16 Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Canberra

Written by Karen Hastings Updated Dec 28, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Crammed with cultural treasures, Canberra, in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory), is the carefully crafted capital of Australia. It's no accident that the city lies between Sydney and Melbourne . The site of the capital was chosen as a compromise between these two rival cities in 1908. American architects, Walter Burley Griffin and his wife, Marion Mahony Griffin, won an international competition for the city's design, which incorporates vast greenbelts and geometric shapes.

Lake Burley Griffin , in the city center, is Canberra's sparkling jewel. Many of the city's top tourist attractions and things to do lie along its shores, including the National Gallery of Australia, Questacon, and the National Library. The parliament buildings, as well as some of the city's other top tourist attractions, lie within the Parliamentary Triangle, formed by Kings Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue, and Lake Burley Griffin.

Canberra is also known for its fantastic festivals, including the famous Floriade, a celebration of the city's many spring blooms. Find out more about the best places to visit in Australia's dynamic capital with our list of the top attractions and things to do in and around Canberra.

See also: Where to Stay in Canberra

1. Australian War Memorial

2. new parliament house, 3. museum of australian democracy at old parliament house, 4. stroll around lake burley griffin, 5. find inspiration at the national gallery of australia, 6. questacon: the national science and technology centre, 7. national portrait gallery of australia, 8. national library of australia, 9. admire the views from mount ainslie lookout, 10. wander through the australian national botanic gardens, 11. national zoo and aquarium, 12. national museum of australia, 13. national carillon, 14. hike the trails at black mountain nature park, 15. royal australian mint, 16. jerrabomberra wetland, where to stay in canberra for sightseeing, canberra, australia - climate chart, day trips from canberra, snowy mountains, tidbinbilla, lanyon homestead, cockington green, map of attractions & things to do in canberra.

Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial is Canberra's most poignant attraction. Inaugurated in the middle of WWII, the massive Byzantine-style monument commemorates Australia's war fatalities. But it's more than just a war memorial. The site combines an excellent museum, archives, art gallery, and library.

The Commemorative Courtyard at the entrance to the memorial is a haunting introduction. Inscribed in bronze on the walls of the colonnades are the names of every Australian who has died in war since 1885, and the length of the list is spine chilling.

Beyond the entrance, different galleries retrace the stories of Australia's armed conflicts from colonial days to the present. The exhibits are constantly evolving, but highlights include the collection of old aircraft and the child-friendly Discovery Zone packed with interactive displays.

If possible, you should set aside several hours to appreciate this thought-provoking memorial, and if you're visiting near the end of the day, try to stay for the Last Post , a moving tribute to the fallen played at 4:55pm daily. Visiting the memorial is one of the best free things to do in Canberra, and the 90-minute tours are highly recommended.

Address: Treloar Crescent (top of ANZAC Parade), Campbell

Official site:

New Parliament House

The final fulfillment of architect Walter Burley Griffin's vision for Canberra in 1912, New Parliament House is a marvel of modern architecture. The boomerang-shaped structure nestles comfortably into Capital Hill and was designed to replace the Provisional Parliament House at the base of the hill, now known as Old Parliament House .

A New York-based architect won an international competition for the design of the new building, and on May 9, 1988, the Queen officially opened Parliament House. The date in May was chosen to commemorate the first meeting of Federal Parliament in Melbourne in 1901 and the first meeting of Parliament in the Old Parliament House in 1927.

From the expansive grassed walkway, which forms the roof, you can enjoy panoramic views of Canberra and see how Parliament forms the central focus of the city's street layout.

Architectural highlights of the building include the two huge circular walls, composed of granite, which mirror the curves of the hill; the towering 81-meter flagpole; and the Ceremonial Pool. In the foyer, 48 columns of illuminated greenish-gray marble create the impression of a eucalyptus forest. Throughout the public spaces, exhibits display important documents (the Magna Carta is a highlight) and retrace important events in Australian history.

From the gallery running around the first floor, you can gain admission to the public galleries of the green-hued House of Representatives, and the Senate, traditionally dressed in red. A visit during sitting times is a great way to view first-hand how parliament functions, and the free guided tours offer fascinating details about the building.

After visiting, you can take the 3.5-kilometer Parliament House Walk to the city center and learn about the Parliamentary Triangle along the way through interpretive signs.

Address: Parliament House, Canberra

Official site:

Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

A short walk from New Parliament House at the base of Capital Hill, Old Parliament House is now home to the Museum of Australian Democracy. Not only can you soak up the history of this National Heritage-listed building, you can also learn about the important foundations of Australia's government.

Opened by the Duke of York (later King George VI) in 1927, the building is designed in the "stripped classical" style and was occupied by the Australian Parliament until 1988, when New Parliament House was officially opened. It was formerly called Provisional Parliament House, and was only standing in until a permanent structure could be designed and built – a feat finally realized 61 years later.

The museum is like a time capsule. You can learn about past Australian Prime Ministers; sit in the old Prime Minister's Office, a relatively humble affair; visit the Press Room; and read important historical documents. The chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate are modeled on the British House of Commons and House of Lords with paneling and furnishings made of Australian woods, and wall hangings displaying Australian flora. Parents will appreciate the child-friendly exhibits and free daily craft activities.

After a visit to the building, you stroll among the National Rose Gardens . Free, guided tours help you get the most out of your time here, and you can also take a fascinating Indigenous Experiences of Democracy tour.

Address: 18 King George Terrace, Parkes

Official site:

Lake Burley Griffin

Beautiful Lake Burley Griffin is the centerpiece of Canberra. Named for the city's architect, this artificial lake was included in his original plan of 1912, but didn't come to fruition until 1958. Today, it's a picturesque setting for all kinds of outdoor activities.

Tourists and locals alike come here to bike and stroll along the waterfront paths; picnic along its park-fringed shores; and fish, sail, or paddle the glistening waters. Looking for things to do in Canberra at night? Book a dinner cruise on the MV Southern Cross and see the twinkling lights of the city as you glide around the lake feasting on gourmet food.

Six islands lie at its center, the largest of which is Aspen Island , home to the National Carillon, a gift from the British government with 55 bronze bells .

Sprinkled around the lake are some of Canberra's top things to see and do, including the National Gallery, National Library, Questacon, and National Museum.

Standing on the shores of the central basin, you can see the Captain Cook Memorial Jet , a 147-meter-high fountain inaugurated in 1970 on the 200th anniversary of Cook's discovery of Australia. A globe sculpture depicting the path of Cook's voyages lies on the shores of the lake at Regatta Point.

On the north side of the lake, Commonwealth Park is a great place to visit with children. Here, you'll find play areas, paddling pools, waterfalls, an amphitheater, and a path round the park.

In spring, the park is the venue for the famous Floriade festival, a celebration of spring, when more than a million flowers are in bloom.

National Gallery of Australia

On the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the National Gallery of Australia contains Australia's largest collection of art . The cubic concrete structure was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in October 1982 and consists of 11 main galleries on three levels, as well as a large Sculpture Garden laid out according to the four seasons and a Fern Garden.

The purchase of the extensive collection began in 1968 and includes works from Australia, Asia, Europe, America, and the Pacific, as well as the largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in the world . Among the museum's collection is Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles , purchased in 1973 and now one of the gallery's most famous paintings.

Mediums range from oil paintings and watercolors, to sculpture, decorative art, drawings, book illustrations, sketchbooks, photographs, films, ceramics, costumes, and textiles. Locals and tourists alike will also enjoy the many special exhibitions.

After exploring the gallery, you can visit the adjoining High Court of Australia , with graceful fountains, Carrara marble-paved floors, and murals.

Address: Parkes Place, Parkes

Official site:

Questacon: The National Science and Technology Centre

Traveling with kids? Questacon is one of the top Canberra attractions for families. Between the High Court and the National Library on Lake Burley Griffin, it's an interactive National Science and Technology Centre with all kinds of hands-on science displays and do-it-yourself experiments designed to delight and inspire.

The exhibits seek to promote understanding of the importance of science and technology in everyday life. Science shows, special events, and guest lectures complement the 200 hands-on exhibits .

In the Technology Learning Centre, budding innovators can participate in workshops and build and play with technology. Highlights of the permanent exhibits include the H2O-Soak up the Science room with water-related fun, the Free Fall slide, and Earthquake House. No wonder this is one of the top things to do in Canberra for families.

Address: King Edward Terrace, Parkes

Official site:

National Portrait Gallery of Australia

Near the High Court of Australia and the National Gallery , the National Portrait Gallery of Australia displays some 400 portraits of the nation's most influential people. You can easily spend an hour or two coming face to face with Australia's movers and shakers, brought to life through paintings, photography, and sculpture.

Multimedia presentations divulge fascinating details about the lives of the people who helped shape the nation, and special exhibitions provide new things to see. Visiting the gallery is a breeze: parking is free, and the popular café and bookshop are a great way to top off a tour.

Official site:

National Library of Australia

Opened in 1968, the National Library of Australia is a treasure trove of Australian books, manuscripts, newspapers, historic documents, oral history, music, and pictures. Its most valuable possessions are Captain Cook's journal (1768-71) and Wills' diary of his expedition with Burke in 1860-61.

Architecturally, the building is a dramatic contrast from the National Gallery and High Court. Built in the style of a Greek temple, its classical effect is underscored by the lavish use of marble and travertine on the columns and walls. Marble from Greece, Italy, and Australia was also used in the decoration of the interior.

In the foyer are superb stained-glass windows by Leonard French and three Aubusson tapestries woven from Australian wool.

On the lower floor, the Treasures Gallery displays highlights from the library's collection, and the Exhibitions Gallery hosts special visiting displays, which often require advance booking.

Official site:

Mount Ainslie Lookout

To really appreciate the layout of this carefully planned capital, head to the lookout of 843-meter Mount Ainslie. It's one of the city's most popular vantage points. A well-paved walking/biking trail winds for just over two kilometers from the rear of the Australian War Memorial . Along the way, you can pause at the commemorative plaques to learn about historic Australian battles, and you might even see some kangaroos, as well as an array of beautiful birds.

It's also possible to drive up to the lookout. Thanks to Walter Burley Griffin's vision, the lookout aligns perfectly with Anzac Parade, Lake Burley Griffin, Old Parliament House, and, in the background, the sleek lines of New Parliament House. On breezy days, be sure to bring a jacket.

Other popular lookout points include Red Hill , to the south of here, and Black Hill , to the west.

Address: Mount Ainslie Drive, Canberra

Rain Forest Gully in the Australian National Botanic Gardens

About a kilometer west of the city center, the 50-hectare National Botanic Gardens are a must-visit for green thumbs. Spread across the slopes of Black Mountain, these carefully tended collections display a range of different habitats and present all the important species of Australian flora. Kids will also love to run wild here.

The Rain Forest Gully is particularly impressive. Look for water dragons among the lush foliage. Other highlights include the Red Centre garden, with deep red earth and a spinifex grassland, as well as the Children's Discovery Walk . The gardens are also a haven for birds and butterflies.

From the gardens, you can access Black Mountain Nature Park and hike to the summit for glorious city views.

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Wondering about other Canberra gardens to visit? You'll also enjoy exploring the National Arboretum Canberra , about a six-minute drive away. This 250-hectare nature area encompasses forests of rare native and exotic trees, the National Bonsai and Penjing collection, a Gallery of Gardens, picnic areas with panoramic viewpoints, and a fantastic children's playground.

If you're looking for cheap things to do in Canberra, this is an excellent option. Entry to the gardens is free, but you'll pay a small fee to park at the on-site parking lot.

Address: Clunies Ross Street, Acton

Official site:

Cheetahs at the National Zoo

Australia's only combined zoo and aquarium, this privately owned venture is a hit with families and anyone who loves animals. It's only five minutes from the city center.

The National Aquarium displays a wide range of marine life, from the tiny denizens of the reefs to huge sharks.

In the neighboring zoo, you can view all the important species of Australian fauna, as well as exotic species as such as lions, tigers, cheetahs, bears, and more. The animal encounters are extremely popular and allow visitors to go behind the scenes and interact with a range of exotic creatures. You can meet a meerkat and get up close with cheetahs, giraffes, sun bears, and rhinos, among other animals at this popular Canberra zoo.

Address: 999 Lady Denman Drive, Western Creek, Yarralumla

Official site:

National Museum of Australia

On a peninsular jutting into Lake Burley Griffin, the National Museum of Australia spotlights the nation's social history. The contemporary building itself is a conversation piece, with beautiful lake views. Inspired by a jigsaw, it was intended to underscore the interconnected stories that helped shape the nation.

A major theme of the exhibits is the cultural history of Indigenous Australians. Other highlights include exhibits on the Gold Rush, Australian industry, clothing, and migration. Children will also find a few interactive displays to keep them busy.

Address: Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula

Official site:

National Carillon

On Aspen Island in Lake Burley Griffin, the white Carillon Tower was a gift from the British government on Canberra's 50th birthday in 1963. The 50-meter-high tower incorporates three sleek columns clad in opal chip and quartz. Within the towers are 55 bronze bells ranging from seven kilograms to six metric tons.

You can bring a picnic and relax on the surrounding lawns. Better still, visit during a recital (Wednesdays and Sundays from 12:30 to 1:20pm), when the music of the bells wafts across the lake. The tower looks especially beautiful when it's lit at night.

Location: Kings Park, Aspen Island, Canberra

Black Mountain Nature Park

Black Mountain Nature Park is a great wilderness experience to combine with a visit to the adjacent Australian National Botanic Gardens . It lies just west of the city center.

Walking trails wind through the bushland, where you can see many species of native birds and other wildlife, including wallabies. The Black Mountain Summit Trail is a popular 2.7-kilometer (one-way) trail , which takes you to Telstra Tower , where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

At the foot of Black Mountain, the Australian Institute of Sport is the training center for Australia's top sportsmen and women, with a swimming stadium and tennis center.

Address: Black Mountain Drive, Acton

Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint is a great place to spend an hour or so and learn about the heritage of Australia's currency. All Australian coins are minted here.

You can watch the manufacture of coins from a gallery, learn about the history of Australian coins through a video presentation and multimedia displays, and discover some of Australia's rarest coins. Looking for unique things to do in Canberra? Try minting your own $1 coin. You can also meet Titan, the mint's money-making robot.

Take advantage of the free tour at 11am and 2pm Monday through Friday. In the foyer of the Mint is a small museum with a souvenir shop.

Address: Denison Street, Deakin

Official site:

An Australasian Darter flying over the Jerrabomberra Wetland

Craving a nature fix while you're in the city? Drive eight minutes from the city center to Jerrabomberra Wetland, and you can be wandering through tranquil wetlands listening to the sounds of nature.

Ironically, this bird-rich wetland was created when Lake Burley Griffin was filled, causing the water table to rise on the Molonglo River floodplain.

If you're an avid birder, you're in luck. You'll find more than 170 different species here, including the purple swamphen, black swans, eastern rosellas, and yellow-tailed black cockatoos. Bird hides make it easy to spot some of the more skittish species.

Boardwalks, walking tracks, and signs make it easy to explore this urban oasis, and bird-watching tours and other specialist talks enhance a visit. You can also explore three different trails and learn more about the unique features of the wetland by downloading a free app.

Address: Dairy Road, Fyshwick ACT

Official site:

Many of Canberra's top attractions cluster within the Parliamentary Triangle overlooking Lake Burley Griffin, so anywhere in or near this area is a convenient place to stay. Nearby, the suburbs of Manuka and Kingston are known for their fantastic shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The city center, north of Lake Burley Griffin, also makes a handy base and is minutes away by car from the Parliamentary Triangle. Here are some highly rated hotels in these convenient areas:

Luxury Hotels:

  • Smack dab in the Parliamentary Triangle near Questacon, the five-star Hyatt Hotel Canberra has a wonderful pool and fitness center, and serves high tea in its lounge.
  • Also in the Parliamentary Triangle at the foot of New Parliament House, modern Hotel Realm lies within walking distance of Manuka and Kingston's many restaurants.
  • Trendy Hotel Hotel has views to Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin and occupies a funky honeycomb building. Inside, it's all smoky hues and mottled light.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • In Kingston, near shops and restaurants, the stylish East Hotel offers excellent value for money – especially for families and extended stays. Its studios and apartments come with fully-equipped kitchens, as well as washers and dryers.
  • Also offering spacious apartments, as well as King rooms and spa suites, the contemporary Avenue Hotel Canberra lies near shopping malls in the city center.
  • Minutes from New Parliament House, the quirky and minimalistic Little National Hotel offers excellent value, with sleek, compact rooms and comfy beds.

Budget Hotels:

  • Quality hotels with budget rates are rare near the city center and the Parliamentary Triangle, but the Leumeah Lodge offers clean, crisp rooms with large showers, about a 20-minute drive from here.
  • Cheap rates compensate for the petite rooms at the Ibis Budget Canberra . It's about a 15-minute drive from the Parliamentary Triangle.

Snowy Mountains

Wondering about places to visit near Canberra in winter? You can ski the slopes of some of Australia's best ski resorts about a two-hour drive south of Canberra. Rising to a height of 2,228 meters, the rugged Snowy Mountains host top resorts, including Perisher, Thredbo, Smiggin Holes, Charlotte Pass, Guthega, and Mount Blue Cow.

But you'll find plenty of things to do in the Snowy Mountains year-round. In the summer, the region offers fabulous hiking, horseback riding, water sports, and fishing.

Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex

At Tidbinbilla, about an hour's drive from Canberra, you can learn about Australia's role in space exploration at the Canberra Space Center in the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, one of only three in the world . Budding astronauts can see the largest antenna complex in the Southern Hemisphere , explore models of different spacecraft, and learn about the foods astronauts eat on the space shuttle.

Just south of here, the excellent Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is a great place to see wildlife such as grey kangaroos, rock wallabies, emus, koalas, and the elusive platypus. Hiking trails weave throughout the reserve, allowing you to soak up all the natural beauty and spot animals along the way.

Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex

  • Address: Paddy's River, Tidbinbilla, 421 Discovery Dr, Paddys River ACT

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

  • Address: Paddys River Road, Paddys River ACT

Lanyon Homestead

About 40 kilometers south of Canberra, the historic homestead of Lanyon is a lovely spot to spend a morning or afternoon. Set in attractive parkland on the Murrumbidgee River, the homestead recalls 19th-century rural life and is still a working farm with sheep, cattle, and horses.

You can step back in time and tour some of the homestead's rooms, filled with antique treasures, or stroll through the beautiful gardens. After exploring the grounds, the café is a great place to enjoy a snack.

Address: Tharwa Drive, Tharwa

Official site:

St. Saviour's Cathedral

About an hour's drive from Canberra, Goulburn is the center of a wealthy farming district at the junction of the Wollondilly and Mulwarry Rivers. The discovery of gold at Braidwood, 87 kilometers south, brought the town wealth. Today, many handsome buildings bear witness to the town's prosperity in the 1870s. Of particular interest are Riversdale Historic Homestead , the town hall, courthouse, and St. Saviour's Cathedral .

Rocky Hill Lookout offers great views over town, and you can visit a WWI memorial here. On the western outskirts of town is the Big Merino , a 15-meter concrete tribute to Australia's wool industry, with a small shop and museum. Train buffs will enjoy the Rail Heritage Centre .

Holy Trinity Church

The little settlement of Berrima was founded around 1830 and is one of Australia's best-preserved Georgian towns. In the last few decades, the beauty of the Georgian buildings has been rediscovered, and the town is now protected as a national monument.

Many artists and potters have settled here. It's worthwhile spending a few hours browsing the art galleries and shops and relaxing at the cafés. In addition to a number of old inns, you can explore the historic buildings on the Berrima Historic Walk .

Cockington Green

Cockington Green, about nine kilometers north of the city, is a favorite place to visit for families. Set amid pretty gardens and sprawling lawns, it's a picturesque English village in miniature, as well as a display of tiny buildings from around the world. Hop aboard the miniature steam train , explore the Waverley Dollhouse, and admire the tiny castles and cottages.

Address: 11 Gold Creek Road, Nichols

Official site:

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More Places to Visit near Canberra : Feel like embracing winter and carving up some slopes? Less than a three-hour drive away from Canberra, you'll find some of Australia's top ski resorts . Visiting in the summer? You can explore The Kosciuszko Walk, one of the Australia's top hikes . If you need help deciding what other things to see and do during your visit Down Under, see our article on top Australian itineraries .

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3 days in Canberra

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Canberra makes for a perfect short break full of food, culture, history and outdoor activity.

By Leah Dobihal

The must-do experiences

Learn about Australian history, politics and culture at some of the best museums and galleries in the country

Get outdoors to explore nearby national parks and Lake Burley Griffin

Explore a sophisticated dining scene and cool-climate wines

Day 1: Lake Burley Griffin and NewActon

The heart of Canberra is Lake Burley Griffin, so get your bearings by spending the day on and around the water.

The Grand Stair, Ovolo Nishi, Canberra, ACT © VisitCanberra

Where to stay in Canberra

Brazen, bright new architecture meets grand Art Deco design in the nation's capital.

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Day 2: Canberra’s icons

As the nation’s capital city, Canberra has no shortage of must-visit icons. Art lovers and history buffs will love spending the day at the city’s best museums, memorials and galleries.

Did you know?

Canberra makes for a great stopping point on a road trip from Sydney to Melbourne .

Day 3: National Arboretum and Braddon

Spend your final day in Canberra seeking out more of the outdoors, joining a cultural tour and digging into the suburban food scene.

Mount Ainslie, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory © Tourism Australia

Canberra suburb guide

With its landmark cultural institutions, a blossoming culinary scene and outdoor activities aplenty, Australia’s capital city is big on attractions, easily reached from its central ‘hoods.

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20 things to do in and around Canberra

Carla Grossetti

Sub-Editor & Journalist

01 August 2023


We’ve done the sleuth work for you and found 20 capital reasons to head to the ACT.

Looking for the best things to do in Canberra ? Well, a weekend in the national capital is now, more than ever before, an extremely exciting proposition. If you want to stay indoors, then its bars, breweries, restaurants, galleries, museums and boutiques will keep you happy in the rain or sunshine.

But this eminently liveable city is also known for its great outdoors. Whether you’re tackling one of Canberra’s stunning walks , stopping to smell the flowers during Floriade , hiring an e-bike to zip around the lake, or enjoying brunch al fresco .

colourful flowers at Floriade in spring

Floriade blooms into action in spring. (Image: VisitCanberra)

Forget whatever preconceived notion you have of Canberra. Residents will tell you it’s an extremely liveable city with lots of fun things to do. Here are just are few of them.

Lesser-known Canberra attractions

Lake Burley Griffin has become the shining jewel in Canberra’s crown. And while big-hitting attractions such as its galleries, museums and architectural landmarks are on everyone’s radar, super-smart travellers are also exploring corners of Canberra that are less well-known from cycling trails to playground picnic spots and swimming pools.

1. Cycle or scoot around Canberra

One of the best things to do in Canberra is loop around the lake on two wheels. Places such as NewActon Bike Hire and Cycle Canberra have options to suit a range of riders. Adrenaline junkies can head out of town with experienced guides from Mulga Bicycle Tours , while families can look into Share A Bike , which has child bikes and bike trailers. Cycle City Hire will take keen cyclists via shuttle bus to tackle Stromlo Forest Park. You can also hire a scooter from Beam or Neuron to whiz around the water.

three teenagers riding a scooter around Lake Burley Griffin and National Carillion

Stroll around while riding a scooter. (Image: Richard Poulton for VisitCanberra)

2. Visit the Pod Playground at the National Arboretum

There are a plethora of places to take children under the age of 10 when visiting Canberra. The Pod Playground and Forest Sculpture Gallery are great to explore. These popular Canberra attractions are adjacent to the National Arboretum , a living mosaic of forests and gardens with more than 44,000 rare and endangered trees across a 250-hectare site. There are also several places to picnic such as the Bonsai Garden and designated barbecue areas that offer views over Canberra’s cinematic landscapes.

an overhead shot of National Arboretum Canberra

Surround yourself with lush foliage. (Image: VisitCanberra)

3. Take a dip in one of Canberra’s pools

Canberra can cook over the summer. So there’s something to be said about its swimming pools. Manuka Pool was the first public swimming pool in Canberra and this Art Deco beauty is a great place to go in the height of summer. In addition to providing puddles of shade for a picnic, the recently refurbished pool (which opened in 1931) has a toddler pool for tiny tots. Canberra Olympic Pool will appeal to teenagers as it has the city’s only diving board.  The Australian Institute of Sport is a world-class facility on the fringes of Canberra, and you can swim in the 50-metre and 25-metre heated pools.

4. Admire the iconic architecture

There are a number of notable mid-century modern buildings in Canberra that are worthy of a visit in their own right. If the style of the buildings looks cohesive, it’s because they were mostly designed by architects from the Federal Capital Commission. Time your visit to coincide with the Design Canberra Festival, in September, which runs small-group architecture tours of iconic Canberra buildings. Use Parliament House as your starting point, then loop to the War Memorial and National Gallery.

top view of Australian War Memorial against a scenic backdrop

Marvel at Australian War Memorial, a gallery that pays tribute to war veterans. (Image: Tourism Australia)

Canberra’s museums and art galleries

You will find a lot to inspire in Canberra, a city that centres around music, dance, museums and theatre. Culture vultures converge on the nation’s capital whenever there’s a show or exhibition they want to see. There are more than 30 galleries and museums in Canberra to find inspiration, including kid-friendly spaces such as Questacon and the CSIRO Discovery Centre.

a girl sliding on a free fall attraction in Questacon

The Free Fall attraction at Questacon highlights the science behind gravity. (Image: VisitCanberra)

5. Discover our story at The National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia is located on Acton Peninsula, a finger of land that juts out into Lake Burley Griffin.

an aerial view of National Museum of Australia on Acton peninsula

The extensive Australian gallery is nestled on a lake.

You can take a guided tour or wander solo through the many exhibitions that present a range of rich and diverse Australian stories.

fossilised bones of a Muttaburrasaurus dinosaur at Gandel Atrium, National Museum of Australia

The gallery shelters fossilised bones of a dinosaur. (Image: Richard Poulton)

The new Great Southern Land gallery tells a uniquely Australian story. Take a tour to get an introduction to the museum highlights.

the exterior view of National Museum of Australia, Canberra

Appreciate your Australian heritage upon immersing in the museum. (Image: Richard Poulton)

6. Visit the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Australia

The National Gallery has more than 166,000 words in its permanent collection, which strikes the perfect balance between old, new, modern and masterpiece.

visitors meandering through the art galleries inside National Gallery of Australia

History buffs and art lovers will delight in the gallery’s amazing displays. (Image: VisitCanberra)

Defo spend a day in the oft-overlooked Sculpture Garden, which includes works by Henry Moore. The National Gallery has one of the world’s largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

an art sculpture at National Gallery of Australia Sculpture

Find art sculptures around here. (Image: VisitCanberra)

7. Dine at all of Canberra’s hatted restaurants

In a state of only 390,000 people, the fact that the ACT has 10 chef’s-hatted restaurants is very impressive. The great news is you can dine out every night of the week and still have reasons to return!

a bottle of wine on the table in front of the fireplace at Bar Rochford

Drink wine by the fireplace at Bar Rochford. (Image: VisitCanberra)

From family-friendly restaurants to restaurants designed for romance, here are the hatted restaurants that should be on your hit list: Onzieme , Mu Omakase , Italian and Sons , Terra , RAKU , Bar Rochford , XO and Pavilion Dining at Pialligo Estate . Pivot toward Pilot in Ainslie if only two hats will do.

the sleek and modern dining interior of RAKU Japanese Restaurant

RAKU is a classy, modern Japanese bar and restaurant. (Image: VisitCanberra)

8. Embrace the freak shake

Food trend forecasters would never have predicted that an over-the-top milkshake would make Canberra a must-visit for Instagrammers. While some fads fade away, the freak shake remains. It’s that remarkable. But there’s a lot more on the menu at Patissez in Manuka. For instance, the crispy corn and zucchini fritters and Tijuana tacos have been trying to elbow the freak shake out of the way since 2016 (when the craze took off).

9. Take a glass-blowing class at Canberra Glassworks

Watch the artists perform their magic forming everything from one-off figurines to vases and glasses in the working studio dubbed the Engine Room at  Canberra Glassworks . You can take a free heritage tour of the Kingston Powerhouse, which celebrated its centenary in 2015 or sign up for a class designed to fire up your imagination.

a glass artist playing with flame

The glass-making workshop will surely blow your mind. (Image: VisitCanberra)

Experts in the field conduct state-of-the-art workshops that demonstrate how to mould glowing glass into amazing shapes and colours. Sign up for a sample session on weekends where you can learn to blow, fuse and sculpt your own paperweight (in 20 minutes) or a tumbler (40 minutes).

a colourful display of contemporary glass art at Canberra Glassworks

Take a look at some of Canberra’s heritage in this contemporary glass centre. (Image: VisitCanberra)

10. Cycle around Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin is not just for gazing at over a cocktail from one of the city’s busy bars. Although we thoroughly endorse a bar crawl around the nation’s capital as a fun option. But you should also consider earning those pina colada calories by hiring a canoe, kayak, row boat or paddle board from providers such as GoBoat Canberra and Capital Paddle. Pick up a bike from Canberra Electric Bikes and do a lap of the lake, which curves around Capital Hill.

a group of cyclists touring around Lake Burley Griffin

Go on a scenic bike tour around Lake Burley Griffin. (Image: Damian Breach for VisitCanberra)

Canberra wineries, breweries and distilleries

You can whet your whistle on an elegant wine, bold brew or hand-crafted spirits thanks to the next-gen winemakers, brewers and distillers who take advantage of the city’s cool climate and pristine water supply.

11. Knock the top off a cold one at BentSpoke

BentSpoke is one of the best brewpubs in Canberra for a tipple or two. The brainchild of Champion Australian brewers Richard Watkins and Tracy Margrain, this brewery has opened up a production-scale facility to cater to demand. Crack open a Cranking IPA or Barley Griffin to get into gear. You can also include Brew Nation and Capital Brewing Co in your pub crawl.

a waiter filling the glass with tap beer at BentSpoke Brewing Co

Sample cold brews on tap at BentSpoke Brewing Co. (Image: VisitCanberra)

12. Taste the terroir over a top Canberra District drop

Winemakers in the Canberra District use the crisp, cool climate and regional terroir to their advantage to craft complex and elegant wines. The first vines were planted in the region in the 1840s and re-emerged in the 70s thanks to some fine work by scientists at the CSIRO.

Start at Helm Wines , where you may be lucky enough to meet Ken Helm, one of the region’s pioneering winemakers. There are now three distinct wine regions in the area, news that will certainly please serious oenophiles who can drop a few pins in the map app to meet the makers at their cellar doors. We’ve collated a curated list of the top wineries in Canberra to make it easy to plan ahead.

a vast vineyard landscape in Helm Wines

Grape bushes swirl around the fertile vineyard. (Image: Helm Wines)

13. Sip spirits at Canberra Distillery & Big River Distilling Co.

Blood Orange Gin, French Earl Grey Gin, and Old George Reserve Whisky are just some of the drinks that will attract spirit geeks to The Canberra Distillery , just 10 minutes out of the city centre.

an array of spirits and liquors at The Canberra Distillery

The Canberra Distillery will have you coming back for more. (Image: Tourism Australia)

Lean into the experience of visiting Big River Distilling Co. with a tour and tutored tasting with founder and distiller Clyde Morton. Australia’s first certified organic spirits company is also in Canberra and it’s where you will find The Antipodes Gin.

two glasses of cocktail at Big River Distilling Co

Chill with a cocktail in hand at Big River Distilling Co. (Image: Tourism Australia)

Canberra markets and shopping

The food markets in Canberra are so good that it’s worth travelling with an esky to stock up on artisan goods and fresh produce.

14. Try artisan baked goods at the farmers’ markets

The iconic Old Bus Depot Markets is one of the best farmers’ markets in all the land. There’s also the new Haig Park Village Markets in Braddon and The Little Burly Market on the lake.

freshly baked bread displayed at Old Bus Depot Markets

Fill your bread basket at Old Bus Depot Markets. (Image: VisitCanberra)

Grab breakfast or brunch before heading to the Hartley Hall Markets on the first Sunday of the month. The Handmade Market is another hip, happening hub for lovers of food and design markets. The Pialligo Market Grocer, Poachers Pantry and Urban Providore Food Boutique are also top spots to pick up gourmet foods.

an aerial view of shoppers and tent kiosks at The Little Burley Market

Spend your Saturday shopping at The Little Burley Market. (Image: VisitCanberra)

15. Hit up the shops at the Canberra Centre

Shopping in Canberra is a cinch. It’s brimming with boutique stores, local homeware shops, major department stores and fashion brands. The Canberra Centre is the largest shopping centre in the city, and you can browse happily here without the crowds. In addition to Zara, H&M, Muji and Myer, the Canberra Centre has also opened a new dining precinct dubbed Tiger Lane . You will also find malls all over Canberra, from Westfield Woden to Westfield Belconnen and Southpoint in Tuggeranong.

Vintage clothing at Landspeed Records in Canberra

Canberra is brimming with boutique stores like Landspeed Records. (Image: Visit Canberra)

16. Find vintage vibes in Canberra’s thrift shops

If your main objective is to go thrift shopping, then best don your crocheted beanie and join Canberra’s cool crowds for a fossick. Whether you’re wandering a weekend market or hitting up some of the op shops that specialise in second-hand clothing, you will surely find something to suit. Bounce between Dirty Janes Canberra , the Designer Op Shop Emporium (DOSE as it’s known in Canberra) and Material Pleasures , which specialises in upcycled clothing.

a chic and classic interior at Designer Op Shop Emporium

Browse fashionable items at Designer Op Shop Emporium. (Image: VisitCanberra)

Canberra events and festivals

From flower festivals to get-togethers with boujee vibes, and performances in the great outdoors, here are a few key events and festivals in Canberra.

17. Take to the skies during Canberra Balloon Spectacular

One of the best times to visit Canberra is during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular held in March. Book a hot air balloon ride during the nine-day festival to revel in 360-degree views over the city and beyond to the Brindabellas.

If you’d prefer to stay grounded, you can still enjoy the spectacle of seeing the colourful balloons drift across the skies.

colourful hot air balloons at sunset in Canberra

Hop on one of the hot air balloons. (Image: 5 Foot Photography, Davey Barber for VisitCanberra)

18. Round-up of the best festivals and events

Canberra’s roster of events and festivals rotates with the seasons.

There’s the picturesque Floriade in spring , the tantalising Truffle Festival in winter , Canberra Folk Festival , Canberra Moon Festival , Canberra Writers Festival and the Canberra Comedy Festival . There’s also the Canberra Running Festival for fitness fanatics.

people gathering at the Canberra Moon Festival

Moon lanterns surround the capital during the annual Canberra Moon Festival. (Image: Martin Ollman for VisitCanberra)

Canberra walks and hikes

The choice for keen walkers and hikers is off the charts. Here are some of the best hikes and walks in Canberra.

19. Climb Canberra’s mountain hiking trails

Pack your boots. Pull your socks up. There are more than enough mountains to climb in Canberra. You can take a self-guided hike up Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie, or return to conquer the southerly Red Hill in autumn when leaf peeping is at its best.

a woman standing on top of Red Hill Lookout

Hike Red Hill for sweeping views of the Aroona Valley. (Image: Richard Poulton for VisitCanberra)

Tackle the easy Dairy Farmers Hills Circuit in the National Arboretum for 360-degree city views. Mt Taylor Zig Zag is another easy trail.

scenic views from Mt Ainslie

Breathtaking views of Mt Ainslie at dusk. (Image: Rob Mulally for VisitCanberra)

20. Some of the best walking trails in Canberra

Got something to prove? Tackle the Centenary Trail, which is a whopping 145 kilometres long. One Tree Hill is a manageable 90-minute return walk with views over the Brindabella Mountains. One of the ultimate ways to show respect to the Ngunawal people of Canberra is to join Dhawura Tours for a walk on Country in Mt Majura or Namadji National Park .

a hiker walking along Namadgi National Park

The park features hundreds of varied walking tracks. (Image: We Are Explorers for VisitCanberra)


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The Best 15 Things to Do in Canberra, Australia

canberra to visit

Surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards and family farms, Canberra is affectionately known as Australia ’s bush capital. While it may be less familiar to international visitors than Sydney or Melbourne , the city is packed with attractions for travelers looking to eat, drink, and explore something a little bit different. 

Canberra sits within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which was created in 1911, but the city didn’t truly come into its own until the 1950s. Thanks to smart urban planning, it offers a uniquely Australian experience, from renowned national museums and galleries to nature reserves crowded with kangaroos. 

Many of the attractions are clustered inside the Parliamentary Triangle on the south side of Lake Burley Griffin, making it an easy day out for visitors of all ages. Discover everything Canberra has to offer with our guide to the capital’s must-see experiences. 

Drink a Flat White

Simon McGill /Getty Images 

Canberra’s coffee culture is legendary, with many locals picking up freshly roasted, barista-made coffee on their way to work each morning. The 2015 World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic calls the city home, working behind the scenes at his cafes, The Cupping Room and ONA Manuka. 

Other local players like Barrio Collective and Coffee Lab stay ahead of the curve with innovative blends and house-made milk alternatives. For the authentic Australian coffee experience, order a flat white (similar to a small latte, but with less foam.)

Learn About Australian Democracy

TripSavvy / Alisha McDarris

As a parliamentary democracy, Australia takes the inspiration for its government from both England and the U.S. It’s a two-party system in which voting is compulsory, with the federal government sitting right here in Canberra. Visitors can explore both the current Parliament House and Old Parliament House, which now acts as the Museum of Australian Democracy. 

The easiest way to visit Parliament House is on a free guided tour, starting at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2.:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily. The tour visits both chambers of Parliament (on non-sitting days), the Marble Foyer, the Great Hall, Members Hall, and highlights of the Parliament House Art Collection. The Museum of Australian Democracy is also open daily, with a variety of engaging exhibitions on display for a small entrance fee.

Shop at the Weekend Markets

Capital Region Farmers Market

Despite its relatively small population, Canberra punches above its weight when it comes to creativity and community, and you can experience both at the weekly Capital Region Farmers Market and Old Bus Depot Market. 

Sample the region’s fresh produce at the Farmers Market every Saturday 7:30am to 11:30am; including Bread Nerds bagels, handmade brownie sandwiches from The Hungry Brown Cow, Gum Tree Pies and dips and olives from Tilba Real Dairy. On Sunday from 10am to 4pm, the capital’s art lovers and fashionistas congregate at the Old Bus Depot in the hip inner south suburb of Kingston. There’s plenty of delicious local food available here, too. 

Bike Around Lake Burley Griffin

andrewmlance /Getty Images 

With dedicated biking lanes and few hills, Canberra is designed to be explored on two wheels. Riding around its sparkling central lake, named after the American architect who won the competition to plan the city, is the perfect way to see the sights and soak up the sunshine without breaking a sweat. 

Cyclists can choose between the 10-mile western loop, the 3-mile central loop (also known as the bridge-to-bridge) and the 5.5-mile eastern loop, passing by various cafes, parks, and national institutions. Many hotels have bike hire stations through Share A Bike , which are also open to the general public. You can also take your bike on public transport to get around the city.

Meet the Wildlife

Simon McGill/Getty Images 

With kangaroos routinely grazing in the backyards and sports fields of the suburbs, Canberra is an Aussie stereotype come true. Just to the south of the city, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park are your best bet to spot koalas, swamp wallabies, eastern grey kangaroos, echidnas, wombats, emus, pygmy possums, and reptiles. 

Each park has a visitor’s center where you can pick up maps, register your camping plans, or join ranger-led activities. You can also learn about the history of the indigenous Ngunnawal people and neighboring clans, with archaeological sites showing a presence for at least 21,000 years in the area.  

Play With Science at Questacon

Simon McGill  / Contributor/Getty Images

Questacon , the National Science and Technology Centre, is a wonderland of experiments and experiences for kids of all ages. There are live demonstrations as well as a huge range of interactive exhibits designed to teach science in an inventive way, exploring music, food, and space as well as more traditional concepts like electricity and gravity. 

Highlights include the Caged Lightning display, the Earthquake Lab, and the 20-foot Free Fall. Ticket costs are on the more expensive side, with adults paying AU$23 and children AU$17.50, but a visit to Questacon will keep the whole family happy for hours.

Visit the Australian War Memorial

4FR /Getty Images 

As a newly federated member of the British Commonwealth, Australia’s involvement in both World Wars was formative in the nation’s history. The War Memorial is a fittingly moving tribute to the horrors of Australia's involvement in these and many other conflicts, with permanent exhibitions and galleries as well as the Roll of Honor and the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, located in the Hall of Memory. 

Entry to the War Memorial is free. Afterward, take a walk past the monuments on Anzac Parade, finishing up your afternoon on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

Explore the Nation’s Art Collection

  travellinglight /Getty Images

Canberra is a dream destination for connoisseurs of art and culture. The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) houses a large collection of important pieces by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists like Albert Namatjira and Trevor Nickolls, as well as works by non-Indigenous Australians including Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and Grace Crowley. Make sure to wander through the Sculpture Garden by the lake, too. 

Then, head over to the Portrait Gallery to marvel at over 3,500 depictions of the people who have influenced or contributed to Australia’s national identity. Both galleries are open every day and entry is free. However, the Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed for rectification work until August 2019.

Learn About Australia’s History at the National Museum

With its half-circular shape and sweeping red loop sculpture, the National Museum is one of the most distinctive building is in Canberra. Inside, you’ll find intriguing temporary exhibitions and a collection of more than 210,000 objects representing Australia’s ancient and modern history. From the prototype for the bionic ear to Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s tennis racquet to Captain Cook’s navigational instruments, this free museum has something to interest everyone.

Take a Break at the National Botanic Gardens

At the Australian National Botanic Gardens, you’ll be transported from the rainforest to the red center, thanks to their diverse collection of native plants. The gardens also preserve plants threatened in the wild to help protect them against extinction, as well as providing habitat for a range of butterflies, reptiles, and birds. 

Free daily guided walks leave from the Visitor Center at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the Flora Explorer electric mini bus sets off at 10: 30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.

Meet a Koala at the National Zoo and Aquarium

Visitors can get up close and persona with exotic and native animals at the National Zoo and Aquarium. The adorable dingos, little penguins, tree kangaroos, and baby giraffe are some of the zoo’s most popular attractions, as are the majestic white lions. 

What sets the Canberra Zoo apart are its up-close-and-personal encounters, including meeting cheetah cub Solo and his canine friend, Zama. Close encounters can sell out, especially on weekends, so it is recommended to book in advance. General admission is $AU44.50 for adults and AU$23.50 for children, with additional costs for tours and close encounters. 

Take in the Views at Telstra Tower

The iconic Telstra Tower was opened on the summit of Black Mountain in 1980 as a radio communication facility. On top of its practical duties, the 640-foot tower serves as Canberra’s best lookout point, with an indoor observation deck and two outdoor viewing platforms offering views across the lake and sprawling city. Admission costs AU$7.50 for adults and AU$3 for kids.

Watch the Sunset from Mount Ainslie

Close to the city center, Mount Ainslie is a local favorite for hiking, and at 2,765 feet, the peak has unparalleled views of the city, iconic monuments, and the surrounding farmland. The 2.5-mile return trail starts from behind the War Memorial off Treloar Crescent, but the lookout can also be reached by car. The neighboring Mount Majura is a slightly higher, more challenging option, with its less-frequented trail offering a better chance to spot local wildlife. 

Drink Your Way Around the Capital’s Wineries

As a cool climate wine region, Canberra and the neighboring towns of Gundaroo and Murrumbateman are rapidly gaining a reputation for their exquisite Shiraz, Riesling, Viognier and Tempranillo grapes. 

There are over 30 wineries within a half hour drive of the city, including the award-winning Clonakilla (cellar door open ever day), along with Tallagandra Hill (open Saturday and Sunday), and Four Winds Vineyard (open Thursday to Monday), which serve up delicious lunches to accompany the wine tasting. 

Eat Brunch in Braddon

Like coffee, brunching is a Canberra tradition. The cafes of Lonsdale Street in the artsy inner north suburb of Braddon are at the center of the city’s food culture, with significant contributions from the Mocan and Green Grout in the NewActon precinct and outposts Stand By Me and Kettle and Tin south of the lake. Order smashed avocado on toast for a healthy start to the day or an egg and bacon roll for a true Aussie brekky. 

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The Crowded Planet

16 Unmissable Things to do in Canberra

Updated November 9, 2019

// By Margherita

We’re heading back to Australia! Here is all you need to know about the best things to do in Canberra – 16 fun activities including alternative, active, and free things to do in Australia’s capital!

First things first – did you know Canberra is Australia’s capital? Australians will go ‘well, of course it is’ , but trust me, many first-time international visitors still think that the capital of Australia is either stunning Sydney , or coffee-loving Melbourne. 

Canberra is a planned city, conceived and built by architect Walter Burley Griffin in the 1920s, exactly to be Australia’s capital. Its location is not unplanned – Canberra is almost exactly half-way between Sydney and Melbourne , the two main Australian cities who were both vying to become capital of the country. 

parliament house back view canberra

For decades, Canberra was dismissed as a not very interesting place , with nothing much besides embassies and institutional buildings. Yet, guess what – that’s all completely untrue. Canberra is full of things to do, including lots of free museums, memorial buildings, markets, a vibrant brewery and café scene, and stunning nature all around. 

Book your Canberra accommodation and keep planning your trip with the best free, active, and alternative things to do in Canberra!

If you’re also heading to Sydney, check our article about the best day trips from Sydney !

Free Things to do in Canberra

1) bridge to bridge walk around lake burley griffin.

lake burley griffin canberra

One of the most popular things to do in Canberra , especially for locals, is the central circuit around Lake Burley Griffin , an artificial lake built in the centre of town.

This 5km walk is known as ‘Bridge to Bridge’ because it runs from Commonwealth Bridge to Kings Avenue Bridge, passing a lot of picturesque sights, local attractions, and plenty of shops and cafés en route. The most recommended approach it is to start and end in Commonwealth Park. That way, you’d get to relax at the end in the most pleasant attraction in the route.

The Bridge to Bridge walk is a great way to get an introduction to the city – alternatively, you can always join a Canberra tour. Below are some recommendations:

  • Canberra Day Tour of Australia’s Capital
  • Inside the Heart of Canberra Electric Bike Tour
  • Canberra Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise
  • Canberra Sunsets and Serenity Pedal Bike Tour
  • Canberra Island Hopping with the Waterbirds Kayak Tour

2) Parliament of Australia

parliament house canberra

The Parliament of Australia is open for the public all year round except for Christmas. It definitely deserves a mention on this list of free things to do in Canberra , because of its memorable blend of cool architecture, unique art pieces, and the chance to see debates and law-making in real time.

You can get a guided tour that will show you around the building, and the extra curious ones can even book a question session to ask questions about the Parliament and Australia in general. Once you’re done, you can go to the Queen’s Terrace Café for some refreshments.

3) National Museum of Australia

As one of the most fascinating places in Canberra , the National Museum is dedicated to cataloguing and researching Australia’s history – and like most Canberra museums, it’s totally free!

One of the best things about it is that almost everything is interactive, and its exhibits include several subjects. Here you can learn about Aboriginal history and culture, modern-day Australia, Australian environment and geography, subjects like lifesaving and bushrangers, and so much more. There is even a program for kids to build and design a robot!

On top of that, the museum’s architecture is worth paying attention to, and its waterfront setting is just spectacular.

lake canberra things to do

4) Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint is one of Canberra’s true gems and best free attractions. This is place where Australian coins are being produced on a daily basis.

When visiting the mint, you’ll get to see robots creating all sorts of coins, from regular ones to artistic creations and even to quirky collector’s coins. The mint also has a collection of rare and unique coins , each of which has its own particular tale, and you might even get to snag a quirky coin yourself.

5) Australian War Memorial

war memorial canberra things to do

Like many other countries, Australia too had its share of wartime victories and losses. The Australian War Memorial is dedicated to the lives Australians lost during all wars Australia has ever participated in.

The museum was planned at the end of WW1, but construction didn’t begin until 1941, with subsequent additions remembering the role played by Australia in all recent conflicts. Sections worth visiting include the Commemorative Area , with the Pool of Remembrance and the Hall of Memory , housing the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier. It’s a somber place where the atmosphere plays an important role in the experience.

Don’t miss the Last Post Ceremony each day at 4.55 PM, just before the museum closes, when the Australian anthem is played followed by the story of an individual fallen soldier, and then the Last Post played on the bugle. It might be a difficult place to visit for some , but it’s a small price to pay to understand Australia’s history and the way it helped shape the world.

australian war memorial canberra

6) Canberra Glassworks

The Glassworks are a one of a kind attraction, and one of the coolest free things to do in Canberra. It’s a place where you get to see professional glass artists at work, and you can try your hand at shaping glass.

The Glassworks are housed in the historic Kingston Power House , which used to be one of the most important buildings in Australia. It provided a lot of things for Canberra — from employment to housing for the entire telecommunications system, and it powered the development of the city. A lot of that history and heritage can still be found in the building.

7) Deep Space Communication Complex

deep space communication complex canberra

This is the de facto best spot for those with a penchant for exploring the stars. This complex ran by NASA  just outside Canberra, is an international network of antennas that provide support for spacecraft on interplanetary missions.

The enormous antenna sends and receives information constantly, to and from spacecrafts in the solar system. Here you’ll find a piece of the moon, the latest photos of space, and the latest information about anything related to the outer space. Don’t miss this free Canberra attraction!

8) Questacon

Canberra is a great destination for museum lovers – many deserve to be in this list of free things to do in Canberra, but we need to make a selection as they would be too many to include. I love hands-on science museums so we couldn’t fail to mention Questacon , the National Science and Technology Centre.

Here you’ll find over 200 interactive science exhibits for young and grown-ups alike, including caged lightning with a Tesla coil, a gravity well, an earthquake lab, and many more!

Alternative Things to do in Canberra

9) old bus depot market.

This peculiar market has become one of Canberra’s best alternative things to do throughout the past couple of decades. It originally began as an idea by two locals to have a spot where people could sell and buy high quality merchandise on a weekly basis.

Today, it has become a huge weekly event that happens every Sunday where you’ll find over 200 stalls selling all sorts of things. From handcrafted jewellery, to clothing, to the best street food in Canberra, this award-winning market is the best way to spend a Sunday in the capital.

10) Telstra Tower

telstra tower canberra

Sitting high on the summit of Black Mountain, this 195-meter tower is a beacon for Telstra, the Australian mobile carrier. However, there’s much more to it, because the Telstra Tower isn’t a mere telecommunications tower – it is also the best observation deck in Canberra.

Located a short drive away from the city centre and surrounded by a patch of splendid nature where kangaroos roam free, the Telstra Tower offers the best views of the city, and it’s one of the best secret things to do in Canberra! Actually, it might not be the true ‘hidden secret’ it used to be a few decades ago, but it still definitely is something that every visitor to Canberra should experience.

11) Mount Ainslie Lookout

Canberra and its surrounding region are a place of great natural beauty, and there is no place better to take that all in than the lookout on the top of Mount Ainslie. From there you’ll have a vantage point over the entire city, Lake Burley Griffin and surrounds.

That’s also the exact spot where famous architect Burley Griffin first came up with his plans on how to design Canberra a century ago. According to him, the lookout on Mount Ainslie is one of the best galleries that overlooks the irregular amphitheater that is Canberra.

12) Canberra Beer Tour

Canberra still has a long way to go before it reaches Melbourne as a craft beer destination, but it does have a few impressive microbreweries and brewpubs – so much so that you can make a day out of it!

Check out these Canberra beer tours – how’s that for an alternative way to explore Canberra?

  • Canbeera Explorer – Full Day Capital Beer Tour
  • Canberra Beer and Brewery Tour – 3 Hours

Active Things to do in Canberra and Around

13) batemans bay tour.

batemans bay canberra

Batemans Bay is the favourite coastal escapade for residents of Canberra , and it’s a great destination for a day trip from the city. You can rent a car and explore independently or join a guided tour including hiking, beach time, visits to oyster farms and historical towns. It’s a truly offbeat part of Australia , and you’re pretty much guaranteed you’ll see kangaroos!

Here are some awesome Batemans Bay tours from Canberra!

  • Canberra to Batemans Bay Day Tour
  • Great Walk 27 beaches – 3 Day Hike Batemans Bay

14) Namadgi National Park

kangaroo canberra things to do

This entire open range is a diverse piece of land that offers some of the finest natural landscapes in Eastern Australia. It’s a great spot to discover and explore old Aboriginal heritage, while you’re hiking through unique trails.

You’ll be surrounded by wonderful and unique wildlife , and you’ll get a chance to make camp at some of the most scenic spots in Australia. You can even do some horseback riding on specifically designated trails, as well as discover Bendora Arboretum , the last high altitude arboretum in this part of the county.

15) National Arboretum

This vast arboretum is one of Canberra’s most beautiful attractions. It’s a 250 hectare site, which you can explore freely either by foot, cycle, or even horseback. The botanical beauty found in the National Arboretum is very diverse, and it includes an impressive collection of miniature trees,  National Bonsai and Penjing Collection.

There are plenty of interactive displays to be found – playgrounds, open sculptures, picnic areas, and viewpoints where you’ll get breathtaking views of Canberra. The arboretum is a spot where you can get lost in – sometimes even literally, because there are also some labyrinths you can explore in the Gallery of Gardens.

16) Jerrabomberra Wetlands

This unique natural attraction is strategically located in the heart of the city, at the edge of Lake Burley Griffin. The Jerrabomberra Wetlands were originally created in the 1960s, due to the damming of the Molongolo River to create the lake, which produced a wetland area as a result.

Today, it’s a natural reserve filled with an incredible amount of biodiversity. Birds from all over migrate to find refuge here as well as water rats, turtles, water dragons, and even platypus. There are regular events taking place in Jerrabomberra Wetlands, that promote learning about the local wildlife. 

These are just some of many fun things to do in Canberra – the city may be small in size, but it makes up for it in terms of natural beauty and cultural activities. Not to mention, the abundance of free museums and other free things to do in Canberra mean your visit to the city won’t necessarily blow a big hole in your budget. 

Canberra’s status as a capital city means there is an ample choice of hotels – however, don’t forget it’s often necessary to book your accommodation in advance, as beds do fill up during special occasions and events. On top of that, booking early is the best way to get great deals!

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Home » Oceania » Australia » Canberra

10 BEST Places to Visit in Canberra (2024)

What is the capital of Australia? If you said Sydney or even Melbourne, you could be forgiven for getting it wrong. In fact, it’s this place – Canberra. Although, if you’re going there you probably already know that! It’s no accident that this place is right between the two cities. If you’re visiting Canberra, you’ll be pleased to know that the city is packed with exquisite architecture and culture, even though its history only dates back just over 100 years!

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best places to visit in Canberra, helping you to plan your vacation. We think that there’s more than enough things to do in Canberra in 3 days, so if you’re looking to spend a long weekend in the city, our list will be perfect for you. First, though, let’s take a look at the best places to stay in Canberra.

Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighbourhood in Canberra:

These are the best places to visit in canberra, faq on the best places to visit in canberra.

City Centre , Canberra

City Centre

Canberra City Centre – aka Civic, Civic Centre, CBD, or simply ‘City’ – is the heart of the Australian Capital. Properly established in 1927, the centre of town is a series of geometric road shapes lined by grand, early 20th-century edifices and plumes of green trees.

  • Head to City Walk for a spot of retail therapy and some lunch al fresco
  • And for even more shopping, head to the shopping haven of Canberra Centre
  • Take yourself to Commonwealth Park for a lovely waterside walk

Yes, there are many places that you need to see. Maybe even too many. Before you scroll down any further, though, check out some of the best places to stay in Canberra and get your accommodation lined up. That’ll take a bit of the strain out, as it can get quite stressful trying to fit everything you want to see in anyway. Planning ahead and having your Canberra itinerary ready will make your whole trip way more enjoyable and you won’t miss out on the best hotspots. Speaking of…

canberra to visit

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#1 – National Museum of Australia – A fascinating educational place to visit in Canberra

National Museum of Australia

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  • A great place to learn about the history, geography, and culture of Australia
  • One of the best places in Canberra for an educational experience
  • Admire the building’s incredible jigsaw inspired architecture

Why it’s awesome: You’ll notice in the capital, that there are a lot of National somethings in Australia. You have the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, and the National Library of Australia, just to name a few. One of our favourite national attractions in Canberra is the National Museum of Australia. Sitting on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Burley Griffin, it’s the perfect place to learn about Australia’s history as a nation. It also has some of the most in-depth and important exhibits on Aboriginal culture in the entire country!

What to do there: If you’re interested in the history, culture, and geography in Australia, then this place should be right at the top of your Canberra itinerary. However, you don’t just have to admire the building from the outside. Meant to represent the many interconnected stories that hold Australia together as a nation, the intricate architecture of the building is supposed to look like a jigsaw! So, it’s a must for architecture buffs too. Visiting with kids? There are some great interactive exhibitions that will keep them entertained too!

#2 – Lake Burley Griffin – A perfect place to visit in Canberra if you are on a budget

Lake Burley Griffin

  • Walk or bike around the waterfront paths
  • Explore the six islands in the lake’s centre
  • Home to some of the most important and recognizable landmarks in Canberra

Why it’s awesome: Lake Burley Griffin was named in honour of the architect who designed Canberra. Although the city’s original plan dates back to 1912, it wasn’t actually completed until 1958. Nowadays, it’s loved by both locals and tourists alike for its serene atmosphere and the wealth of activities you can do on and around the lake. In its centre, you’ll find several of the best places to visit in Canberra (including some that are on this list), dotted across 6 man-made islands. You’ll also be impressed by the 147m high Captain Cook Memorial Jet fountain!

What to do there: There’s so much to do around Lake Burley Griffin that in theory, you could spend your whole vacation here! Want to see the National Gallery or Museum? Tick. There’s also the Questacon science centre that’s another of the best places to visit in Canberra – especially if you’re with kids. While on the subject of visiting Canberra with kids, check out Commonwealth Park, which sits on the lake’s north shore. Here, you’ll find play areas, paddling pools, and even an amphitheatre! If you’re visiting the city in Spring, don’t miss the Floriade festival!

#3 – Australian War Memorial – One of the most incredible free places to go in Canberra

Australian War Memorial

  • Learn about the role of war in Australian history
  • An incredible Byzantine style monument to honour Australia’s fallen
  • One of the most poignant attractions in Canberra

Why it’s awesome: You can’t travel to the Aussie capital without visiting one of the most evocative landmarks in Canberra. The Byzantine dome of the National War Memorial looks like it’s been transported from Istanbul and is a fitting tribute to all the Australian soldiers who have lost their lives while fighting for their country. This fascinating attraction is more than just a memorial though – it’s also a museum that documents Australia’s war history. From colonialism to the present day. The Australian War Memorial is one of the attractions in Canberra that you shouldn’t miss, especially considering it’s free to visit.

What to do there: This incredible museum is well worth a few hours of your time, so we’d recommend putting at least half a day aside to visit. The exhibits in the museum include a collection of old aircraft, as well as a number of galleries. There are loads of interactive displays in the Child Discovery Zone too – so it’s easy to keep the kids entertained here. If you’re here as the day is coming to a close, don’t miss the Last Post. A tribute played every day at 4.55 pm. This is not only one of the most moving attractions in Canberra but in the whole of Australia.

#4 – New Parliament House

New Parliament House

  • Take in panoramic views of the city from the rooftop
  • One of the most iconic landmarks in Canberra
  • Learn how Australia’s unique and complex political system works

Why it’s awesome: Canberra’s history may not span much further back than 100 years, but in that time, they’ve managed to get through one Parliament House and built a second! And this one truly is a marvel of modern architecture. The building is shaped like another Aussie icon – the boomerang – and was opened by the Queen in 1988. The curved granite walls were designed to reflect the hills surrounding the capital. The Ceremonial Pool and huge flag pole are other impressive parts of this amazing building.

What to do there: If you have time, we’d definitely recommend taking a free guided tour of the New Parliament House. You’ll see all the architectural aspects that we mentioned above, as well as learning how Australia’s unusual political system works. You’ll also have the opportunity to enter several parts of the building, including the House of Representatives and Public Galleries. If you enjoy visiting the New Parliament House, you can visit the old one too. It’s now home to the Museum of Australian Democracy!

#5 – Mount Ainslie Lookout – One of the most amazing places to visit in Canberra

Mount Ainslie Lookout

  • One of the city’s most popular viewpoints
  • Hike or bike to the mountain’s 843-meter summit
  • Get 360-degree views of the most iconic landmarks in Canberra

Why it’s awesome: You may not realize just how well-planned Canberra is when you’re at the city level. However, head to the Mount Ainslie Lookout and you’ll get fantastic views of this methodical and carefully outlined capital. The mountain just happens to line up perfectly with Anzac Parade, and you’ll be able to see Lake Burley Griffin and the stunning Capitol Hill. There are a couple of other lookout points where you can get fantastic views of the city too. If you’re itching for more after the Mount Ainslie Lookout, try those on Black Hill and Red Hill.

What to do there: If you’ve been feeling a little lazy since you arrived in town, or have spent too much time gorging yourself on food, take the Mount Ainslie Kokoda Summit Trail, a 2km hike that’s easy enough for beginners, but challenging enough to be fun and interesting! It’s paved too, so whether you want to walk or bike, you’ll not be too uncomfortable. The trail starts near the Australian War Memorial, so it’s possible to incorporate both these cool Canberra must-do activities into the same day.

#6 – Australian National Botanical Gardens

Australian National Botanical Gardens

  • Spot birds and butterflies in the beautiful botanical gardens
  • Hunt for water dragons in the Rain Forest Gully
  • One of the most relaxing points of interest in Canberra

Why it’s awesome: Australia is noted for its wildflowers, but it takes a lot of effort to trek across the country and see all of them. Instead, why not visit a place where they’ve all been kept together?! It’s surely the perfect solution – and you can do that here at the Australian National Botanical Gardens. Not only will you get to see all this fascinating flora (and the occasional bit of fauna) at the gardens, but you’ll learn about the plants’ roles in Australian life and society.

What to do there: You can even take a ¾ hour bus tour (don’t worry, it’s air-conditioned). This should tell you just how big the gardens are! However, it’s just as rewarding to visit the gardens and discover them for yourself on foot. They’re split up into sections, and you’ll get to see some of the different landscapes Australia is known for. For example, the rainforest gully is lush and green, and you may even be lucky enough to spot a water dragon. The Red Centre is the complete opposite – where you’ll get an idea of the Outback and its grasslands!

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#7 – Black Mountain Nature Park – A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Canberra

 Black Mountain Nature Park

  • Get panoramic views of the city from the top of the Black Mountain Tower
  • Get out into the Aussie bush
  • Combine this with a trip to the Botanical Gardens for a great day out

Why it’s awesome: If you really liked the Australian National Botanical Gardens but haven’t managed to spend the whole day there, this is a great option for your afternoon. The Black Mountain Nature Park’s views rival those of the Mount Ainslie Lookout and enable you to get out in the bush! Although you’ve all heard the horror stories of venomous snakes and spiders, you’re more likely to catch a view of native birds here. This is also where you’ll find the Australian Institute of Sport.

What to do there: We’d definitely recommend taking a walk through the bush and spotting some wildlife. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars so you can really see it up close! The Black Mountain Tower deserves a place on your Canberra itinerary too. Not only does it offer fantastic views across the city, it’s also one of the best places to eat in Canberra. The revolving restaurant at the top of the tower certainly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! The Black Mountain Nature Park is one of the best places in Canberra to escape into the wilderness for the day!

#8 – Jet Flight Simulator Canberra

  • Learn to fly a plane and land at your airport of choice
  • Be guided by an experienced First Officer
  • One of the more unusual things to do in Canberra

Why it’s awesome: Have you ever wanted to fly your own plane? Of course, you have. And Jet Flight Simulator Canberra is the perfect place to do that in a safe and secure environment. There’s a choice of over 22,000 virtual airports to land at, and guided by your First Officer, you should successfully navigate onto the runway. And if you don’t, just have another go!

What to do there: Learn the ropes of flying one of the most popular planes in the world, the Boeing 737. You might even realize a life-long dream! Not only is it cool having such a huge choice of airports to fly into, but there’s also a range of weather conditions. So, if you’re finding it too easy to fly in the sun, how about during a thunderstorm? This is a Canberra must-do if you’re interested in aviation… or you’re just a big kid that wants to fly a plane!

#9 – National Zoo and Aquarium

National Zoo and Aquarium

  • Get up close and personal with Australian and exotic wildlife
  • Take part in a ZooVenture Tour
  • The only combined zoo and aquarium in the whole of Australia

Why it’s awesome: One of the most famous places in Canberra, the National Zoo and Aquarium is surprisingly the only combined zoo and aquarium in the whole country! It’s a great place to visit with kids, as there’s more to it than just looking at the animals and being impressed. You’ll learn a lot about conservation work here, and you might even be lucky enough to get up close and personal with your favourite animal! Also, there’s a cool safari lodge if you want to stay overnight and make it a visit to remember.

What to do there: Speaking of making your visit memorable, why not try one of the ZooVenture tours when you visit Canberra? Some of the options include hand-feeding giraffes, patting rhinos, and feeding bears. Don’t worry, it’s all perfectly safe and you’ll be accompanied by someone who has plenty of experience with animals! Whatever age you are, this will be an unforgettable memory of your time in Canberra!

#10 – Namadgi National Park – A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Canberra

Namadgi National Park

  • How to see Canberra’s natural beauty
  • Just a 40km drive south of the capital
  • One of eleven areas on the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves list

Why it’s awesome: Sometimes when you visit a capital city, it’s just an endless concrete jungle. So, it’s reassuring to know that just 40km south of Canberra, you can completely escape into the wilderness. Namadgi National Park is included on the Australian National Heritage List, as well as being one of just 11 protected areas on the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves list. And with good reason too! The area is a habitat for more flora and fauna than you can shake a stick at (please don’t hit anything with said stick). Don’t miss it off your Canberra itinerary!

What to do there: If you’re wondering about how to see Canberra’s rugged outskirts, don’t miss taking a trip down here. Hiking trails criss-cross this national park so that even the most novice hiker won’t get lost. There are some incredible birdwatching opportunities in the park too, so twitchers should definitely pack their cameras and binoculars. This is one of the best places in Canberra to get in touch with nature and see the beauty of the Australian bush!

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Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Canberra

What are the best free places to visit in Canberra?

Check out these cool places to visit in Canberra – the best thing about them, they’re free! – Australian War Memorial – New Parliament House – Lake Burley Griffin

Are there any natural places in Canberra?

Explore nature and enjoy some stunning views at the incredible places to visit in Canberra: – Mount Ainslie Lookout – Australian National Botanical Gardens – Namadgi National Park

What are the best places to visit in Canberra for outdoor adventures?

Outdoor lovers will have a blast at these places in Canberra: – Mount Ainslie Lookout – Namadgi National Park – National Zoo and Aquarium

Which places in Canberra can you visit during winter?

Even when it’s cold outside, these places in Canberra are pretty cool to visit: – Black Mountain Nature Park – New Parliament House – National Museum of Australia

Final Thoughts

So, that concludes our list of the best places to visit in Canberra. We hope that our extensive list has proved useful and helpful and that you’ve seen there’s such a wide variety of things to do in the Australian capital! Although it may not be as popular as Sydney or Melbourne, it’s well worth a visit thanks to so many museums, galleries, and cool outdoor attractions.

Not only will you have a better idea of the best places to visit in Canberra, but the best places to stay too. And with such natural beauty on your doorstep, it’s easy to get away from the big city lights!

All that’s left is for us to wish you a fantastic time when you travel to Canberra. And don’t forget to keep a copy of our list of the best places to visit in Canberra at hand!

canberra to visit

Alexandria Zboyovski

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Kate Abroad

Kate Abroad

2 Days in Canberra Itinerary (2024)

Wondering what to do with 2 days in Canberra? That’s just enough time to see the highlights of Australia’s highly underrated capital city and experience the awesome food scene.

Spending a weekend in Canberra felt like a rite of passage for my partner and me as new(ish) Australians. Finding what to do in Canberra was a little bit harder though.

To save you the trouble, I’ve compiled this complete Canberra 2 day itinerary with everything you need to know about visiting Canberra.

Coming from Sydney, Canberra is a convenient weekend trip. You can easily squeeze in the highlights of Canberra in just two days. 

Canberra is very unique in that, unlike most cities that have grown organically, it was planned from the start by American architect Walter Burley Griffin.

The level of organisation and intentionality is obvious when walking around the city. The design, centred around Capital Hill, is in many ways reminiscent of Washington DC.

What is also remarkable about Canberra, especially to visitors from big cities, is the amount of space.

Canberra is filled with wide avenues lined with grassy verges and many of the buildings have extensive lawns.

Old Parliament House, Canberra

How to get to Canberra 

Getting to Canberra from Sydney is either a short (approximately one hour) flight or a longer 4-5 hour train/bus.

Travelling to Canberra by plane

You can also fly to Canberra from most other major Australian cities or otherwise connect through Sydney or Melbourne . Qantas, Virgin Australia and Rex airlines all fly into Canberra Airport.

Unfortunately, flying to Canberra can be expensive at short notice and when we went the flights weren’t all that regular. With the introduction of new regional and low-cost domestic airlines in Australia, this should hopefully change soon. 

If you arrive for your weekend in Canberra by air then the easiest way to get into the central city is to taxi or Uber. There are local buses available but they aren’t super efficient.

Travelling to Canberra by train

If you aren’t flying, the easiest way to get to Canberra from Sydney is the train from Central station .

For a weekend trip to Canberra, there’s a convenient 5:30 service on Friday nights that you can jump on after work. Tickets are around $40 each way for an adult. There’s a return device on Sunday around 5 pm.

Bus replacements happen from time to time but these can actually be faster than the train.

The train to Canberra is spacious although didn’t offer tables or wifi. What they do have, which is super helpful on a Friday night, is a hot dinner service. 

Read the full guide on how to get from Sydney to Canberra by train

Where to stay in Canberra for 1-2 nights

Canberra has a full range of accommodations from hostels to Airbnb to luxe hotels. You can compare prices easily on . I use this site to book all our accommodation because they have the most flexible cancellation policy around.

If you want the best night’s sleep of your life then you can’t go past Little National Hotel . The drawcard of Little National Hotel is the custom super king beds which are ultra cosy. These are hands-down the best hotel bed I have ever slept in! The rooms are definitely small (cosy) but the library and lounge with self-serve bar offer room to work or hang out. 

For a cheaper option close to the CBD, I’d recommend Canberra YHA .  The YHAs are a reputable brand in Australia and this place is only a short walk from the best of Canberra Centre. 

Where to eat for 2 days in Canberra

It’s not hard to find a great brunch in Canberra. In fact, just head to Kingston Foreshore and you’ll find several competitors for the best brunch in Canberra.

Local Press Cafe is great and they have blankets to stay cosy at the outdoor tables on cold mornings. Another great option is Bean and Table .  

The best places to go in Canberra for dinner are around Canberra Centre on the opposite side of Lake Burley Griffin.

The dinner options range from the divine sushi at Raku at the high end to standard chain offerings on the cheap and cheerful side.

At Via Dolce they have affordable pasta and a greenhouse-type setup which is super cute and lets you watch the world go by with some privacy. 

If you’re a real foodie and looking to discover some Canberra artisans then why not try a food tour? Klook has a great Canberra food, wine and distillery day tour .

What to see in 2 days in Canberra

Finally, the sightseeing. When it comes to things to do in Canberra, most options consist of “the National (fill in the blank)”. You’ll find the National Museum, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and even the National bowling green. This is particularly true of the south side of Lake Burleigh Griffin which is filled with government buildings. 

I suggest planning to focus on one side of Lake Burley Griffin, on each day of your Canberra trip.

Day 1 in Canberra

On the first day – or if you only have 1 day in Canberra – check out the National Gallery, Old Parliament Buildings and Questacon on the south side of the lake.

Jokes aside, the National Gallery of Australia really is a national treasure and absolutely one of the must-visit places in Canberra. The permanent collections are free to access and include a Monet (in the basement!) and a Rubens.

There is a great mix of old and new as well as Australian and international artists. As a Kiwi, I was proud to see a McMahon on display – right above the Monet!

On top of that, the National Gallery in Canberra often hosts major international visiting exhibitions such as the Renaissance Masters exhibit that was on display in 2021. Check their website for the latest details. 

canberra to visit

From the National Gallery, you can wander along the wide tree-lined roads to Old Parliament House .

Modelled on the American Capitol, Old Parliament House in Canberra is a throwback to colonial Australia and is filled with exhibits on everything from royal visits to beekeeping. They’re a great insight into the Australian system of governance for those of us not from Australia. 

You’ll also see the Aboriginal Embassy, the world’s longest-running protest site, on the front lawn of Canberra’s Old Parliament House.

While these buildings are no longer in active use, you can also go visit the new Parliament Buildings which are open for tours on certain days.

As with the National Gallery and most national facilities in Canberra, you don’t have to pay for entry. You only have to buy a ticket if you want access to certain feature/temporary exhibits.

This makes the galleries and museums the best free activities in Canberra and great options for Canberra on a budget. 

If you have kids or are a big kid at heart then Questacon is a must-visit in Canberra. This science and technology museum is paid entry and does need to be booked in advance, even on quieter weekends.

Questacon tickets are $24.50 for adults and $18.90 for kids over 4, and under 4s are free. Many of Questacon’s exhibits are hands-on and designed to both inform and entertain. 

canberra to visit

Day 2 in Canberra

On your second day in Canberra, move on to the Canberra Centre area on the north shore, lakeside walks and the National Museum.

Lake Burley Griffin, which could easily be confused for a river, runs through the centre of Canberra. Cycling or cruising the lake is a great way to see most of Canberra and admire monuments like the National War Memorial.

You can now hire your own small electric boat for a private lake cruise.

You can hire bikes, boats or Segways at kiosks near Questacon on the south side. Or, do as we did and rent an escooter. Canberra is filled with them and it’s an easy and fast way to get around Canberra. 

Following the shoreline, you’ll find the Old Bus Depot Markets which, barring COVID, are usually going off on a Sunday morning. 

A bit further out on the Acton Peninsula, the National Museum of Australia is a true landmark. Designed by Howard Raggatt it’s set on the edge of the lake on the western edge of the city. You can learn a lot about Australia’s Aboriginal history from a visit here.

Once you’re done viewing the exhibits take some time to walk around the grounds and enjoy this peaceful end of the lake. 

grounds of national museum Canberra

1 Day trips from Canberra

If you’ve got a car or something and want to book a day trip, there’s also lots to do around Canberra.

There are wineries galore in the Canberra District and great walks around the National Arboretum and up to the Mount Ainslie Summit.

You could easily fill a trip to Canberra without any museums or ‘national’ anything! 

national arboretum, one of the best places to visit in 2 days in Canberra

Canberra day tours

If you don’t want to organise things yourself or don’t have a car available then consider booking a day tour like a winery tour to the Canberra Hills region or a snow tour to the nearby ski resorts of Thredbo and Perisher.

Frequently asked questions about visiting Canberra

How many days do you need in canberra.

Canberra isn’t a very big city compared to Sydney and Melbourne so you don’t need as much time to see it. Two days or a long weekend is plenty of time to see the city.

If you want to do any day trips outside the city and see the Canberra wine region then consider staying 3-4 days all up.

Is Canberra safe for solo female travellers?

Canberra is a very safe city on the whole. Given all the embassies and government buildings, you can imagine there’s a lot of security!

As with anywhere, it’s best to stick to busy areas if you’re out at night (the south side of the lake can be very empty on weekends and feel a bit spooky). You can find more tips on solo traveller safety in Australia in my Australia travel guide .

Do you need a car when visiting Canberra?

Canberra is quite spread out for a small city so a car would be helpful. However, Uber and buses are available so the lack of a car shouldn’t stop you. We did a mix of walking, scooters (app-based hire) and Ubers.

Whatever your style, a Canberra weekend trip is definitely something every Australian and visitor to Australia should put on their Australia bucket list. 

Happy travelling!

Australia Travel Resources

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  • Sort your Australian dollars with a Wise currency card

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Kate is the founder of Kate Abroad. She has travelled to nearly 40 countries from Austria to Vanuatu, and lived in 3. She's on a mission to empower other Gen Zs and Millenials travel affordably by sharing helpful travel guides, stories and tips to over 200,000 readers.

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Looking for the best Canberra 1-day Itinerary?

Are you planning a visit to Canberra, the capital city of Australia, but only have one day to explore? Don’t worry!

This article will provide you with a comprehensive one-day itinerary to make the most of your time in this vibrant city.

From iconic landmarks to cultural hotspots, Canberra has something for everyone. Let’s dive into an exciting day of exploration!

Planning Your Trip Soon? Use My Favourite Resources!

Accommodations – I recommend Flights – I recommend Skyscanner Money Transfer & Conversion – I highly recommend Wise Travel Insurance – I recommend Cover-More Tours/experiences – I recommend Viator Car rental – I recommend Europcar Campervan Hire – I recommend Spaceships AU

🔍 Table of Contents

Canberra 1-day Itinerary

Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory , is known for its rich history, cultural attractions, and stunning natural beauty.

Although one day may seem limited, you can still have a fulfilling experience by visiting some of the city’s must-see sites.

Let’s explore the best places to visit during your one-day adventure in Canberra.

☑️ Morning: Discover Australian History

Canberra is an excellent place to learn about Australian culture and history. You can visit museums and galleries to see Australian art, history, and science exhibitions.

Monuments and memorials, like the Australian War Memorial and Anzac Parade, pay tribute to Australia’s military history and sacrifice.

📍 Explore The Australian Parliament House

Start your day by visiting Parliament House, the political heart of Australia.

Take a guided tour to learn about the nation’s democratic processes and witness the grandeur of the building’s architecture.

The Australian parliament house from the outside

Explore the public galleries to observe parliamentary proceedings and gain insights into the country’s governance.

Observe parliamentary sessions, attend committee inquests, and witness the discussion of essential bills.

Discover many Australian treasures, from symbolic architectural masterpieces to modern art exhibits, on display within the building’s walls.

Both permanent and temporary exhibitions are available to visitors.

💡 Pssst… did you know you can now have me design a custom itinerary especially for you? Simply fill out the contact form here , and we’ll get started right away on a unique vacation that caters to your personal travel style and preferences!

Don’t miss the chance to walk on the roof of the building and take in the views of the city below.

Strategically situated on the land axis originating from Mount Ainslie, it traverses straight through the heart of Capital Hill.

The architects ingeniously intersected this axis with the legislative axis, which encompasses both Houses of Parliament and is joined by the Members’ Hall.

Looking towards the north from up high, the Australian War Memorial, Lake Burley Griffin, and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House come into view.

The establishment was designed to match the architectural features of its older counterpart and enable the latter to possess an individualistic character.

The Australian Parliament House is open every day except for Christmas Day.

📍 Discover the Australian War Memorial

The view of The Australian war memorial from the inside

Next, head to the Australian War Memorial, an iconic landmark honouring the sacrifices of Australian servicemen and women.

Explore the galleries and exhibitions that chronicle the nation’s military history.

Witness the moving commemorative ceremonies and pay respects at the Roll of Honour, a solemn tribute to those who lost their lives in conflicts.

Don’t miss the chance to attend the Last Post Ceremony, which honours the Australian war dead and is held every evening at sunset.

The Australian War Memorial has a new temporary entrance available for public access.

However, visitors must acquire timed tickets to explore the Memorial galleries or attend the daily Last Post Ceremony at 4:45 pm in the Commemorative Area.

These tickets are readily available for booking and can be accessed via Fairbairn Avenue, which also leads to the visitor car park.

It’s important to note that all visiting school groups and individuals aged school groups should make bookings beforehand.

📍 Visit The National Museum of Australia

Wrap up your morning by visiting the National Museum of Australia to delve into the country’s diverse cultural heritage.

Explore the fascinating exhibits that showcase Indigenous artifacts, historical objects, and interactive displays.

Gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s past and present through engaging storytelling.

☑️ Mid-Morning: Embracing Nature and Art

In addition to its cultural and historical attractions, Canberra is known for its natural beauty.

The city is built around Lake Burley Griffin, a great place to walk or bike.

📍Stroll around Lake Burley Griffin

The Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra

Take a leisurely stroll around Lake Burley Griffin, a picturesque man-made lake in Canberra’s heart. The lake is a popular spot for Canberrans to exercise and socialize.

Enjoy the scenic views of the city’s landmarks, such as the Captain Cook Memorial Jet and the National Carillon.

If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a bike or kayak to explore the lake further.

Panoramic view of Canberra (Australia) in daytime, featuring Lake Burley Griffin, Molonglo River and National Library of Australia.

📍Appreciate Australian National Botanic Gardens

Discover the natural beauty of Australia at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Take a guided tour or explore the gardens at your own pace.

Admire the diverse flora, including native plants and rare species.

Don’t miss the stunning displays of colourful blooms in the Rainforest Gully and the Rock Garden.

📍Immerse in Art at the National Gallery of Australia

Indulge your artistic senses at the National Gallery of Australia. Marvel at the extensive collection of Australian and international artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and indigenous art.

Take a moment to appreciate masterpieces by renowned artists and discover new perspectives through temporary exhibitions.

The gallery has a great café and a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs for your visit. It is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 10 am-5 pm. Admission is free but requires a ticket .

☑️ Lunch: Culinary Delights

If you’re searching for the ultimate dining and drinking experience in Canberra, look no further than the Kingston Foreshore!

Nestled alongside the picturesque Lake Burley Griffin, this vibrant precinct has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

The Foreshore is the place to be, packed with fantastic restaurants, trendy cafes, and cool bars.

Experience the perfect blend of stunning waterfront views, a lively ambience, and delectable culinary delights.

Discover the top-notch Kingston Foreshore restaurants and bars that will leave you craving more. Indulge in a memorable dining adventure during your Canberra 1-day itinerary.

List of some of Kingston Foreshore’s restaurants and bars:

  • Pomegranate Restaurant
  • 38 Espresso
  • Magoo’s Cafe and Bar
  • Molto Italian
  • Morks Restaurant
  • Zeytin Turkish Cuisine

☑️ Afternoon: Cultural Experiences

Beyond the museums and galleries, you can witness the vibrant cultural scene through live performances, theatrical productions, and festivals throughout the year.

Canberra’s cultural experiences go beyond passive observation, encouraging active engagement and interaction.

📍 Learn at Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre

Embark on a hands-on learning adventure at Questacon, a national science and technology centre.

Questacon is a hands-on science museum that is fun for kids and adults.

There are interactive exhibits that explore energy, force, and motion and a section on space science. The centre also hosts workshops and special events throughout the year.

Discover scientific principles, engage in experiments, and be amazed by the wonders of innovation and discovery.

For adults, an online ticket costs $24.50, and for children (4-16 years of age), it costs $18.90. Children under four years of age are FREE.

📍 Experience the National Portrait Gallery

Explore the National Portrait Gallery, which showcases the diversity and stories of influential Australians.

Marvel at the collection of portraits that celebrate notable individuals who have made significant contributions to various fields.

Gain insights into Australia’s history , culture, and achievements through the art of portraiture.

📍Engage at the Australian National Film and Sound Archive

Immerse yourself in Australia’s cinematic and musical heritage at the Australian National Film and Sound Archive.

Explore the interactive exhibits, watch screenings of classic films, and listen to iconic recordings.

Delve into the country’s audiovisual history and gain a deeper appreciation for its cultural contributions.

☑️ Late Afternoon: Explore Australian Wildlife

Prepare to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Australian wildlife during the late afternoon segment of your Canberra 1-day itinerary.

The capital city, nestled within the natural splendour of the Australian Capital Territory, offers a range of opportunities to encounter unique and fascinating native animals in their natural habitats.

📍 Wildlife encounters at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Venture into the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, located on the outskirts of Canberra, for a unique wildlife experience.

Embark on walking trails through diverse habitats, spotting kangaroos, koalas, emus, and other native animals along the way.

If you are interested in delving into the ancient heritage and rich culture of the Ngunnawal people, perhaps you’d like to explore the oldest heritage site in the ACT, which astonishingly predates the Pyramids of Egypt by five times!

Embark on a captivating guided walk led by esteemed Aboriginal Rangers from Birrigai Outdoor School.

They will accompany you to the remarkable Birrigai Rock Shelter, a site that has been dated to exist for a minimum of 25,000 years.

Brace yourself for a moderate 3-kilometre walk, ensuring you’re prepared with appropriate footwear, sun protection, and an ample water supply.

It’s important to note that this outdoor event is suitable for individuals aged eight and above.

It’s essential to come equipped with suitable shoes, sun protection, and plenty of drinking water, as this will be an outdoor event.

The age suitability for this activity is eight years and above. Additionally, please be aware that this event is free of charge but is unfortunately not accessible via wheelchair.

☑️ Evening: Sunset and Entertainment

As the day gradually transitions into the evening, Canberra reveals its vibrant and captivating side, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and lively entertainment.

This segment of your Canberra 1-day itinerary invites you to soak in the breathtaking sunset views and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant nightlife.

📍Enjoy a Spectacular Sunset at Mount Ainslie Lookout

As the day draws close, reach Mount Ainslie Lookout for a breathtaking panoramic view of Canberra at sunset.

Capture memorable photos as the city transforms under the golden hues of the sky.

Take a moment to appreciate the capital’s beauty before moving on to the vibrant evening entertainment.

📍Immerse in the Vibrant Nightlife of Canberra

Cap off your day by immersing yourself in Canberra’s vibrant nightlife. Explore the city’s lively bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Whether you prefer live music, theatre performances, or a relaxed evening with friends, Canberra offers a variety of options to suit your preferences.

Where to Stay in Canberra

Let’s explore some of the best accommodation options in Canberra that will complement your Canberra 1-day itinerary.

From sleek designer hotels with stunning views to centrally located establishments near iconic landmarks, we’ll help you make the most of your visit to Canberra.

Let’s dive in and find the ideal place for your stay in the capital city!

1. Ovolo Nishi

canberra to visit

  • ⭐ Rating: 8.3 out of 10
  • 🏆 Known for: Location, comfortable bed, good breakfast
  • 🏨 Check Rates & Availability on

Experience the charm of Ovolo Nishi during your visit to Canberra. Indulge in the 24-hour fitness centre for a workout or savour delectable vegetarian cuisine at Monster Kitchen and Bar, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The restaurant is phenomenal. The decor is amazing. Beautiful art work everywhere” -elle (see more reviews)

This upscale hotel also boasts a trendy bar/lounge, a convenient snack bar/deli, and complimentary bike rentals.

Fellow travellers sing praises for the friendly staff and exceptional dining options.

Your stay at Ovolo Nishi will enhance your Canberra 1-day itinerary.

2. A by Adina Canberra

canberra to visit

  • ⭐ Rating: 9 out of 10
  • 🏆 Known for: Location, excellent service

Located in the City Centre district of Canberra, A by Adina Canberra offers a convenient stay. National Convention Centre Canberra, Canberra Centre, and Anzac Parade are within walking distance.

At the same time, the National Gallery of Australia, Australian-American War Memorial, and Telstra Tower are just a short drive away.

Private parking is available on-site.

You’ll find all the essentials in the guest rooms, including air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer, and a desk.

Each room at the hotel features a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom.

I could smell freshness right after stepping inside the lobby. staff were amazing. great ambiance…” -deula (see more reviews)

At the reception, A by Adina Canberra is ready to assist guests with area information and navigation.

Discover nearby attractions like the National Museum of Australia, the Australian War Memorial, and Questacon.

Enhance your Canberra 1-day itinerary with a comfortable stay at A by Adina Canberra.

3. QT Canberra

canberra to visit

  • ⭐ Rating: 7.8 out of 10
  • 🏆 Known for: Location, on-site restaurant and bar

Experience the epitome of sleek designer accommodation at QT Canberra.

Ideally located in central Canberra, with stunning views of Lake Burley Griffin, this hotel also boasts Canberra’s most extensive conferencing facilities.

Please stay connected with free WiFi available throughout the hotel while our dedicated concierge team provides exceptional service.

Immerse yourself in the heart of Canberra, as QT Canberra is just a 3-minute drive from the Parliament of Australia.

Explore the rich history and culture of the city with a short 5-minute drive to both the Australian War Memorial and the National Gallery of Australia.

I like how we had the Dyson hairdryer in our room. It was a surprised, it works really well and dries up the hair very quickly. Room was comfy and pillows.” -anne (see more reviews)

Indulge in the meticulously styled rooms at QT Canberra, offering picturesque views of the city or the serene lake.

Whether you’re here for work or relaxation, our rooms provide the perfect setting with a balcony, an ergonomic desk, and a well-stocked minibar.

Satisfy your culinary cravings at Capitol Bar & Grill Restaurant, a must-visit dining destination in Canberra. Prepare to be wowed by prime-cut steaks served with captivating wood-fired theatrics.

Elevate your Canberra 1-day itinerary by choosing QT Canberra, where impeccable design, breathtaking views, and exceptional dining await you.

Other Top Attractions in Canberra

In addition to the renowned attractions mentioned earlier, Canberra boasts many other captivating sites that are well worth exploring.

These attractions, among many others, add depth and variety to your Canberra experience, ensuring something to captivate every visitor.

Don’t miss the chance to explore these remarkable sites during your Canberra 1-day itinerary.

📍 Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

The Old Parliament House in Parkes, Canberra, has been converted into the Museum of Australian Democracy, which actively portrays the nation’s social and political history.

Its objective is to interpret and explore the past and present while envisioning the future.

This is achieved through various means, such as highlighting the significance of Parliament in the people’s lives, conserving and arranging collections, offering educational and enjoyable public programs, and additional services that enhance the visitor experience.

The museum is housed in a nationally listed heritage building.

It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm but closes on Christmas Day.

📍 Commonwealth Park

Spanning from the city’s centre to the shoreline of Lake Burley Griffin, Commonwealth Park is a spacious and beautifully landscaped green space.

The park boasts a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, from leisurely walks and runs, to cycling, playtime, and picnics.

It also showcases unique and charming gardens, water features, and artwork, adding to its allure.

The park offers several attractions, such as an expansive open-air stage known as Stage 88, a children’s playground, and an amphitheatre.

Additionally, it serves as the location for the National Capital Exhibition at Regatta Point and hosts the highly anticipated flower festival, Floriade, annually.

The flowers during the Canberra Floriade Festival

📍 Royal Australian Mint

If you’re interested in coins and currency, check out the Royal Australian Mint.

Partake in a unique experience that provides exclusive insight into the production and progression of Australian coins.

Their free guided tour encompasses fascinating tales and a behind-the-scenes look at the Mint factory floor.

The Mint conducts complimentary guided tours all year round, except for public holidays such as Christmas and Good Friday.

There is also a gift shop where you can buy commemorative coins.

How to Get to Canberra

Canberra Airport (CBR) serves as the main gateway to the city. It offers domestic flights from major cities in Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide.

Alternatively, you can drive or take a bus from major cities in Australia, such as Sydney or Melbourne.

The city is well-connected to major highways, including the Hume Highway (M31) from Sydney and the Barton Highway (A25) from Melbourne.

The driving routes offer scenic views and the opportunity to explore the surrounding regions at your own pace.

If you don’t want to drive or fly, you can take a full-day tour from Sydney. From Mount Ainslie, the Australian capital unfolds before your eyes.

Parliament House’s historic halls and the poignant Australian War Memorial await your exploration.

Delve into Canberra’s intriguing history at Yarralumla and revel in the city’s splendid parks and lakes.

This comprehensive tour, including transport and entrance fees, guarantees an intimate and value-packed experience in Canberra for your memorable 1-day itinerary.

Getting Around Canberra

Getting around the capital is made simple and affordable with the public bus and light rail network operated by Transport Canberra.

As you plan your Canberra 1-day itinerary, discover how effortless it is to navigate the city using the journey planner .

🚌 Buses and Light Rail Services

Enjoy the convenience of a prepaid ticketing system with the MyWay smartcard when using public transport in Canberra.

Purchase your MyWay card from recharge agents located throughout the city.

Tap your card at light rail stations when boarding a bus and even when purchasing a daily ticket.

Opt for the daily ticket for a seamless sightseeing experience, valid until midnight on the day of purchase. Plus, children under five years travel free, adding to the family-friendly appeal.

🚌 Red Explorer Loop Bus

Discover the convenience of the Red Explorer Loop Bus , allowing you to hop on and off at prominent attractions easily.

Departing from the Canberra Museum and Gallery, this bus operates regularly from Monday to Saturday.

No reservations are required; arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled departure and purchase your ticket directly onboard.

🚌 Airport Transfers

Transport Canberra efficiently offers daily transportation services to and from Canberra Airport.

On weekdays, Rapid Bus 3 operates on a half-hourly schedule, while on weekends, it runs hourly.

This route connects passengers from the Canberra Airport terminal to the city interchange, Belconnen interchange, Cohen St interchange, and Spence Terminus.

Canberra is known for its bike-friendly infrastructure, making cycling a popular choice for locals and visitors.

The city offers an extensive network of dedicated bike paths and shared paths, allowing you to pedal around while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

🚗 Car Rental with DiscoverCars

If you value the freedom and flexibility of driving your own vehicle, renting a car is an excellent choice.

Canberra is home to multiple car rental companies that provide a diverse selection of vehicles to accommodate your preferences.

For a hassle-free car rental experience in Canberra, consider using DiscoverCars , an affiliate that partners with renowned rental companies worldwide.

DiscoverCars offers a convenient platform to compare prices and find the perfect vehicle for your Canberra 1-day itinerary.

Visiting Canberra FAQs

How many days are enough for canberra.

For a comprehensive exploration of the city’s significant landmarks, museums, and cultural sites, a minimum of 2-3 days is recommended.

This allows you to visit iconic places such as Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery of Australia, and the National Museum of Australia, among others.

If you have a specific tour, such as a winery or distillery tour, and wish to delve deeper into specific areas of interest, you might want to extend your stay to 3-4 days.

This provides ample time to fully immerse yourself in Canberra’s offerings and engage in guided tours, exhibitions, and special events.

Can you get around Canberra without a car?

Certainly! Canberra offers excellent transportation options that allow you to navigate the city without relying on a car.

Whether you hop on a bus, ride the light rail, pedal a bike, or enjoy a leisurely stroll, getting around Canberra without a car is feasible and enjoyable.

Which month is best in Canberra?

Spring in Canberra (September to November) brings pleasant weather with mild temperatures.

The city comes alive with colourful blooms, including the iconic Floriade festival, showcasing vibrant floral displays.

It’s an ideal time for outdoor activities, exploring gardens, and enjoying festivals and events.

If you prefer mild weather and vibrant blooms, spring is a delightful time to visit. For outdoor activities and pleasant temperatures, summer and autumn are popular choices.

The colder months can be appealing if you enjoy cooler weather and the charm of winter landscapes.

Conclusion: Canberra 1-day Itinerary

In this Canberra 1-day itinerary, you can experience the best of Canberra’s history, culture, nature, and entertainment.

From iconic landmarks like Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial to immersive cultural experiences at museums and galleries, this itinerary ensures you maximise your time in the Australian capital.

Embrace the beauty of the city’s natural surroundings and indulge in its vibrant culinary and nightlife scenes.

Canberra truly has something for everyone, leaving you with unforgettable memories.

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Meet Kate. She's been exploring Australia since 2018, living in different states and soaking up all it has to offer. Australia is her main focus, but she's also had some great trips abroad. Follow along to get top tips and discover hidden spots, both in Australia and beyond.

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Home » Travel Guides » Australia » 15 Best Things to Do in Canberra (Australia)

15 Best Things to Do in Canberra (Australia)

Australia’s capital city is mostly known for being the country’s political hub, but is often overshadowed on itineraries by the more popular tourist destinations of Sydney and Melbourne . However, with a proliferation of museums, galleries and one of the world’s leading research universities, this city may not be the best for nightlife, but it’s fantastic for intellectual pursuits and showcases some of the most interesting exhibitions that Australia (and the world!) has to offer, as well as celebrating much of what gives Australia its national identity.

If you enjoy museum-hopping, cafes to rival the global coffee-hub of Melbourne, and gorgeous natural beauty just minutes outside of the city, then you won’t want to miss Canberra.

Lets explore the best things to do in Canberra :

1. Parliament House Tour

Parliament House Tour

When the word Canberra gets mentioned, Parliament House is the first thing to come to mind for international visitors and Australians alike: Parliament House has been the hub of the nation’s political action since it opened in 1988, replacing what is now referred to as the Old Parliament House (the home of Australia’s parliament from 1927).

This iconic, beautiful building is breathtaking, and its an amazing backdrop for your holiday snaps (especially at sunset). There are tours available every half an hour from 9am until the facility closes 5pm, and it’s a fantastic way to familiarize yourself not only with the building but with the complicated ins-and-outs of Australia’s unique political system.

There’s also plenty of Australian art on display within the building, giving you a taste of art history to go with political history.

2. National Zoo & Aquarium

National Zoo & Aquarium

Canberra is home to Australia’s only combined zoo and aquarium facility, and as you’d expect from a zoo located in a national capital city, the National Zoo & Aquarium has gone to great efforts to do the country proud.

The ZooVenture tours are particularly fun: you can feed a bear, pat a rhino, hand-feed a giraffe and much more in this 2-hour behind-the-scenes look at the zoo.

At only $125, it’s excellent value and an experience to remember.

The facility is also home to a luxury safari lodge, Jamala Wildlife Lodge, which offers deluxe accommodation and special safari itineraries for visitors, from one to three nights of exotic, exciting entertainment.

3. Namadgi National Park

Namadgi National Park

Just 40km south of Canberra, Namadgi National Park makes for a wonderful day trip to explore regional ACT. You can find stunning Australian fauna including colorful birdlife, rugged granite mountains, and habitat that varies from alpine meadows to lush forests.

This Park is also listed on the Australian National Heritage List, as one of eleven protected areas that form the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves.

Australian regional and rural scenery is as diverse as it is beautiful, and while you’re in the area it’s definitely worth seeing this stunning example.

4. Revisit Australia’s history

National Museum of Australia

Canberra is renowned for the exceptionally high-quality exhibitions that are attracted to its museums and galleries, many of which are not shown elsewhere in Australia and attract visitors from around the country.

The National Museum of Australia is a perfect spot to learn about the history, geography and culture of Australia, as well as many fascinating international exhibits.

Art lovers certainly shouldn’t miss the National Gallery of Australia, a world-class facility with a particularly excellent collection of Aboriginal  art.

There are also many interesting war memorials scattered across Canberra, such as Changi Chapel (built originally by prisoners of war in Singapore, and transported back after WW2 piece-by-piece) and the Australian War Memorial.

5. Discover the future

CSIRO Discovery Centre

Between Questacon, the CSIRO Discovery Centre, and the exciting events held by the Australian Academic of Science, there’s plenty for budding scientists (and actual scientists!) to enjoy in Canberra.

Questacon is the National Science and Technology Centre, a leading facility with many exciting exhibitions to enjoy, using cutting-edge technology such as virtual and augmented reality to make science accessible to viewers of all levels of scientific understanding.

6. Relax and rejuvenate in the National Botanic Gardens

National Botanic Gardens

Australia is renowned for its gorgeous flora, especially its wildflowers.

The National Botanic Gardens is a fantastic introduction to the beauty of Australian plant life, as well as its versatility and the important role that it has played in traditional culture.

The Botanic Gardens are great for a relaxing walk or a picnic, but also a horticulturalist’s dream.

There’s even a 45-minute bus tour of the Gardens so that you can learn in depth about the beauty of nature, in air-conditioned comfort.

  • 7.  Do a spot of market-hopping

Old Bus Depot Markets

If you enjoy buying fresh produce at farmer’s markets, artisan goods at maker’s markets, or just the wonderful bustling small-businesses-of-yore atmosphere that markets provide, then you’ll love the Old Bus Depot Markets and the Capital Region Farmers Markets.

They’re both quite easy to get do, and you’ll come home with some of the tastiest fruits and vegetables you’ll find in the country, as well as many handmade crafts as quirky souvenirs to fill up your suitcase with for your friends back home.

8. Go sports-mad with an AIS sports tour

Australian Institute of Sports

Australia is a famously sports-mad country, and if you’re a sporty type or want to learn about this intrinsic part of Aussie culture, the Australian Institute of Sports should be on your itinerary.

This premier sports precinct is one of the capital’s favorite tourist attractions, with international and domestic visitors alike, and the 90-minute tour is a wonderful introduction to Australia’s sporting past, present and future.

While you’re at the AIS, challenge yourself with the state-of-the-art interactive sports exhibit, Sportex; it’s unmissable and very fun.

9. Fly a jet plane

Canberra's Jet Flight Simulator

Virtually, that is. If you’ve ever fancied yourself becoming a jet pilot when you were a child, Canberra’s Jet Flight Simulator is a great place to give it a go in an entirely safe virtual environment.

No experience is needed to become the captain of one of the world’s most popular planes, a Boeing 737, and you’ll have an experienced flight instructor acting as your First Officer and teaching you the ropes of the sky.

There’s 22,000 virtual airports available to land in, and different weather conditions available, making it an extraordinary adventure to enjoy.

10. Get to know Canberra

National Capital Exhibition

Formally founded as a city over a century ago, Canberra is far more than the capital of the country; as the eighth-largest city in Australia, its vibrant and interesting in its own right, and has its own unique culture that is quite different from that of its interstate neighbors.

You can learn more about Canberra at the Canberra Museum, and about its function as national capital at the National Capital Exhibition.

The Australian National University is also a very significant Australian icon, as well as being a gorgeous campus and a great place for a stroll.

There’s also plenty of lovely heritage buildings to enjoy in and around Canberra, such as the Lanyon Homestead and Blundells Cottage.

The area has been inhabited for approximately 20 thousand years by the local indigenous population, making it a fascinating visit if you’re interested in pre-modern history as well: many artefacts remain and can be found at various museums and significant sites around the city and beyond.

11. Cruise Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake smack-dab in the centre of Canberra, created in the 1960s.

Many of the city’s best-known landmarks are either on the shores of the lake or easily visible from it, and a cruise on the lake is a wonderful way to see the city in a new light and in a tranquil, beautiful setting.

There are several cruises available, offering options such as meals, and guides whose fascinating insight into the history of the city will make the experience even more meaningful.

12. Experience the Canberra Glassworks

The Glassworks

The Glassworks are a studio and gallery dedicated to the art of glassmaking.

As Australia’s only cultural centre dedicated singularly to modern glass art, it’s a hub for glass artists, art lovers and visitors looking for special souvenirs.

Workshops are available to give the general public a taste of glassmaking, with both one-on-one sessions with professional glass artists and group sessions on offer.

Tours are also available, so that as well as enjoying the beauty of the glass art, you can learn in-depth about the meaning of the works, the stories of the artists and the amazing creative inspiration happening at the facility.

13. Enjoy the panoramic views from Mount Ainslie

Mount Ainslie

Located to the north-east of central Canberra, within the Canberra Nature Park, Mount Ainslie boasts extraordinary panoramic views of central Canberra, particularly Capital Hill, as well as Black Mountain (another gorgeous lookout, if you’ve got time!) to the West.

You’ll find the Mount Ainslie Kokoda summit train, a well-maintained and informatively signposted walking trail behind the Australian War Memorial, to be an excellent and highly educational way to experience the mountain.

14. Hunt for truffles

Truffle Farm

On the outskirts of Canberra, you’ll find a gourmand’s paradise at the Truffle Farm.

This homestead farm comes with an on-site restaurant with a chef who has graced the kitchen of several Michelin star restaurants worldwide, who has settled in Canberra because of his passion for the fantastic culinary potential of truffles.

Jayson, the farmer, is Canberra born-and-bred, as are the friendly truffle-hunting dogs and pigs that keep him company (and now, keep a steady stream of visitors company). You can join in the action by going on a truffle hunt in season (June-August); outside of those months, it’s still well worth a visit to enjoy the restaurant and the gorgeous views of the oak forest and the picturesque Majura Valley.

15. Stroll through the beautiful Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Jerrabomberra Wetlands

The “Jerra” wetlands are right in the heart of Canberra, and a relaxing natural getaway after an exciting day in Capital Hill.

Billed as one of the ACT’s best-kept secrets, the wetlands are rich in diverse bird-life (including migratory species from as far away as Japan), lush greenery and beautiful flowers.

There’s also often interesting events being held here, including indigenous cultural events.

The Wetlands are really quite a treat and should be a must-see on any nature-lover’s itinerary.

15 Best Things to Do in Canberra (Australia):

  • Parliament House Tour
  • National Zoo & Aquarium
  • Namadgi National Park
  • Revisit Australia's history
  • Discover the future
  • Relax and rejuvenate in the National Botanic Gardens
  • Go sports-mad with an AIS sports tour
  • Fly a jet plane
  • Get to know Canberra
  • Cruise Lake Burley Griffin
  • Experience the Canberra Glassworks
  • Enjoy the panoramic views from Mount Ainslie
  • Hunt for truffles
  • Stroll through the beautiful Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Rocky Travel

10 Day Trips From Canberra That You Will Enjoy

Michela Australia Destinations Australia Road Trips , Canberra 1

Canberra is an exciting city with incredible sights and attractions and a thriving dining and café scene. While there is plenty to do in the city, getting out of the city for the day to explore the scenic countryside is also worthwhile.

Table of Contents

Canberra is lucky to be surrounded by an abundance of exciting destinations, all within an easy drive from the city, so you can still stay in the Canberra city centre and venture out there. If you haven’t booked your hotel yet, here is what we recommend:

Best Places to Stay in Canberra ➡️ Mercure Belconnen ➡️ Ovolo Nishi ➡️ Sebel Campbellì

Day Trips from Canberra

Here are some excellent day trips from Canberra that you will enjoy.

Visit the historic village of Gundaroo

Located across the border in New South Wales but just a 35-minute drive north of Canberra, Gundaroo is a cute little historic village dating back to the gold rush days in the 1800s. Visit the Gundaroo Colonial Inn for a beer or a pub lunch while enjoying the atmosphere of this charming 1872 pub. Down the road, Grazing Restaurant, located in the 1865 Royal Hotel building, gets rave reviews for its fantastic food. There are also several cellar doors in town where you can taste wines from the local region.

A day trip to the wine region of Murrambateman

The wine region of Murrambateman is the east of Gundaroo. If you’re a wine lover, a day trip to this excellent wine region is a must. Cool climate wines do well, such as Riesling and Pinot Noir, and some of the best vineyards near Canberra are located here, including Eden Roads Wines, Four Winds Vineyard and Shaw Vineyard Estate.

The weekend is the best time to go as more cellar doors are open, and you can make a day of it. Enjoy a day of wine tasting and indulge in a lovely lunch at one of the vineyards.

A day of skiing at the Snowy Mountains

Canberra is located in Australia’s high country, and it is close enough to New South Wales ski resorts that you can hit the snow for the day in the winter.

Head off early, and in two and a half hours, you can reach Perisher or Thredbo for a day of skiing and play in the snow. The Snowy Mountains are well worth visiting at any time of the year, though, and Kosciusko National Park is a great spot to do some hiking or mountain biking. At the same time, the towns of Jindabyne and Cooma are beautiful places near Canberra, where you can stop and explore.

Visit the heritage-listed Braidwood

You can reach Braidwood in just over an hour’s drive east of Canberra. This charming heritage-listed town is full of history. Walk the streets lined with old historic buildings and visit the Braidwood Museum . There are some excellent cafes and places to eat, such as TorPeas or The Albion, along with boutique shops and antique stores to explore. Don’t miss the superb bakery, Dojo Bread. Admire the old theatre across the street and enjoy one of their fantastic pies.

Drive to the Lanyon Homestead

To get a taste of farm life in the 1800s, visit Lanyon Homestead , half an hour’s drive south of Canberra. This historic homestead is full of history, dating back to 1835.

The stunning main home of the property was built in 1859, and you can enjoy a tour of the house to learn about its history and admire its charming old-world features. Enjoy tea and scones at the café, sitting inside the historic building or at one of the outside tables on the lawn.

Take a dip at the Cotter Reserve.

The Murrumbidgee River is where Canberrans go on the weekend to swim and escape the city during summer. There are several right spots to take a dip, but Cotter Reserve is one of the most popular, located on the tributary, the Cotter River.

This scenic spot is just half an hour’s drive west of Canberra, but you will feel a world away from the city. Enjoy a picnic on the river with forest and tranquillity all around. Take a refreshing dip at one of the swimming holes on the river, visit Cotter Dam or take the kids to the fun-filled playground at Cotter Avenue.

Drive to the ocean and visit Batemans Bay

Canberra might be an inland city, but it is actually not that far from the east coast , so you can still enjoy a beach day trip from the city. Batemans Bay is the top spot that Canberrans go to when they want to visit the ocean, located just a two-hour drive down Kings Highway.

This charming seaside town has plenty to offer, with some excellent cafes for lunch, Crumb and Espresso Yourself. When you’ve recharged with some great food, there are a ton of water activities to enjoy. For many, it is best to spend the day on one of the fantastic beaches located just outside of town.

Visit the historic town of Bungendore

If you’re heading to Batemans Bay, or want to enjoy a day trip within a short drive of the city, stop in at the historic town of Bungendore. This little town is just a half hour’s drive east of Canberra and is full of little gems that will draw you in.

Visit the historic Bungendore Royal Hotel for a beer or eat at one of the charming small cafes. The Bungendore Wood Works Gallery is well worth checking out for its excellent local handmade wooden art pieces, furniture and other household items.

Go to the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex

To the west of Canberra is a NASA funded series of substantial deep space satellite dishes used to examine space, right here in Australia’s capital. The complex is impressive to view, and the attached visitor centre makes visiting the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex a good day trip from the city.

Stop at the Gibraltar Falls

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve i s an excellent spot to head to for the day to escape the city and get back to nature. The highlight is a visit to the scenic Gibraltar Falls , which tumbles 50 metres down into Gibraltar Creek. This lovely spot is located just west of the Canberra Deep Space Communications Centre, so you could even combine the two into one big day trip.

There are so many beautiful places around Canberra that you could never get bored. Whether you want to get back to nature for the day, visit a country town, or even go to the beach, all this is possible on a day trip from Canberra.

How to organise your day trips from Canberra

The best way to organise your day trips from Canberra is to hire a car if you prefer to go on a self-driving day trip from Sydney or an extended weekend tour.

Find the best deals: ➡️ Car Rentals

Guided Activities and Tours From Canberra

If you are on a tight schedule, you may want to combine a guided day tour with public transport trips from any city; here below is a top selection of guided day tours.

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Go Back to Rocky Travel

Flickr Photo Credits: Gundaroo Murrambateman Snowy Mountains Lanyon Homestead Batesman Bay Deep Space Communication Complex

First published in 2017, last updated in March 202 4

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Agness October 25, 2017 @ 8:15 pm

Canberra seems like an awesome travel destination and going there would be a dream come true for me! When’s the best time of the year to explore it?

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Are you wondering when is the best time to visit Canberra? The busiest times for visitors are March, September and December.

Most people visit Canberra during the spring (September to November) when the Floriade Festival (Sept/Oct) brings the city to life. These times see the highest hotel prices. The city really comes alive during any of the major events like Enlighten Canberra (March) or the National Folk Festival (April).

Tip : Visiting on weeks when Parliament is not sitting may help you score a more affordable hotel room.

Autumn, when the city’s plantings of deciduous trees see the streets bathed in a palette of bright red, orange, yellow and even shades of deep purple, is every bit as pretty as the spring festival. The autumn display is at its best from mid-April to mid-May.

If you are in town for a museum fix, consider visiting in winter when hotel prices and crowds are at their lowest.

Summer (December to February)

Autumn (march to may), winter (june to august), spring (september to november), canberra event calendar, public holidays in canberra 2024-2025.

  • School Holidays in Canberra 2024-2025

This page may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure policy  for more information.

Weather in Canberra

With a high inland location, Canberra is warmer than the coastal capitals in the summer and decidedly colder in winter. In fact, there is occasional snow in July and August in some years. Regardless of what you see here between March and October, you will need to carry a warm jacket for the evenings. Rainfall is fairly steady throughout most of the year, with the lightest falls in April, May, and June. November receives the most rain followed by December and January.

Autumn Trees in Canberra ACT Australia

Summer weather gets pretty warm and temps over 30 °C are not unusual. While rain is not all that common in Canberra at any time of year, it’s most likely in November and December. You will encounter 5-7 days with some rain in summer.

Autumn sees clear blue skies and relatively warm days. However, you can get caught out by just how cold it can get at night. As soon as the sun goes down, you may find you need, at the very least, a light jacket. By May it will need to be a decent warm one!

It’s cold in Canberra in winter, and some outskirts of the territory may see occasional overnight snow, but the skies are blue and with the right clothing, you can really enjoy a visit. Winter sees, on average, 4 rainy days per month.

Cool nights and early mornings and then comfortable days make spring a very popular time for visitors. November can see a few more wet days than the previous months.

Average Temperatures in Canberra are as below:

Find out more weather and temperature details on the  Bureau of Meteorology .

The biggest event of the year might be Floriade, but there are several other times when the city really comes alive.

ACT and Canberra School and Public Holidays

Long weekends see prices rise and availability drop, so book in advance for the best deals. Most attractions only close on Christmas day and perhaps Anzac Day or Good Friday; please check individual places before visiting.

School Holidays in Canberra 2024-202 5

If you don’t have children, avoiding these dates will save you money, and you will find the museums a lot less crowded.

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Behind the scenes of Chinese Premier Li Qiang's visit to Canberra was months of planning and hundreds of police officers

A group of six police officers on motorcycles lined up behind a police car.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang was only in Canberra for around 24 hours, but behind the scenes the security arrangements for his visit took months to plan and involved hundreds of police officers from across the capital.

All hands were on deck in the pre-dawn chill as officers from across Canberra gathered for a briefing of the day's plan outside the Chinese premier's hotel.

ACT Policing Acting Commander Richard Breiner, the operational commander for the visit, told the gathered officers their job was to "ensure that the dignity of the motorcade isn't interrupted".

A large group of police officers stand facing one officer, who is speaking.

Officers' roles ranged from venue and route security to riding in the Chinese premier's motorcade.

ACT Policing Detective Inspector Stephen Ladd said the early-morning overview was to ensure all police on duty were aware of their roles and responsibilities.

"We want to make sure that police act professionally throughout the day, and shine a good light on the [Australian Federal Police] and ACT Policing," he said.

Police weren't the only early risers anticipating Li Qiang's movements, with both pro and anti-Chinese demonstrators waiting outside his hotel and along the streets his motorcade would travel.

A man with dark hair in a police uniform and hat looks serious.

Detective Inspector Ladd, the route security commander, said his team's main concern was to ensure protesters did not cause problems.

"Everyone is Australia has the right to peacefully protest," he said.

"Our job here is to make sure they don't play up, and that everyone remains safe and gets through the day without dramas."

Police have confirmed one protester was arrested for breach of the peace.

Acting Commander Breiner said the protester's arrest was "not a high-level offence", but police decided to step in "to prevent anything escalating".

He emphasised that police respected people's right to protest, but said they "want them to do it peacefully".

A man in a police inspector's uniform with 10 medals handing from it stands in front of several police motorcycles.

As demonstrations became heated outside Parliament House the motorcade mounted up, and once Li Qiang was aboard they quickly rolled out.

Even the short trip from the Chinese premier's hotel to Parliament House was carefully choreographed.

ACT Policing Inspector Rod Anderson, the motorcade commander, said it included specialist vehicles to ensure Li Qiang's travel around the capital went according to plan.

"The motorcyclists ensure the traffic is clear, and we have cars that go out in advance of the motorcade itself to ensure the crowd is clear," he said.

As the motorcade headed to Government House, police commanders were watching live route maps and CCTV from afar at the Police Operations Centre (POC).

A man in a blue federal police uniform sits in a command centre looking serious.

Acting Commander Breiner, whose role as operational commander had him based at the POC, said being there allowed those in charge to monitor and adjust their plans where needed.

"The POC is stood up for a major event or a large-scale visit such as this," he said.

"Our job is to provide that strategic level overlay … versus the operational effect which is done by our police commanders out in the field.

"Having a look at the CCTV allows us to coordinate things such as … green light corridors for a safe passage of our VIP in between his events."

A police command room with multiple live video feeds around Canberra.

Inspector Anderson said no matter how carefully planned an event like the Chinese premier's visit was traffic delays were unavoidable.

"We need to ensure the safety and dignity of the person that we're escorting [because] they're very important people to the Australian government [and] therefore the Australian community," Inspector Anderson said.

A group of six police officers on motorcycles lined up behind a police car.

"Sometimes it does mean we need to close roads down, and sometimes there is a little bit of inconvenience to the Canberra community, but we've got a really good road network here and we're well trained to ensuring there's as little disruption to the public as possible."

Acting Commander Breiner agreed traffic delays were unavoidable, and added media releases are sent out prior to events encouraging the public to avoid areas where traffic would be affected.

"It's regrettable … [but] unfortunately it's just an unavoidable part of living in the nation's capital," he said.

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Reporting by Kirsty Needham and Lewis Jackson in Sydney and Peter Hobson in Canberra; additional reporting by Bernard Orr in Beijing. Editing by Lincoln Feast, Michael Perry and Ros Russell

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    Find out more about the best places to visit in Australia's dynamic capital with our list of the top attractions and things to do in and around Canberra. See also: Where to Stay in Canberra. On This Page: 1. Australian War Memorial. 2. New Parliament House. 3. Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

  6. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Canberra (2024)

    8. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. 324. Nature & Wildlife Areas. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is nestled at the base of the Tidbinbilla Range, and is only a 40 minute drive south-west of Canberra's city centre. Located within the reserve is a Sanctuary of five ponds…. See way to experience (1) 2023. 9.

  7. Travel Guide to Canberra, ACT

    Guide to Canberra. Find a mix of history, art and the outdoors in Australia's capital city. The small-yet-mighty capital of Canberra is a city that punches far above its weight. Well-known museums and historical sites are just the beginning. Dig a little deeper to find bustling brewpubs, hidden gems, quiet nature and family-friendly attractions.

  8. Visit

    Nine ways to go all-out on a weekend in Canberra, from sipping fine wine in an impossibly cosy lounge to sleeping in a giraffe treehouse. With a title like 'world's most liveable city', it's easy to see why so many people are making the move to Canberra. Spring. With flowers in bloom, and the weather warming up, Spring is a great time ...

  9. 3 days in Canberra: attractions and things to do

    As the nation's capital city, Canberra has no shortage of must-visit icons. Art lovers and history buffs will love spending the day at the city's best museums, memorials and galleries. Did you know? Canberra makes for a great stopping point on a road trip from Sydney to Melbourne. Day 3: National Arboretum and Braddon ...

  10. 20 Top Things To Do In Canberra

    3. Take a dip in one of Canberra's pools. Canberra can cook over the summer. So there's something to be said about its swimming pools. Manuka Pool was the first public swimming pool in Canberra and this Art Deco beauty is a great place to go in the height of summer. In addition to providing puddles of shade for a picnic, the recently refurbished pool (which opened in 1931) has a toddler ...

  11. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Canberra (UPDATED 2024)

    9. Museum of Australian Democracy. 1,331. Architectural Buildings. The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (MoAD) is a living museum of social and political history. Located in a nationally significant heritage building, MoAD's exhibitions, guided…. See ways to experience (5) 10. National Museum of Australia.

  12. The Best 15 Things to Do in Canberra, Australia

    Surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards and family farms, Canberra is affectionately known as Australia's bush capital. While it may be less familiar to international visitors than Sydney or Melbourne, the city is packed with attractions for travelers looking to eat, drink, and explore something a little bit different.. Canberra sits within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which was ...

  13. 16 Unmissable Things to do in Canberra

    The Parliament of Australia in Canberra. The Parliament of Australia is open for the public all year round except for Christmas. It definitely deserves a mention on this list of free things to do in Canberra, because of its memorable blend of cool architecture, unique art pieces, and the chance to see debates and law-making in real time.. You can get a guided tour that will show you around the ...

  14. 10 BEST Places to Visit in Canberra (2024)

    There's also the Questacon science centre that's another of the best places to visit in Canberra - especially if you're with kids. While on the subject of visiting Canberra with kids, check out Commonwealth Park, which sits on the lake's north shore. Here, you'll find play areas, paddling pools, and even an amphitheatre!

  15. 2 Days in Canberra Itinerary (2024)

    What to see in 2 days in Canberra. Finally, the sightseeing. When it comes to things to do in Canberra, most options consist of "the National (fill in the blank)". You'll find the National Museum, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and even the National bowling green. This is particularly true of the south side of Lake ...

  16. Top 10 things to do in Canberra

    Canberra is renowned for being a 100% renewable energy city with approximately 70% of the ACT dedicated to nature parks. Set yourself the challenge on a visit to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to spot five famous native Australian animals that call the area home: the koala, platypus, kangaroo, emu and wombat. Or walk up Mount Ainslie, Mount Painter, or Black Mountain to enjoy scenic views over the ...

  17. The Ultimate Canberra 1-day Itinerary This 2024

    Canberra 1-day Itinerary. Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory, is known for its rich history, cultural attractions, and stunning natural beauty. Although one day may seem limited, you can still have a fulfilling experience by visiting some of the city's must-see sites. Let's explore the best places to visit during your one ...

  18. 24 things to do in Canberra that are anything but boring

    18. Visit Canberra's very own pink lake . Bruce Pink Lake is one of those places which gets photoshopped heavily for social media - don't come expecting anything like you've seen in SA or WA! It's not actually the water that is pink, rather the pond is covered with azolla pinnata, a type of fern which has developed pink pigmentation.

  19. Places to Visit in Canberra

    Canberra Tourist Attractions. The Parliament House , Lake Burley Griffin, Australian War Memorial , National Museum of Australia, National Gallery of Australia , Questacon - National Science and Technology and many more. Delight your eyes with the long list of amazing places to visit in Canberra and traverse every nook & corner of this region.

  20. 15 Best Things to Do in Canberra (Australia)

    2. National Zoo & Aquarium. Source: flickr. National Zoo & Aquarium. Canberra is home to Australia's only combined zoo and aquarium facility, and as you'd expect from a zoo located in a national capital city, the National Zoo & Aquarium has gone to great efforts to do the country proud.

  21. 10 Day Trips From Canberra That You Will Love

    Visit the historic village of Gundaroo. Located across the border in New South Wales but just a 35-minute drive north of Canberra, Gundaroo is a cute little historic village dating back to the gold rush days in the 1800s. Visit the Gundaroo Colonial Inn for a beer or a pub lunch while enjoying the atmosphere of this charming 1872 pub.

  22. When is the Best time to visit Canberra

    The busiest times for visitors are March, September and December. Most people visit Canberra during the spring (September to November) when the Floriade Festival (Sept/Oct) brings the city to life. These times see the highest hotel prices. The city really comes alive during any of the major events like Enlighten Canberra (March) or the National ...

  23. Cheng Lei: Chinese officials' attempt to 'block' formerly detained

    Chinese Premier Li Qiang's four-day visit to Australia this week was set to be focused on repairing long-strained relations between the two countries. But apparent efforts by Chinese officials ...

  24. Guides to Canberra

    Canberra Visitor Guide 2024. Discover destination dining, cultural icons, family adventures and local secrets shared by Canberrans in the Canberra Visitor Guide 2024. Find out what's on (and what's free!) to help plan your trip to the capital this year. View the guide online (not suitable for mobile devices) or download the guide.

  25. Behind the scenes of Chinese Premier Li Qiang's visit to Canberra was

    Chinese Premier Li Qiang was only in Canberra for around 24 hours, but behind the scenes the security arrangements for his visit took months to plan and involved hundreds of police officers from ...

  26. Australia's Albanese, China's Li hold talks on trade, rights

    The visit by Li, China's top-ranked official after President Xi Jinping, marks a stabilisation in relations between the U.S. security ally and the world's second-biggest economy, after a frosty ...

  27. Canberra Visitor Guide 2024

    Discover destination dining, cultural icons, family adventures and local secrets shared by Canberrans in Canberra Visitor Guide 2024. Find out what's on (and what's free!) to help plan your trip to the capital this year. We acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as traditional custodians of the ACT and recognise any other people or families with ...

  28. China to Include Australia in Visa Waiver Program, Premier Li Says

    China will include Australia in its visa waiver program, Premier Li Qiang announced after meeting with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Canberra, in the latest sign of warming relations between ...