Hidden at the northern end of the National Arboretum is one of Canberra’s lesser known gems — a 100-year-old cork oak plantation. Walking into the forest is like walking into a cathedral, with sunlight peeping through the lines of cork oak trees planted in rectangular patterns. The forest was planted in 1917, many years before the National Arboretum was established. At the time, city planner Walter Burley Griffin and Charles Weston, the officer in charge of forestry for Canberra, were looking to trial different tree species for the capital. Mr Griffin saw the potential for growing cork oaks in Canberra’s dry climate, and sourced the initial acorns from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.