Community festival to celebrate Arboretum opening

Released 29/01/2013

ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, is inviting the community to attend the opening festival for Canberra's newest attraction – the National Arboretum Canberra – on Saturday 2 February 2013 from 10 am to 3 pm.

"The festival will be a fantastic opportunity for Canberrans and visitors alike to celebrate the opening of the National Arboretum, as well as take part in what is the first major event of Canberra's Centenary year" the Chief Minister said.

"The opening of the Arboretum is the realisation of many years of work to transform the site, which emerged from the ashes of the devastating Canberra bushfires, to be transformed into a place of beauty, tranquillity, recreation, research and learning."

People can enjoy a wide range of activities on the day. These include:

  • walking trails through rare and symbolic forests
  • hands-on workshops for all ages including art activities and children's amusements
  • guided tours by the Friends of the National Arboretum and members of the Southern Tablelands Ecosystem Park
  • sustainable garden advice from ACTEW Water at The Canberra Discovery Garden
  • special talks by those involved in the Arboretum project including landscape architect Chris Johnstone and botanical consultant Mark Richardson.

Live music will keep people entertained throughout the day and kids will have the opportunity to fly kites in the outdoor amphitheatre.

The Chief Minister reminded people that there will be no parking available on site except for holders of a disability parking permit, event staff and volunteers. The best way to attend the opening festival is to utilise the free chartered Arboretum shuttle bus services which will operate from Canberra Stadium, Civic Bus Station, the bus stop servicing the Waldorf Apartments in Civic, the Federal Treasury building on Langton Crescent in Parkes, Stromlo Forest Park and Woden Bus Station.

"The opening festival will also be the first opportunity for many people to visit the beautiful new light-filled Village Centre, which is an inspirational space to find out about the Arboretum.

"A series of interactive and static displays reveal the stories, people, wildlife and science of the Arboretum's forests. With about 40,000 trees planted across 100 forests on the 250 hectare site, there is much to discover. The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia will also be officially opened at the festival.

I would like to thank the many people, volunteers, contractors, staff and organisations involved in the Arboretum since its inception, as well as the Australian Government for its generous financial contribution," the Chief Minister concluded.

The National Arboretum Canberra will be open seven days a week beginning Sunday 3 February 2013 from 6 am to 8.30 pm during daylight savings and 7 am to 5.30 pm during non-daylight savings. The Village Centre will be open seven days a week (except Christmas Day) from 9 am to 4 pm.

For more information visit or call 13 22 81.

- Statement ends -

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