The National Arboretum Canberra features 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world. Many of the trees are still young but two of the forests are nearly 100 hundred years old. Over 44,000 trees from over 100 countries are growing across the huge 250 hectare (618 acre) site, making it one of the world’s largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees.
Prior to the 2001 and 2003 Canberra bushfires, the Arboretum site was mostly covered in pine plantations (Pinus radiata).
Following the devastating 2003 Canberra bushfires, the Australian Capital Territory Government consulted extensively with the community and experts about the best use of the large areas of land occupied by burnt-out pine plantations, some of which were very close to Canberra.
The proposal for a national arboretum also connected with Walter Burley Griffin’s original plan for Canberra, which included a continental arboretum at the western end of the lake.
A national design competition for the new arboretum was launched in September 2004 and the winners were announced in 2005 – Taylor Cullity Lethlean Landscape Architects and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects with their ‘100 Forests and 100 Gardens’ joint proposal.
The ‘100 Forests and 100 Gardens’ proposal focused on the establishment of 100 forests of rare, threatened and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world, and provided the foundation for a master plan for the National Arboretum Canberra, which has been progressively implemented since 2005.
In addition to being one of the capital’s most popular and loved tourist attractions, the National Arboretum is also one of Canberra’s leading function and wedding venues.
Ginger Catering has exclusive operations at the recently opened National Arboretum Canberra. This venue offers a number of facilities including function spaces, cafe and restaurant services. Located just 6km from the city centre, the Arboretum has stunning panoramic views of the city and offers guests a variety of unique indoor and outdoor event spaces to choose from.