Canberra: Australian National Botanic Gardens

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Jan 25th, 2005, 10:22 PM
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Canberra: Australian National Botanic Gardens

Last weekend we had breakfast at the Botanic Gardens in Canberra, our first visit for more than a year, and once again I was struck by what a great attraction the gardens are. I recommend setting aside a couple of hours there, whether or not youíre into plants. About 99,000 plants representing 6,800 species are cultivated there, all of them native to Australia and representing a wide variety of Australiaís regions and climates Ė from dry semi-desert plants to Tasmanian rainforest. The sheer variety is an eye-opener, and the rainforest walk alone is worth a visit.

The Gardens occupy 90 hectares (225 acres), of which 40 ha (100 ac) are under cultivation, at the foot of Black Mountain, very close to the city centre. One warning: you can get a decent and reasonably priced breakfast or light lunch at the café, but they donít take cards of any kind, so bring your money with you.

By the way, next door to the gardensí entrance is the road that leads up to the Telstra telecommunications tower at the top of Black Mountain, which provides a great panoramic view of Canberra. Thereís a revolving restaurant in the Tower, but I havenít eaten there for years, so canít comment on its value. As a rule I avoid restaurants that revolve, float or otherwise move.
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