VISIT + VENUE
Canberra offers a great diversity of attractions and experiences, all within close proximity to accommodation and transport. 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 museums, galleries and archives. You can discover embassies, landmarks, markets, shopping, food and wine.
There are numerous recreational activities spanning lakes or bustling precincts, or explore fresh, natural surrounds including Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Corin Forest.
Australian War Memorial
Bringing together a world-class museum, a shrine and an extensive archive, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra is a moving and insightful experience for both young and old. Discover the diverse Australian experiences of war and connect with the stories of people and events that shaped Australia.
With the purpose of commemorating the sacrifice of Australians who have died in war, the Memorial is a place to pay your respects and discover what it means to be Australian.
National Gallery of Australia
World-class exhibitions are on show at the National Gallery of Australia, on the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. Meander through the galleries and admire the collection, which includes the famous 'Blue Poles' by Jackson Pollock and the Ned Kelly series by Sidney Nolan.
The new Australian and International art galleries provide plenty of things to see. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection comprises over 7,500 works and is the largest in the world.
Brindabella National Park
Just a short drive from Canberra, Brindabella National Park offers a remote alpine bush experience, a great day trip or weekend escape for the whole family.
With an extensive network of challenging 4WD trails, the park is a playground for registered 4WD touring and trail bikes and even has some mountain bike riding opportunities. Your journey will take you through unique mountainous terrain covered with red stringybark and scribbly gums, and across ridgelines with scenic views of the entire Brindabella range.
National Museum of Australia
Australia's stories come alive at the National Museum of Australia, on the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. The Museum's stunning architecture provides an extraordinary place to explore the rich and diverse stories of Australia and its people.
Take a guided tour or wander solo through the many exhibitions. Get to know the real, the treasured, the surprising and the inspirational objects from Australian history.
See democracy in action at Australia’s iconic Parliament House high on Capital Hill.
Take a guided tour, view historic documents and see an impressive collection of Australian art including one of the world’s largest tapestries based on an Arthur Boyd design.
A visit to the building’s roof provides one of the best views of Canberra and the opportunity to get up close to the building's iconic 81-metre high flag mast, one of the world's largest stainless steel structures.
National Botanic Gardens
Located minutes from Canberra city centre, the Australian National Botanic Gardens offers a breathtaking array of native plants in a spectacular bushland setting. This is the only place in the world you’ll see this diversity of Australian native plants in one location.
The Gardens also cultivates plants threatened in the wild. This helps protect them against extinction and provides information which might assist reintroduction to their natural habitat.
Canberra Region Wine Tours
Option 1: $120pp
12.30pm – 5.30pm
Includes: transport with pick up/drop off; tasting at 3 wineries; cheese platter
Option 2: $155pp
10am – 4pm
Includes: transport with pick up/drop off; tasting at 3 wineries + lunch at Eden Road (selection of hot/cold shared plates + sweets platter + glass of wine)
Further details available here.
Kayak tours: Sunsets and Serenity - by pedal kayak
Glide over the water in easy to use pedal kayaks into the heart of Canberra for unique water views of the nation’s iconic buildings and grand parades. Take a break at a lakeside beach for drinks and nibbles to soak it all in. Then follow the setting sun beckoning you back past water birds, the light dancing on the water, framed by the surrounding forested peaks, to bid the day a fond farewell.
- Cruise the central lake of Canberra with unique water views of iconic national buildings
- Stop at a lakeside beach to enjoy a drink of juice or sparkling water, fresh fruit and chocolates (included in price)
- Discover the nature around the lake as the late afternoon light dances across the water;
- Soak up the serenity and watch the sun slowly sink over the lake as the dusk sky lights up
Duration: 2 hours. Further details available here.
Inside the Heart of Canberra by Electric Bike
Welcome to the heart of a nation. Mix a gorgeous central lake and rolling parklands with iconic national buildings, epic art, and grand vistas….and you have a very good day! Add in easy to use electric bikes, cycle paths and a local guide to reveal the stories of this city and you have a really great day! Take this tour for an easy and fun way to get to know the nation’s capital.
- Get up close to the nation’s Parliament House on Capital Hill and soak up its grand vistas
- Discover the stories of Australia through outdoor art at Reconciliation Place and its art galleries
- Glide around the central lake and parklands at the heart of Canberra with ease on your electric bike
- See why at there is a triangle at Canberra’s heart
Duration: 1.5 hours, starting at 9am. Further details available here.
Canberra Glassworks is Australia’s only cultural centre that is wholly dedicated to contemporary glass art. At its core Canberra Glassworks is a working Glassworks that provides access to glassmaking facilities for glass artists.
Canberra Glassworks also provides diverse opportunities for visitors to interact with and learn about glass making and the heritage of Canberra’s Kingston Powerhouse. Visitors can meet artists, see glassmaking as it happens, view exhibitions, take tours and have a hands-on experience working with glass.
A variety of tours are available, including the option of making your own small piece
11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston ACT
Old Parliament House (now the Museum of Australian Democracy)
The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House is a living museum of social and political history. It helps people understand Australia’s social and political history by interpreting the past and present and exploring the future.
Decades of politics and passion echo through the corridors of Old Parliament House, making it one of Australia’s most memorable heritage attractions. Visitors can experience an atmosphere steeped in history, revisit dramatic events and enjoy the 1920s architecture and fine design. The museum offers an exciting program of exhibitions and engaging activities which explain how the building, its spaces and objects connect us with Australian democracy.
18 King George Terrace, Parkes ACT
Details on visiting Old Parliament House, including parking are here.
High tea at the Hyatt Hotel
The Hyatt Hotel (formerly Hotel Canberra) is a well-loved historical building. It was built to house politicians when the Federal Parliament moved to Canberra from Melbourne in 1927.
Indulge in the famous afternoon tea buffet Friday to Sunday with an array of savouries; finger sandwiches; freshly baked scones, jam and cream; and a selection of tempting cakes and slices. The afternoon tea buffet in the heritage listed Tea Lounge is an established tradition in Canberra.
Friday: 2.30pm to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 1.30pm and 2.30pm to 5pm.
Cost: $59, includes a glass of sparkling wine
120 Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra. Call 02 6269 8815 to book or via the website.
National Arboretum Canberra
The Arboretum site was once mostly covered in pine plantations. Following the devastating 2003 Canberra bushfires, the ACT Government consulted extensively with the community and experts about the best use of the large areas of land occupied by burnt-out pine plantations, some of which were very close to Canberra.
In 2003 the ACT Government dedicated this large area to the west of the city as the site for an innovative new national arboretum. Part of the intent was to symbolise the local Canberra community's process of healing and recovery from the upheaval and grief of the catastrophic fires. The proposal for a national arboretum also connected with Walter Burley Griffin's original plan for Canberra, which included a continental arboretum at the western end of the lake.
The Arboretum is located at the western end of Lake Burley Griffin, just six kilometres from the centre of Canberra. How to get to the National Arboretum. Free guided talks and walks are provided every day. The Arboretum offers spectacular views and forests, plus the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, cafe, restaurant, Conservatorium gift shop, picnic deck and barbeques, lookouts and outdoor sculptures.
Mt Ainslie Lookout (and Summit Walk)
For picture-perfect views of Canberra, you can’t go past a visit to Mount Ainslie. Walk, cycle or drive to the lookout and enjoy the impressive scenery, lovely at all times but a particular treat at sunrise and sunset.
Take in Lake Burley Griffin and many of Canberra's national attractions, framed by picturesque mountain ranges. See how Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for the city has been brought to life. A hotspot for photographers, the vista is complemented by the abundance of native birds and wildlife.
If you’re feeling energetic, take the 4.2 km walk to the summit of Mt Ainslie. Details are available here.
Free city bus loop
The free bus City Loop provides a convenient link to highly-frequented areas of the City such as the Canberra Centre, the Braddon precinct, the Australian National University and New Acton precinct.