On Saturday evening I went along with the family to a special members event at the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG). The rainforest gully walk has been kitted out with low wattage LED lighting funded by the ‘Friends of the Botanic Gardens’ and Saturday night was the first time they were showing it off. There were deleicious canapes and a glass of wine before we were split into groups of 10 or twelve. Wind-up torches were handed out by our guides and, dressed warmly, we set off.
Being a regular visitor to the Gardens I was loving being in there at night. Familiar paths and trees took on new life as they illuminated only by our torch beams. Our guide Marion took us on a walk through the eucalypts before we entered the rainforest gully .
The place was literally transformed. The mist jets which keep the gully moist and assist in maintaining an ambient temperature above freezing came on periodically and it was like walking through cloud … really thick cloud. Lights have been set into both sides of the boardwalk so you know where the path goes and coloured lights have been placed in the garden beds as well. I had brought my tripod and camera with me … I decided on a single lens for the night: my Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D … a little jewel of a lens. I wanted something quite fast and wide and my tripod enabled the longer exposures you see here.
The display looked fantastic and hats off to the ‘Friends’ program who both envisaged and funded the lighting program through subscription and donation
There are plans to make this a regular event caled AfterDARK beginning in June. I suggest you get yourself along for a unique experience.
More images from this magical night over on the Lushpup Blog.
When: 1st Saturday of every month
Time: 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $15 adults; $10 children, beginning 2 June | Bookings essential 6250 9540
UPDATE 03/05/12 15:21: Here are the updated details:
AfterDARK in the GARDENS
Unlock the gates to the Australian National Botanic Gardens for a special night adventure
– AfterDARK in the Gardens. These tours will introduce visitors to the Gardens by night,
including the recently installed lighting in the majestic Rainforest Gully and spotlighting in the
various Garden habitats.
Experience the sounds, smell and feel of the Gardens and learn about Australian plants, the
Gardens’ wildlife and history in these special after dark tours.
AfterDARK – Firefly Tours (Winter months)
Bring new light to a winter’s night with the Gardens’ new AfterDARK Firefly Tour. Starting with
heart and hand warming hot-chocolate, families will make a lantern to light their way on a
fascinating after dark discovery of the Gardens. Our guides will light your lantern for a 45 –
50min tour exploring the biodiversity of different habitants, including the Rainforest Gully that
now shines at night with new thematic lighting. Both children and adults will be enthralled
with the magic of this tour when the Gardens glow under their lantern light.
Bookings are essential, and numbers are strictly limited for each event. The AfterDARK Firefly
Tour is only available during winter. Two sessions are available each night at 6pm and 7pm
and run for 90mins each. Tickets are $19 adults and $14 concession (plus booking fee) and
include lantern materials.
Families are encouraged to rug up for the event with thick coats, warm headwear and gloves.
Sat 2 June I Sat 7 July I Sat 4 Aug.
6pm and 7pm tours I $19 adults, $14 concession (plus booking fee)I
Online bookings available 8 May
Enquires and information available by contacting Gardens’ Visitor Centre on 6250 9540 or E:
firstname.lastname@example.org or ANBG web www.anbg.gov.au/gardens
Online bookings available from Tuesday 8 May. Bookings prior to 8 June can be made by
contacting Gardens’ Visitor Centre.
Look for our spring AfterDark tour theme to be announced in June.