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“Very serene...very lovely...very worthwhile”

Australian National Botanic Gardens
Ranked #14 of 218 things to do in Canberra
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The national collection of Australian native plants; inspiring, informing and connecting people with the Australian flora.
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
“Very serene...very lovely...very worthwhile”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

It's free to go into the Botanic Gardens aside from a very small charge for parking. This is a place it's easy to spend a few hours wandering around admiring the lovely flora displayed educationally throughout the entire gardens. You wouldn't realise you are in the middle of a city and I particularly enjoyed the Rainforest Gardens, the Rockpool and the Eucalypt displays. I can also highly recommend the caramel thickshake at the restaurant. There are alos quite a few items at the giftshop you are unlikely to find elsewhere. However, the best part about being in the gardens is that it is lovely and peaceful. Perfect for a nap under a shady tree or perhaps a relaxing picnic with family and friends. We noted they have concerts there on the weekend during January which are always and enjoyable way to spend some time. Thoroughly recommended.

Visited January 2013
Thank Loekie_Lou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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547 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
280 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“A truly tranquil, restful place”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

It costs nothing to attend the Botanic Gardens aside from a few dollars for parking but it is an experience with real value. The gardens are divided into numerous sections including rainforest, eucalypts and many other lovely spaces. There is a restaurant that serves the best thickshakes I have ever had and the entire place is an oasis of tranquility with many places to absorb nature at it's best. If you feel like a nap then this is the place to take your repose in an undisturbed setting. The plants are lovely, the stories about them well explained on all the information boards and the staff very friendly and informative. This is very thoroughly recommended.

Visited January 2013
Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
87 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Nice (Native) Gardens. Rubbish cafe”
Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

Important thing to note is that the vast majority of the gardens are native flora - and it's a hot dry country. So if you're thinking "Botanic gardens" as you're likely to find in most of the capital cities crammed with lush grass and European trees then this might not be for you. The walks are pleasant and interesting - the rain forest section has great elevated board walks and some welcome shade if its a hot day. The cafe is rubbish. The queue started outside the door, the food was poor - particularly for the price, they were under staffed and there could be more shade outside. Half the tables had no umbrellas and were seldom used as it was 35 and not pleasant to sit in for anytime with kids without shade. In summary - gardens good. Skip the cafe unless you're a sucker for punishment or have very low expectations for food quality

1 Thank Monkey_Kelv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great venue but could be so much better!”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

The gardens are magnificent, but I agree with another reviewer that the cafe needs some work!
I booked for my daughter's birthday lunch and asked for a table for 4 adults and 2 children. We were seated in the middle of the cafe, right near the counter where people lined up to order their lunch - not an ideal location when there are two young active children to be considered! When I saw the location of the table, I mentioned to the member of staff that we also had a pram for the baby and it was in the way of other patrons. She said, 'you'll be OK' and just dismissed my request for somewhere more suitable. We weren't 'OK' and had to place the pram against another table - fortunately the people occupying that table were most obliging and understood our problem. The meal was pleasant enough, but the cafe was seriously understaffed - I felt for the staff who were literally 'run off their feet'.
My 3 year old grandson asked to go to the bathroom and when he returned he said that it was very dirty. My son-in-law concurred - and I feel that, for a wonderful attraction such as the Botanical Gardens, clean restrooms should be a priority.
Another suggestion for the Cafe - install larger umbrellas! The outside area was under-utilised because it was a hot day and there was very little shade. The umbrellas being used at the moment are very small and ineffective!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Marg14Canberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackburn, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Was expecting more beautiful flowers compared to other gardens”
Reviewed December 8, 2012 via mobile

Keep and eye out for lizards ! There are plenty and good for taking shots, a lot if then like to pose :)

Cafe is nice , not as many pretty flowers and I was hoping to see. Lizards and butterflies were the highlights of the garden

Thank Kalid A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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