Cockington Green Gardens is a place where childhood memories are made and where adults can enjoy the delights of a quirky and clever model village. We have visited many times over the years and as far as our kids are concerned, it is a must-see attraction every time we visit Canberra.
Cockington Green is set on 5 acres and the displays are extensive. The gardens are beautifully manicured and the scones in the cafe are delicious (and BJ knows his scones).
It is easy to get around Cockington Green with a wheelchair as most of the paths are either made of pavers or pressed gravel and level. Being a minature village everything is at perfect wheelchair and pram height, making for good viewing.
Although children may run excitedly from one display to another there is so much detail and humour in the displays you notice adults lingering much longer. You may note “The Stig” from Top Gear in the scene pictured above.
Hands-on and interactive displays are always popular with kids. The train display pictured above is BJ’s all time favourite. Since our last visit BJ has made advancements and he can now isolate his finger to push the button to make the train go himself. He was very pleased with this and it was a great reward for all his hard work.
I’ve lost track of the number of times we have been on the miniature steam train but it is a wonderful way to get a good overview of the displays from a higher vantage point. As the kids get older we have noticed it is a little squeezy on the the train now but no less enjoyable. The steam train rides run on a timetable during off peak times. At peak times the train runs continuously. Train tickets can be bought from the driver at the station.
A visit to Cockington Green would not be complete without a stop at the Garden Cafe to indulge in some scones. There is a notice which says the scones are “Brenda’s secret recipe” and not being a good scone cook I’d like to know what the secret is. They are so good. BJ is such a fan, the rest of us have to eat our own scones very fast because as soon as he has finished his he is scouring everyone else’s plate for left-overs. The sign of a true scone addict and delicious scones.
A visit in spring time sees the gardens full of flowers. Anytime is a good time to visit but spring takes the gardens to a whole new level in terms of beauty. We think it was very pretty even before the spring blooms were out (see photo below)
The original area of Cockington Green Gardens is my favourite but the International exhibits are a great addition and a good nod to the Embassies in Canberra. Initially a few Embassies were interested in the project but now there is a waiting list for new displays. It currently has thirty countries represented.
The Embassies currently participating have taken the opportunity to sponsor a site and select a building to represent their country.
Cockington Green is definitely a great place to add to your sightseeing list when you visit Canberra.
There is disabled parking in the car park near the entrance.
The entry to Cockington Green has a couple of stairs but the staff advise they will open the side entry (which is level) for wheelchair users. If no-one can go in to ask for the side entry to be opened I suggest phoning from the car park or before arriving to organise assistance (02) 6230 2273
There is a large unisex disabled toilet facility to the right of the Garden Cafe.
The steam train is not wheelchair accessible but there is a safe place to leave your wheelchair if you can transfer.
Accessible entry to the Garden Cafe is via the gift shop.
If you would like to read more about Cockington Green Garden to plan your visit head to their website.
Our family would like to thank Cockington Green Gardens for providing complimentary entry so we were able to visit again and write about a place we have grown to love over many visits.