The small and short of Canberra

Jun 5, 2014

Village life

At the beginning of this year, Tweeny, the husband and I were joined by my sister from Sydney for a staycation in Canberra. In the spirit of fairness and fulfilling all our different visions of the perfect staycation we decided to take turns on how to spend each day.  On Tweeny’s day she unequivocally chose a jam packed schedule at Gold Creek with the headline acts being Cockington Green and the National Dinosaur Museum.

So when I received a very kind invitation for myself and Tweeny to attend a human brochure discovery event at both of those locations on Saturday evening, I may have done a little squeal knowing how excited she would be.
Cockington Green Gardens is an outdoor miniature English village, complete with cricket pitch, a soccer streaker, castles and a village pub. The detail captured in the staged scenes is just amazing and at times whilst walking through the gardens I felt like Gulliver in Lilliput, looking down at village life. What a saucy, cheeky village it is! Or perhaps that is just the sassy curators of the gardens having some fun, placing the Stig, the grim reaper and a town flasher in amongst the action of the village.

For our evening tour, we were joined by members of Cockington Green Gardens founding family. Amazingly it has been a family owned and operated attraction, with four generations involved since opening in 1979!

Our behind the scenes evening started with a wander through the English village. Even though I had visited Cockington Green Gardens earlier in the year, I had never been in the evening and picked up a whole new level of detail that I hadn’t noticed previously. Tweeny was quick to point out some new elements she had noticed, an axe murderer and a man sitting on his throne (not the royal type).
Next on our tour was a ride on the Cockington Green Gardens Miniature steam train (did I mention everything on site is done on a smaller scale here) where we got a sneak peak of the international display, which we had not yet visited. Just in case we missed anything first time around, the train looped around the gardens twice.

Moonlight danciing on the streets of Argentina
Last stop on the tour was a visit to the international exhibit. After initial interest from a few Embassies in Canberra, this section of the gardens has gradually grown into a wonderful global display with culturally important miniature buildings of over thirty countries currently represented. Tweeny had fun trying to guess which countries all the sites belonged to and we were excited to spot one place we had travelled to together, the Tenochtitlan Temple in Mexico.
It was a beautiful mild evening to have experienced Cockington Green Gardens after hours and see the displays lit up at night. No matter how many times we visit the gardens, we always have fun laughing at discovering a new mischievous scene and element of the miniature village. If I was Gulliver, I wouldn’t mind spending some time here; it would be quite a colourful little village to live in!