The Jervis Bay Botanic Gardens is an annexe of the
Australian National Botanic Gardens. The Gardens occupies a 90 ha site in Canberra and a 80 ha
site at Jervis Bay. Established in 1951 providing frost-free growing conditions for many plants
unsuited to Canberras climate. The Gardens combine cultivated and natural areas and are set around
Lake McKenzie, a naturally occurring lake.
The base rock of the Gardens is sandstone, although much of the site is covered with old sand
dunes. Sandstone outcrops, swamplands and wet gullies are a common part of the landscape. Lake
McKenzie is a naturally occurring lake. The dark brown water has been stained by pigments form
decaying vegetation. Sunlight cannot penetrate far into the waters and the lake is very cold.
It does not support fish, but large numbers of Long-necked Tortoises live in the lake.
The average annual rainfall of Jervis Bay is 1170 mm, most of which falls in winter. The
wettest month is May, the driest is October. The temperatures range between an average maximum of
24°C in January and an average minimum of 9.5°C in July.
There are a number of marked paths and trails for exploring the Gardens.