I have to admit being a little sceptical about this one. I didn’t actually visit it till I was over ten years in Canberra. Why was I sceptical? Well, I expected it to be a poorly maintained, worn out, overpriced and over hyped mixture of things that I wouldn’t be able to recognise.
When I finally gave in to going to placate some visitors for interstate I had to eat humble pie. This a fantastic (and very large) collection of top quality miniature representations of famous and not so famous buildings. The maintenance of all the exhibits, the gardens (of miniature plants and trees sized in proportion to the buildings) and the property in general is a credit to the owners of this family business and the, what may appear a hefty entry fee, is actually excellent value for money.
The property is divided into two sections.
The first and original section contains various English (and other British) village scenes replete with cricket fields, soccer pitch (complete with miniature streaker!), rivers and boats, train stations and “Inter-city” trains (big plus for me). Stonehenge, without the fence, is also featured. All in all, quite stunning.
From the village area you move into the international section which is of equally high quality and contains dozens of very recognisable exhibits. Being in Canberra, where all the overseas embassies are located, the owners have been able to benefit from various sponsorships in building and adding to the display without any obvious evidence of commercialism (apart from very modest acknowledgements). Thirty countries are represented and there is a waiting list for further exhibit spots.
While I didn’t do it, a popular way to get an overview of the International section is to hop onto the miniature steam train which circles this section.
The international miniatures include:
Street scene from La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, Great Britain
Lahore Gate – The Red Fort – Delhi
Borobudur Temple, Indonesia
Groote Constantia, South Africa
Machu Picchu, Peru
Tenochtitlan Aztec Temple, Mexico
and lots more.
While there don’t forget to visit the Rose Room indoor exhibition, featuring ‘Waverley’ a 34 room Dolls House. The detail in this is quite amazing.
To celebrate the centenary of Canberra in 2013 a model of Old Canberra House – one of the oldest building on the Australian National University – is being constructed.
There is a café and souvenir shop onsite.
Opening hours – 9.30am – Last Entry time 4.15pm with viewing available until 5.00pm. 7 days per week (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and in cases of extreme weather)
Admission cost (2017):
(60years & over)
Children (4-16 years) $11.50
Nb. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
(2 adults & up to 3 children)
Extra children with family $5.00
Miniature Steam Train Rides $3.00
Certain packages are available and 3 in 1 tickets covering Cockington Green, Questacon and the Australian Institute of Sport are available at discounted prices.
Have a look on their web site before visiting to see what’s best for you.
Address: 11 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls
Directions: By Car – Barton Highway toward Yass/Melbourne exiting at Gold Creek Village approximately 15mins from the city.
By Bus – Take various City Connections to Belconnen, then bus route 51/52 weekdays, 951/952 weekends to Federation Square. Approx 1hr.
Phone: 02 6230 2273