- Travel and Places
Cockington Green Gardens
Cockington Green Gardens Miniature Village, Canberra
Cockington Green Gardens are situated in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. It is a 5 acre garden filled with miniature buildings from around the world. The first thing that greets you as you enter the gardens is a miniature of the house you just walked through (see the picture on the left).
It has two main sections - the Great Britain section and the international section.
The Great Britain section was first opened to the public in 1979 and contains delightful model buildings inspired by architecture around Great Britain - ranging from Stone Henge to quaint thatched cottages to an imposing stone castle. All these models have been made in a 1/12 scale.
In 1997 work began on the international section with buildings such as the Triumphal Arch (Syria), the Chateau of Bojnice (Slovakia), Masada (Israel), and Torogan Marano (Philippines). These models range from 1/12 scale to 1/100 scale.
All photos on this page are copyright GonnaFly.
The Model Buildings
The older model buildings were made from fibrous cement sheeting but newer models and repairs are made from flexible resins. See pictures of the construction process.
All the models in the Great Britain section have been made in a 1/12 scale. The models in the international section range from 1/12 scale to 1/100 scale.
See a map / worksheet of the layout of the two sections.
When we visited in winter 2012, the Jabrin Fort mentioned in the above video had been installed. See a picture.
Models in the British SectionClick thumbnail to view full-size
The International Section
Several of the embassies and high commissions around Canberra have contributed (suggestions about which building and also financially) to making the international buildings in this section. The average cost for constructing one of these buildings is about $30,000 but some cost over $100,000 and take more than 1,000 hours to build - probably not something to build in your own back yard!
The building on the right is a replica of the Borgund stave church in Norway.
pictures of some of the buildings in the international sectionClick thumbnail to view full-size
Make your own model building
Create your own model buildings at a fraction of the cost of the models at Cockington Green. You will make your own model Victorian seaside cottage (7" x 7 1/2" x 8 1/2") from card.
Most of the little people and animals which can be seen around Cockington Green have been hand-made from clay. They generally need repainting every year or so.There are about 1,500 miniature characters on display, and 1,000 of those are cheering from the stands in the football stadium.
If you pay close attention to what is going on in the village as you walk around, you will see some most entertaining scenes and also some most amazing creatures. There are farm animals, birds in the trees, people playing sport, criminals being caught and people going about their everyday business.
And I'm sure I saw the Loch Ness monster somewhere...
There are hundreds of different plant species used in the gardens. See a list of some of the plants used.
Many visitors think that the gardens consist of bonsai plants. They are however just miniature, dwarf or slow growing plants, many of which have been growing in their location for 15 years or more. There is a nursery section in the garden, and any plant which grows too big will be replaced by another plant in winter. Each year, some 15,000 annuals are planted in the garden beds. The lawns in the gardens are immaculate. Most of the lawns in Cockington Green are real lawns.
There is a turf maze which can be viewed from a platform. You have to find your way (visually) around the maze (300 metres), starting at the top of the maze and finishing at the point in the centre. I think it's hard enough to try to do tracing it with a mouse on the computer screen! Try it yourself. Start at the white cross and follow the turf path until you get to the red cross.