On 21 December 1978 the Canberra Botanic Gardens was renamed the National Botanic Gardens in recognition of the national significance of this collection of Australian flora.
During the year just under 300,000 people visited the Gardens. A barbecue area was installed for the use of visitors.
Field trips to the Mcllwraith Range, Queensland, and to south-western Australia added valuable specimens to both the Gardens and the herbarium.
Weekly instruction in the propagation of native plants was given to students from six primary schools.