Unlike many other public artworks in Canberra, this one you’re not only allowed to climb, but you’re encouraged to.

The Australian National Botanic Gardens has unveiled an extraordinary new two-storey treehouse in the heart of the capital.

The Paperbark Treehouse took three months to build and is the most significant project ever funded by the Friends of the Gardens.

Friends of the Gardens president Lesley Jackman said they were absolutely delighted with the design that showcases extraordinary craftsmanship and a philosophy that complements its location.

“The thought that has gone into creating this beautiful interactive artwork, a work that fits so neatly into this great institution, is just a joy to behold,” Dr Jackman said.

Reaching high into the forest canopy of the Paperbark Garden, the second storey of the treehouse elevates visitors to a level where they’re literally at eye-to-eye with the many of the surrounding birds.

Nici Long, one of the founders of Cave Urban, a Sydney-based collective of artists, architects, and craftspeople, said the new Paperbark Treehouse was for all to enjoy.

“It’s a place to view one of Australia’s important tree species at close range, a platform to watch the Gardens’ birds in the morning, and a delight for children who experience the wonder of a treehouse that’s full of ideas and meaning,” Ms Long said.

“Our entire approach is focused on using and reusing natural materials in a sustainable way. The Paperbark Treehouse story is rich with re-use, recycling, and with using centuries-old wisdom and traditions.”

Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Environment and Energy, Matt Cahill, said the construction of the Paperbark Treehouse was a tremendous example of the support the Friends of the Gardens gave to this fantastic institution, situated in the heart of Canberra.

“The Friends are wonderful ambassadors and fundraisers for the Gardens, and the construction of this artistic treehouse is another tremendous project launched as part of the Gardens’ 20-year Master Plan,” Mr Cahill said.