfield

      With his lifetime interest in birds, Martin will reflect on the responses to these fires by the vegetation, birds, animals and invertebrates in his garden and elsewhere as his property gradually recovers.

      21 September - Can we save Swift Parrots from their introduced predators?

      Professor Rob Heinsohn

      Rob, Professor of Evolutionary and Conservation Biology at the ANU, will outline the impact of introduced sugar gliders on nesting Swift Parrots in Tasmania, and ponder the long-term future of these threatened birds.

      28 September - Kakadu – collecting, sweat and tears

      Tom North

      Tom North is Curator of the National Seed Bank. He will talk about trips to Kakadu at various times of the year in order to capture as much as possible the seasonal variance in fruiting and masting events for target species.

      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

    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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