Canberra offers a great diversity of attractions and experiences all within close proximity to accommodation and transport. For solo travellers, couples, families and groups, Canberra has something to appeal to the curious, adventurous, foodie or explorer within us all.
As home to the Australian National Collection, you can explore significant culture, art and history throughout our museums, galleries and archives. You can discover embassies, landmarks, markets, shopping, food and wine. Then throw in some recreational activities spanning our lakes or bustling precincts, or explore fresh, natural surrounds including Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Corin Forest.
Do you fancy yourself a bit of a foodie? Click here for articles and suggestions on where to wine and dine whilst in the capital.
Canberra is Australia’s premier truffle hunting destination. Why not visit the Canberra Truffle Festival? On from the 1st of June – 31st of August.
Here is a list of the top 10 things to do when in Canberra, according to www.australia.com:
1. Understand Australia’s History at the War Memorial
A visit to The Australian War Memorial is vital for anyone who wants to understand Australian history. The memorial chronicles the involvement of our nation’s troops in war, from the colonial period to the present day. There are range of new exhibits, including ANZAC voices, and the redeveloped First War galleries.
2. See Democracy in Action at Parliament House
Tour Parliament House, a modern complex opened in 1988. Visitors can witness the democratic process at Question Time, in the House of Representatives or Senate. These sessions start at 2pm when Parliament is sitting. The magnificent building also houses a number of exhibitions and public galleries. Free guided tours take place at 10am, 1pm and 3pm.
3. Go Alternative at the Old Bus Depot Markets
Pull yourself away from its government buildings and discover Canberra’s funky side. Experience this at the weekly Old Bus Depot Markets, held each Sunday from 10am to 4pm. It’s packed with interesting things to buy, eat and sample – from hipster clothes to homewares and delicious organic produce. A great place to pick up an authentic souvenir.
4. Experience Canberra’s World of Galleries
Art-lovers will find Canberra an endless delight. Small art galleries are dotted across the city but some of the country’s most important public collections are located here. The National Gallery of Australia is the nation’s pre-eminent public gallery housing collections of Australian, Indigenous and Asian art. For something offbeat, visit the nearby National Portrait Gallery.
5. Meet a Superstar at the Institute of Sport
Get up close to the elite athletes, gymnasts, swimmers and cyclists that train at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. The institute welcomes visitors and offers regular tours where visitors can watch Australia’s finest going through their paces. Many of the facilities, including a 50-metre swimming pool, tennis courts and fully equipped gym, are open to the public.
6. Gaze at the Foliage of Canberra
Attend the annual Floriade festival, one of Canberra’s most colourful events, which attracts plant lovers from around the world. For something more pastoral, venture out to the National Arboretum. The ambitious project, launched in 2005, features 48,000 trees, plus a visitor’s centre, restaurant and gift shop. Entry is free.
7. Ride Around a Man-made Lake
Discover Lake Burley Griffin — one of Canberra’s most prominent landmarks. The expanse of water is used for leisure activities including yachting, kayaking and windsurfing. The best way to experience this man-made wonder is by cycling around its 35-kilometre perimeter. Mr Spokes Bike Hire has a range of Avanti bikes and will even deliver to your hotel.
8. Hike to Mount Ainslie
Taking to the outdoors is easy in the nation’s capital. Jogging, cycling and hiking are popular pastimes. The city has developed a number of heritage trails that showcase its urban design. Best known is Mount Ainslie Lookout, which offers spectacular views of landmarks such as the Australian War Memorial, Anzac Parade and Parliament House. Entry is free.
9. Wine and Dine Around Canberra
The Poachers Pantry, a short drive from Canberra, offers food and wine in country surrounds. Sample cool climate wines at the cellar door and eat at the Smokehouse Café. Stop by Grazing for delicious meals made from local ingredients, and pick up a cheeky bottle or two from Lerida Estate, a winery overlooking Lake George.
10. Stretch Your Mind at Questacon and the National Museum
Spend a couple of hours at National Museum of Australia and you’ll quickly see that despite Canberra’s serious image, humour is an essential national trait. The museum has a mind-blowing collection of objects – from the sacred to the bizarre. And those with an interest in science and technology should visit Questacon where you can release your inner geek.