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.

  • Snakes Alive 2017

    10 am to 4 pm daily from 16 to 22 Jan. Talks and animal feedings at 11 am, 2 pm and 3 pm

    Snakes Alive is a great opportunity to see and learn about many of Australia’s reptiles and frogs. 


    • See venomous snakes, pythons, dragons, goannas, geckos, large skinks, legless lizards, turtles tree frogs and other frogs.

      Hold and take selfies with an animal and impress your friends on Facebook.

      Talks plus animal feeding three times daily: 11 am, 2 pm and 3 pm.

      Great value at $6 adult, $5 concession and $3 student/children – with proceeds to local research projects. Tickets at the door, or pre-book online at www.actha.org.au

      General inquiries: 0427 788 304


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  • Clay Play Workshops

    Adults – Thurs 16 Feb, 10 am; Families – Sat 18 Feb, 10 am and 12 noon

    A fun, informative, hands-on workshop to share the wonder of colour in polymer clay.



    More information Close
  • Glass Artists’ Talks

    2 pm, Sun 18th Dec (Debra Jurss) and 2 pm, 22 Jan (Christine Atkins)

    Local glass artists Debra Jurss and Chritine Atkins, will discuss their work on display in the Gardens Build Up; Break Down exhibition (Wed 14 Dec – Sun 5 Feb), in conjunction with the 2017 Ausglass Conference.

  • Summer Sounds

    5.30pm to 7.30pm, Sat and Sun, 28 Jan to 4 Feb

    Supported by ICON Water

    As the sun goes down over the Gardens, enjoy live music, delicious food and drink, socialising and dancing on the picturesque Eucalypt Lawn.

    • This year’s program offers a double act of entertainment for each concert.


      Saturday 28 January – Jazz ‘n’ Jive!

      with the Funky Fedoras and Good Gosh


      Sunday 29 January – World Sounds!

      with Dubba Rukki and Los Chavos


      Saturday 4 February – Family Frolic!

      with children’s rock band Mr Tim & the Fuzzy Elbows and Pablo’s 3D Stunt Show


      Sunday 5 February – Big Band Beats!

      with the Royal Military Band of Duntroon and Jumptown Swing Dance


      General entry $5, concession $2 adults & children 12 years and under free.

      Enjoy the onsite catering from our street stalls or bring your own picnic hamper.

      A complimentary assistance vehicle will operate from the car park areas to the Eucalypt Lawn. This service will operate both ways from 4.30pm and concludes at 8pm.


      Check our Facebook and Twitter pages for event updates and weather cancellations. 

      Summer Sounds is a smoke-free event.


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  • Traditional Weaving Workshops

    Tuesday 10 Jan and Sunday 22 Jan, 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.

    • All materials tuition and morning/afternoon tea included. Presented by Culture on the Move.

      Cost: $160/adult – suitable for 12 years and over

      Bookings essential: email cultureonthemove@gmail.com 


    Read more about Traditional Weaving Workshops 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

    • 2017 Monthly Themes

      To be advised.


    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. 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 highlights 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.


    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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