To the uninitiated, Australia’s arid heart might seem barren and lifeless. In fact the opposite is true.
Our arid lands are home to thousands of highly evolved plant communities that are specially adapted to thrive in an environment where temperatures are extreme and drought can last for decades. Australia’s arid zone ecosystems are fragile and complex and they are found nowhere else on earth.
We consider "Arid" to be areas of average rainfall of 300mm per year (or less). Our plant collection is formed around this average rainfall maximum and is shown on the attached map.
The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden (AALBG), in Port Augusta, was established in 1993, with the Garden officially opening in 1996, to research, conserve and promote the wider appreciation of Australia’s arid zone flora. Located on the shores of Upper Spencer Gulf with spectacular views to the ancient Flinders Ranges, the Garden showcases a diverse collection of arid zone habitats in a picturesque setting of more than 250 hectares.
But that’s not all. Because of its coastal location, the AALBG also features a biologically rich marine environment dominated by grey mangroves. This rare side-by-side combination of arid and marine environments, together with a fascinating regional and cultural history, makes this botanic garden very special.
Here at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden we are committed to practising and promoting environmental sustainability. We do this by leading by example and by educating visitors.
“Every time we travel this way we allow time to visit the Arid Lands. No matter what season, there is always something of beauty and interest to see. Staff are great and the visitors' centre is lovely.”
– (Trip Advisor July 2023)
“Just spent a magical day at this wonderful garden. It gets better and better, and we now can't go past Port Augusta without calling in. The plants are extraordinary -varied and unusual. It's a birder's paradise! To top it off lunch is always unusual and delicious. Thanks Port Augusta. Congratulations on providing this wonderful garden which we consider to be among the best in Australia, and we've been to most.”
– (Trip Advisor June 2023)