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Bicentennial Conservatory

Bicentennial Conservatory

Enjoy the lowland rainforest plants and impressive canopy of trees that make up the ecosystem in the Bicentennial Conservatory.

Built in celebration of Australia’s 1988 Bicentenary, and designed by South Australian architect Guy Maron, it is the largest single span conservatory in the Southern Hemisphere.

The building is curvilinear in shape – 100 metres long, 47 metres wide and 27 metres high. An elegant steel superstructure supports the 2,434 metres2 of toughened glass, which forms the roof, walls and doors. Its glistening and distinctive shape is a landmark, particularly for visitors flying in to Adelaide.

Inside the Bicentennial Conservatory you'll find a lush display of lowland rainforest plants from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the nearby Pacific Islands. Many of these plants are at risk or endangered in their natural habitats.

A lower walkway winds across the undulating forest floor and an upper walkway takes visitors into the canopy of trees and palms. Both walkways have full wheelchair access.

Shortly after the Conservatory was opened, it received a Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA, SA Chapter) Award of Merit (1990) and the RAIA Sir Zelman Cowan Award (1991), which is widely recognised as Australia’s leading award for public buildings.

More recently it was rated the 9th best building in Australia in a poll by The Australian (2010), received the Jack Cheesman Award for Enduring Architecture in South Australia (2014) and became the ‘youngest’ building in SA to receive Heritage Listing (2014).

The South Australian Heritage Council has described it as an outstanding example of the late 20th century structuralist style in Australia.

Opening hours

Daily 10:00am until one hour before the garden closes.

Admission free

Tour groups are welcome and commercial tour operators should contact (+61 8) 8222 9311.

For school or group bookings, please contact (+61 8) 8222 9311.

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As part of our COVID-safe plan, you will notice some changes as part of visitation to these spaces. The number of people allowed in each venue has been restricted to allow for the government social distancing requirements. For everyone's safety, please respect the capacity limits inside each building. Thank you for your cooperation.

For information on the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium's response to COVID-19, please see our latest news.

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Recent posts

Saving Plants on Kangaroo Island – winter 2021 update

03 September 2021

Following the devastating 2020 bushfires on Kangaroo Island, scientists at the SA Seed Conservation Centre have visited the island a number of times to investigate what botanical treasures have regrown, and to collect seeds and plant specimens with a conservation aim.