I spent a lovely weekend in Canberra in late January. As a regular visitor I look for different things to do apart from the usual tourist spots. This time I focussed on the outdoors. The National Botanical Gardens are entirely Australian natives (with the exception of a single tulip in honour of Floriade!) and the areas range from Tasmanian wilderness rainforest to the central Australia red centre garden. The resident lizards are fun too.
The National Arboretum is relatively new – only two years open to the public (and its free as is the Botanical Gardens) but the plantings have been going on for a few years prior. One hundred gardens of 1000 trees from all over the world have been planted and visiting dignitaries now plant their trees in the relevant area. In ten years this will be quite spectacular and the views from Dairy Hill Farm towards Canberra now are worth the visit.
The bonsai area at the Arboretum is fascinating and the trees are seasonal. It is amazing to see full sized banksia flowers on a bonsai sized tree!
Canberra holds many wonder and lots of things to do, so make it a place to visit sooner rather than later.