14 July, 2017
The general assumption is that, as a political city, there is not much else to be seen in Canberra. I myself have been guilty of the “there’s nothing interesting in Canberra” stereotype. But I do declare that I have changed! I am a new woman, with new perspectives, and I have learned that Canberra most certainly does have things to offer, some of them surprising.
Before a visit was suggested to me by a friend, I had no idea what the National Arboretum was. I was unaware that such a place existed just on the outskirts of Canberra. Though I am glad that it was suggested to me, because the place is simply magical!
After parking the car, we stepped out into the crisp morning air and made our way up the path towards the visitors’ centre. Our gentle stroll through the beautiful reserve took us first through the gorgeous bonsai garden, which was filled with many carefully curated plants. There were even a few native Australian species, which I was not expecting. Several of these were small banksias which had been carefully grown and maintained.
We then wandered through the vegetable, cactus and herb gardens, all of which were impressive.
A trek up to Dairy Farmers Hill was then in order. It was late morning by this stage, but still bitingly cold and the remnants of fog hung over the low land. As we made out way up the hill, lamenting our unfit states, the fog slowly began to rise. By the time we reached the top, it was all but gone, and the surprisingly beautiful Canberra landscape stretched before us.
Looking out over the landscape, I had a sense that I was standing in a surreal moment. It seemed that all the world was still – the tiny cars on the highway below us moved slowly, quietly, and there were a few small people casually walking or biking on the distant paths which criss-crossed the reserve.
The Arboretum was also full of beautifully-decorated trees, such as the ones below, which fit perfectly well with the cold weather!
We spent a couple hours roaming the hillsides and the paths, taking in the fresh winter air and the clear skies around us. It was entirely relaxing and very beautiful, and although we went there on a whim, it turned into a lovely morning!