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Bicentennial Conservatory

Step into a tropical paradise full of colourful flowers, birds and insects in this architecturally stunning glasshouse in the heart of Adelaide.

Explore the Bicentennial Conservatory during your visit to the Adelaide Botanic Garden to see a tropical ecosystem in full swing. This modern greenhouse forms the impressive backdrop to the colourful rose gardens. Enjoy the birdsong, spot the butterflies and lizards and learn more about the rare plants and trees of this exotic ecosystem.

You may have seen the shiny conservatory from the air if you flew into Adelaide by plane. The locals call it “the giant pasty”, as it looks a bit like the shape of a typically South Australian baked treat. This award-winning example of Late Modern architecture was designed by local architect Guy Maron. 

Built in celebration of Australia’s bicentenary in 1988, the conservatory is a striking reminder of how far Australia has come since the first European botanists sailed to this Great Southern Land to collect species and to cultivate the first European crops and plants here. 

Start your conservatory visit by strolling along the lower walkway that takes you along the forest floor. The humid habitat of the Bicentennial Conservatory lends itself perfectly to precious insects and birds that can otherwise only be found in the exotic jungles of tropical North Queensland, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands surrounding Australia.

Follow the upper walkway to find yourself among the tree canopy. See how the conservatory was designed to house lofty palm trees, lowland rainforest ferns and other tall plants. Strong vines use the taller trees to climb higher and higher in search of sunlight. 

In fact, the Bicentennial Conservatory is one of the largest single-span glasshouses in the world. The curved glass-and-steel building is 100 metres (328 feet) long, 47 metres (154 feet) wide and 27 metres (89 feet) at the highest point of the curved roof.

The Bicentennial Conservatory in the Adelaide Botanic Garden is open daily year round from the mid morning until the late afternoon. Entry is free. Combine a trip to the nearby Adelaide Zoo with a visit to the conservatory for a fun and educational day out for the whole family. There is a car park on site.


Guide to Exploring around Bicentennial Conservatory


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