21 July 2020


Take a walk in the fresh air and wide-open spaces!

ANBG map detailA reminder that the Australian National Botanic Gardens has re-opened to Visitors.

To assist with physical distancing requirements the walking paths are currently one-way so please follow the signs and arrows. Sanitising stations have been placed around the Gardens for visitors’ convenience.

The Visitor Centre, Botanical Bookshop and Jindii Eco Spa are open. Pollen café is open for both take away and dining-in from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. Bookings are essential for dining-in. Capacity limits apply to these venues.

The Who Did That? children’s trail, the Paperbark Treehouse, and the new Banksia Garden are also now open. However, parts of the Rainforest Gully, and some sheltered areas and on-site facilities remain closed.

Some updates from the staff – come and see the changes to your Gardens

From the Executive Director, Dr Judy West

I am sure many of you will have heard the recent announcement of the infrastructure investment in Parks Australia and mention of the ANBG … and you’d like to know more.

On Sunday 12 July 2020 the Australian Government announced a $233 million investment into Parks Australia to deliver infrastructure upgrades across Commonwealth national parks and the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The funding allocated to the Gardens will provide for the development of the Horticulture Centre (artist impression attached) adjoining the new National Seedbank and incorporating the two workshop depots, in the Northern Precinct. It will also support firefighting infrastructure such as the extension of the boundary fire suppression system, a site-wide evacuation warning system and associated infrastructure developments.
Impression of the new Horticultural Centre

Together with funding already provided for the Ian Potter National Conservatory and the new National Seed Bank, the Gardens has received record funding for major capital works and this will allow for the continued implementation of our Masterplan. We look forward to providing further information on timing of the new developments in the near future.

At such a disruptive period in our lives it is wonderful to have some good news and to be able to fulfil key elements of our strategic planning for the ANBG.

A summary of other points:

  • After the reopening of the Gardens in May, we are happy to see a steady increase in visitors returning to the Gardens, recording 31,885 visitors in June which is an equivalent number for this time last year.
  • ANBG Volunteers will have the opportunity to return to work from August 2020. Volunteer Supervisors for each volunteer program are working on COVID-19 Safety Plans to ensure the safety of volunteers, visitors and staff. All volunteers will need to sign their Volunteer Agreement Form and have a special COVID safe induction/training session before they can recommence.
  • The majority of staff are now back in their ANBG office, with some splitting their days between home and on site.
  • The tender for the new National Seed Bank has been finalised and the Architect has been selected to design the new facility.  We will make this announcement soon and quickly move into the design phase.
  • After considerable time working on specifications, we are currently finalising the tender for the builder to construct the Ian Potter National Conservatory. Construction is planned to commence in November, and we will provide more details when the builder is appointed.
  • The Banksia Garden is nearing completion with the interpretation signs installed on Thursday 16 July and the dry-stone wall to be completed by the end of July. The garden is now open for people to wander through; and the main plant out will now be completed in Spring.
  • The Banks Building has undergone major refurbishments and is looking spectacular (see below). We have decided to revert to the original name, the Banksia Centre Education and Learning, and to provide new names for the rooms in the building:
    • Celia Rosser Room (previously the ‘Carpet room’)
    • Daniel Solander Studio (previously the ‘Glasshouse room’).
Banksia Centre interiors
  • The Crosbie Morrison building has also seen some amazing refurbishments with new flooring, upgrades to all bathrooms and a new kitchen. We will be taking bookings from 1 August with a reduction in room capacities and with COVID-19 safety procedures in place.
  • The self-guided Flowers, Fruit & Foliage (FFF) walk has returned and is now available online and at the Visitor Centre. Thanks to Ben and Ros Walcott for producing the trail each fortnight.
  • A newly branded and updated Visitor Guide and Map is now available at the Visitor Centre  - it’s quite attractive and refreshing.
  • Four historical panels will soon be placed around the Gardens – Rock Garden, Education Lawn, Rainforest Gully and Red Centre Garden – as part of a 50th Anniversary outdoor ‘Reflections’ exhibition.
  • A new fence has gone up around the Conservation Garden to keep the hungry browsing creatures out and help those plants to flourish. 
  • The front entrance pedestrian path has been completed, with some follow-up plantings to be done next plant-out.

The full text of this article is on the Friends website at

Guided Walks

Subject to COVID-19 restrictions, regular Guided Walks are expected to resume as follows:

  • Stage 1 – Monday 17 August 2020, resume daily 11am walking tour
  • Stage 2 – 28 September 2020, resume daily 2pm walking tour
  • There will be a maximum of 2 households (up to 10 people total) on each tour, and stringent cleaning and physical distancing to prevent infection.

Black Mountain Summit Walks

Saturday 25 July 2020

Morning: 9.30am to 12.00pm
Afternoon: 1.30pm to 4.00pm

This year is not only the 50th Anniversary of Black Mountain being declared a conservation reserve, but also the 20th Anniversary of the official opening of the Summit Walk, and the 50th Anniversary of the ANBG being officially opened to the public.

Choose your time (morning or afternoon) to join local plant ecologist Michael Doherty for a walk up the north-eastern slopes of Black Mountain to the summit. We will be talking about trees, shrubs and fire, and see some winter flowering plants.

Participants are welcome to walk up and back, but if you would prefer not to walk down, ask a friend to meet you at the top. The Summit Walk has steep sections, so it is suitable for fit walkers (including children over the age of 12).

Cost:  Gold coin donation

Bookings essential: Places are limited, please email your name and phone number to, or phone Libby (6296 1936) or Linda (0437 298 711). It also useful for us to contact you if arrangements need to change (e.g. adverse weather).

See more information on the Friends website.

Thursday Talks - alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic

Due to COVID-19 pandemic Thursday Talks will not be live in the Theatrette for the remainder of 2020, however the ANBG and the Friends are exploring ways that may present an opportunity for some talks to be made available online.

This decision has been made by the ANBG and the Friends’ Council due to social distancing requirements and the limited capacity of the Theatrette.

The Thursday Talks Committee is in touch with all the speakers who had agreed to speak in 2020 and is busy rescheduling their presentations where possible for 2021.

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