While we didn’t actually do a day trip to Canberra, it is physically possible to do – we just happened to be staying there with family and went to the Arboretum for a look around (and coffee of course).
The Arboretum was established after devastating bushfires destroyed the pine plantations along the western shore of Lake Burley Griffin in 2003. It was opened to the public in February 2013, as part of the year of celebrations to mark Canberra’s 100th birthday.
It was a cool, windy Canberra autumn day and up on the top of the hill it is very exposed until some of the trees grow up around the Village Centre complex. The Village Centre is the visitor’s centre, housing displays, a gift shop, cafe, licensed restaurant and the very amazing Pod Playground.
(We ended up spending quite a bit of time in the playground as after leaving the Arboretum in the morning, I posted photos to Facebook and a Canberra friend commented that she was on her way there with her young children to meet some mutual friends and would we like to go back and catch up…..?)
This hub at the top of the hill is also the main viewing point for the stunning views over Lake Burley Griffin and Canberra. In autumn, this is particularly spectacular as many of the leaves are changing colour.
There is a beautiful bonsai collection housed in a purpose built gallery:
There’s many layers to the National Arboretum, it is definitely worth a visit if you are in Canberra and may even be worth a trip to Canberra just to see it. There is sculpture, walking paths, views and trees. It is literally a living treasure and is going to develop and change over the years ahead.