Following the devastation of the 2003 Canberra bushfires, where almost 70% of the ACT’s pastures, pine forest plantations and nature parks were severely damaged, the ACT Government held an Australia-wide competition for the design of a national arboretum and gardens, as part of the bushfire recovery program.
Designed to not only conserve threatened species of tree and plants, the National Arboretum is a valuable resource for education and research as well as a place for community recreation and relaxation.
Developed on a 250-hectare site in the Greenhills Forest, the site is just six kilometres from the Canberra CBD and boasts spectacular views across Lake Burleigh Griffin. The site also incorporates the existing stand of 5,000 Himalayan Cedar trees and the 80-year-old Cork Oak plantation.
Canberra’s National Arboretum will be home to various types of threatened and symbolic tree species from around the world and then, over the longer term, a mosaic of permanent gardens, a bonsai pavilion, artworks, café/restaurant and a reflective pavilion.