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National Arboretum Canberra

I spend a little bit of time in Canberra for work but i don’t often get time to explore. This week I’ve had a few afternoons to explore and enjoy the gorgeous weather and today i headed over to the National Arboretum. What’s an arboretum you ask, well it’s a botanical garden devoted to growing trees for conservation, scientific research and educational purposes, and this one is pretty spectacular.

According to the arboretum’s website – The National Arboretum Canberra features 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world. Many of the trees are still young but two of the forests are nearly 100 hundred years old. Over 44,000 trees from over 100 countries are growing across the huge 250 hectare (618 acre) site, making it one of the world’s largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees. In time, the Arboretum will be home to 104 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world.

I didn’t have a lot of time before sunset and closing so i went for a small walk and had a drive around to see what there was to see and do. The entrance is quite spectacular as you look up the terraced gully towards the beautifully designed Village Centre.

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Sitting atop one hill is the artwork “Wide Brown Land”. The three words in the ‘wide brown land’ sculpture come from the famous poem ‘My Country’, written by poet Dorothea Mackellar. The sculpture’s form and style were inspired by Mackellar’s handwriting. ‘Wide brown land’ is 35 metres long and 3 metres high, made from cor-ten steel and steel rod by Marcus Tatton, Futago Design Studios and Chris Viney in 2010.

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Across the other side atop of Dairy Farmers Hill is the artwork Nest III. A striking metal sculpture of an Australian wedge tail eagle on its nest, Nest III is made from welded steel found-objects, mostly abandoned farm machinery. The sculpture was created by Richard Moffatt in 2007.

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