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NPAACT Home > News Items > ‘Wonderful Wollemi’ Exhibition

‘Wonderful Wollemi’ Exhibition


As many of you are keen naturalists and look around you when you are out walking, I thought you may be interested in attending the celebrations of the Wollemi Pine up at the National Arboretum.  Its 21 years since the botanical world was  pleasantly shocked by the discovery of an Aruacuara  pine –almost akin to finding a live dinosaur - growing in a ‘hidden’canyon close to Sydney.

Please read the information below and I really hope that some of you can attend. I think the Tuesday speakers will be mighty.

Afterwards if its sunny I can show you the Wollemi Forest, the largest group of Wollemi  planted in the world.
Sincerely Janet (Edstein)
Celebrate the 21st anniversary of the discovery of the Wollemi pine in Tree Week at the National Arboretum Canberra, 19-26 July, and School Holidays

Two special events

David Noble will be the guest of honour at the Anniversary Event on Monday 20 July and the Seminar on Tuesday 21 July.  This will be David’s first visit to the National Arboretum Canberra, and it will be a unique occasion as he is the only person to visit the Arboretum who has a tree named after him growing in one of the Forests.  Book for these events online at

21st Anniversary Celebration

Monday 20 July, 4-5pm, in the Village Centre.  Friends $18, others $24.  

At this informal event, you will enjoy a welcome to Guest of Honour David Noble and a short talk from him, a celebratory afternoon tea and toast to the Wollemi pine, the presentation of a Wollemi pine tree ring to the Arboretum and other salutes to the Wollemi pine.   The tree ring is from a fallen Wollemi pine in the canyon in the Wollemi National Park and will be presented to the Arboretum by Prof Cris Brack and Dr Matthew Brookhouse of the ANU Fenner School for Environment and Society.  Arrive from 3.30 and have ample time to view the ‘Wonderful Wollemi’ Exhibition.    

Seminar ‘The past, present and future of Wollemia nobilis’.

Tuesday 21 July, 9am – 1 pm, in the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion.  This is a paid event: Friends $45, Others $55.

At the Seminar, you will hear David Noble’s keynote address, followed by sessions on:

‘Wollemia nobilis in the Arboretum’

·   Owen Bolitho, Senior Horticulturalist and Arborist, National Arboretum Canberra, will speak on experience with propagating and survival of Wollemi seedlings.

·   Dr Roger Hnatiuk, Friends of the National Arboretum Canberra, will report on Citizen Science in the Wollemia nobilis forest, Forest 32.

·   Dr Matthew Brookhouse, ANU, will reveal what tree rings can tell us about the age of the Wollemi pine.

‘Beyond the Arboretum: Wollemia nobilis in the wider world’

·   Phil Hore, National Dinosaur Museum, will trace the paleobotany and fossil record of the Wollemi pine.

·   Dr Cathy Offord, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, will recount the spread of the Wollemi from the bush, to Botanic gardens to the backyard.

·    Q&A:   The seminar will end with a panel of all speakers commenting on threats to the future of the Wollemi and other rare species, and answering questions from the audience.

And also

‘Wonderful Wollemi’ Exhibition

This exhibition in the Village Centre will take visitors ‘time travelling’ from the fossil record and paleobotany of 121 million years ago, to the discovery of the hidden stand of trees by David Noble  21 years ago, to the Wollemi going global, arriving at today in Forest 32.  Also covered are the relationships of the Wollemi to its Araucaria and Agathis 'cousins' in the Arboretum, and reports on current research and conservation initiatives. The concluding parts of the exhibition cover the past and present environments of Wollemia nobilis, a ‘Learn More’ poster, and an opportunity for visitors to post their thoughts about the Wollemia nobilis and record the thoughts that the Wollemi pine prompts in your own mind.  The Exhibition is especially suited to students from upper primary school and to Year 12.  

Where:    In the Village Centre at the Arboretum

When:     The Exhibition will run from the beginning of the ACT school holidays, Saturday 4 July, through to the end of Tree Week, Sunday 26 July.

How much:   The 'Wonderful Wollemi' Exhibition is free.

Guided Walks to the Wollemia nobilis in Forest 32

Trained volunteer guides will lead these walks that will take in a number of other Forests and points of interest.  The ground is steep and uneven, so strong shoes are needed; warm clothing too for July weather.   

Where:    Begin at and return to the Village Centre, allow 1 hour.  

When:     These Forest Walks will be available twice a day on weekends over the school holidays and Tree Week, from 3 – 26 July in all.  Other times on request to the Arboretum and group bookings are welcome.

              How much:   The Walks are free.

School Programs

The Arboretum Education Officer, Heather Tregoning, can arrange a program of activities tailored to groups of students at different levels and tailored to the ACT Curriculum. Please contact Heather on to discuss your students' interests and options.

Where:  Indoor and outdoor activities at the Arboretum
When:   During the school holidays and in term time
How much: Costs apply.



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