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.

  • Indigenous Plant Use Walks – Canberra and Region Heritage Festival

    Wednesdays 19, 26 April and 3 May 10.30am – 12.30pm

    Join a Ranger and enjoy an easy walk along our Aboriginal Plant Use Trail. You will discover how Indigenous people from across Australia use plants for food and medicine, to make tools and weapons, and for ceremonial practice. This is a great activity for the whole family. Engage your senses!


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  • Traditional Weaving Workshops – Canberra and Region Heritage Festival

    Th 20th, Sat 22nd, Sun 30th April and Sat 6 May, 10 am – 3.30 pm

    Enjoy a hands-on workshop which inspires a connection to Aboriginal culture and learn techniques of the age old art of traditional weaving.


    Read more about Traditional Weaving Workshops Close
  • Lessons on Trees – Drawing in the landscape workshops

    22-23 April; 29-30 April (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 of, in these 2 day workshops.


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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. Learn more about its plants and animals.

    30 April: Mushrooms, moulds and more

    Learn about the amazing role fungi play in our environment as well as some basic identification techniques, ad make your own spore print. 

    • 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

      Purchase tickets (advanced bookings required)

      April – Mushrooms, moulds and more part 1: Fungi fun

      May – Mushrooms, moulds and more part 2: Mosses, liverworts and hornworts

      June – Indigenous plant use

      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
  • Holiday Bilby Treasure Hunt

    8 – 25 April daily; 8.30am – 4.30pm

    Follow the clues on this special holiday trail through the Gardens and help Bilby find her lost treasure. Parents, pick up a map in the Visitor Centre so you don’t lose your way suitable for families. 
  • 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.





    Read about monthly story themes Close
  • 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


    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

    Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays – 10.30 am & 1.30 pm.

    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. 

      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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