Canberra is the capital city of Australia and is famous for several things to do in Canberra. It is the center of the Australian government and is home to Parliament House, the Prime Minister’s official residence, and other important government buildings. Beautiful natural landscapes surround the place, making Canberra a very beautiful place. It is known for the beautiful Australian Alps, the Namadgi National Park, and the Murrumbidgee River.
With that said, it would not be wrong to assume you would feel bored at this amazing destination. Also, Canberra was designed as a planned city with a unique city layout and design, including the circular design of Lake Burley Griffin at its center. So, there are a million reasons why you must consider planning a holiday to this beautiful destination.
So, let’s explore the top 10 things to do in Canberra that you must know for an interesting holiday.
Things to Do in Canberra (1-2)
Visit Parliament House
When visiting the place, knowing about its historical and cultural significance is the best of all things to do in Canberra. You can tour Australia’s Parliament House and learn about the country’s political system.
Parliament House is a significant building and tourist attraction in Canberra, and there are several things to do in Canberra there:
- Take a guided tour: Take a guided tour of the building and learn about its history, architecture, and workings of the Australian political system.
- Watch Question Time: Observe the Australian Parliament in session and watch as members of Parliament ask questions of the government and engage in lively debates.
- Explore the exhibitions: Visit the exhibitions and displays within Parliament House that showcase the history and workings of the Australian political system.
- Visit the Great Hall: Want to see some impressive buildings while enjoying the top things to do in Canberra? You can see the impressive Great Hall, with its high ceiling, beautiful stained-glass windows, and stunning works of art.
- Walk around the grounds: Take a stroll around the beautiful grounds of Parliament House and admire the gardens, monuments, and sculptures.
- Attend a ceremony: Attend a ceremony, such as the Changing of the Guard or the Flag Raising Ceremony, to witness traditional military and national symbols.
- Learn about the history of Parliament House: Discover the rich history of Parliament House and learn about its significance as the seat of the Australian government. It is one of the best things to do in Canberra if you want to learn more about how the Australian government operates.
- Take a virtual tour: If you can’t visit in person, take a virtual tour of Parliament House to learn about the building and its history from the comfort of your home.
Explore the National Museum of Australia – Informative Things to Do in Canberra
You can discover the history and culture of Australia through interactive exhibits and artifacts at this museum. Taking this educational tour is one of the top things to do in Canberra.
The National Museum of Australia is a world-class cultural institution showcasing Australia’s history and culture.
There are plenty of things to do in Canberra at this destination. For instance, you can:
- Explore the exhibitions: Visit the museum’s permanent and temporary collections to learn about Australia’s rich history, culture, and heritage.
- See the First Australians galleries: Learn about the ancient cultures and traditions of Australia’s Indigenous peoples through interactive exhibits and artifacts.
- Visit the Landmarks galleries: See iconic objects and artifacts from Australian history, including the Eureka Flag, a Holden car, and the stuffed remains of the last thylacine (Tasmanian tiger).
- Take a guided tour: To enjoy the top things to do in Canberra you can join a museum tour to enjoy the top things to do in Canberra. Here, you can learn more about its exhibits and understand Australian history and culture better.
- Learn about Australia’s maritime history: Visit the First Fleet Gallery to learn about the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 and its impact on the country.
- Explore the Discovery Center: Visit the Discovery Center to learn about science, technology, and innovation in Australia. It will enjoy
- Attend a talk or workshop: Attend a conference or workshop to learn more about the museum’s collections and exhibitions. This way, you can enjoy the informational things to do in Canberra.
- Visit the museum’s library and archives: Explore the museum’s extensive library and archives, which hold a wealth of information and resources on Australian history and culture.
Things to Do in Canberra (3-4)
Visit the National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia is a world-renowned art museum located in Canberra. You can see a collection of Australian and international art, including works by Indigenous artists. Exploring this gallery is one of the best things to do in Canberra.
Some activities that you can enjoy at this destination include as follows.
- Explore the collections: Browse the museum’s extensive collection of Australian and international art, including works by renowned artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Grace Crowley.
- See the Indigenous art galleries: Learn about the rich cultural heritage of Australia’s Indigenous peoples through the museum’s collection of Indigenous art.
- Attend a tour or lecture: Join a tour or lecture to learn more about the museum’s collections and exhibitions. Indulging in things to do in Canberra, such as these, will allow you to get a deeper understanding of the world of art.
- Visit the exhibitions: Check out the museum’s temporary exhibitions to see the latest contemporary art and experience new perspectives and techniques.
- Take part in art classes and workshops: Join an art class or workshop to learn new techniques and gain a deeper understanding of the creative process. If you want to bring out your creative side, you can enjoy things to do in Canberra, such as these.
- Visit the sculpture garden: Stroll through the museum’s beautiful sculpture garden and enjoy the outdoor exhibits and installations.
- Visit the museum shop: Browse the museum shop for unique gifts and souvenirs, including books, prints, and handmade crafts.
- Enjoy a meal or a coffee: Take a break and enjoy a delicious meal or coffee in the museum’s café, surrounded by the beauty of the art and architecture. Here you can taste some delicacies while enjoying other things to do in Canberra.
Walk around Lake Burley Griffin -Outdoor Fun Things to Do in Canberra
If you want to explore some of the best outdoor things to do in Canberra, you can visit this beautiful Lake Burley Griffin. You can enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake and its surrounding parks, gardens, and monuments.
Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the heart of Canberra and a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Here are some things to do in Canberra when you visit this lake.
- Take a scenic walk or bike ride: Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the lake by walking or cycling along its many paths and trails.
- Rent a boat or kayak: Rent a boat or kayak and explore the lake from the water, enjoying the serenity and peacefulness of the surroundings.
- Attend a concert or event: Lake Burley Griffin is a popular venue for concerts and events, so be sure to check the local events calendar and see what’s on. If you like to indulge in some entertaining things to do in Canberra, you can visit this destination.
- Visit the National Capital Exhibition: Learn about the history and design of Canberra and the lake at the National Capital Exhibition.
- Enjoy a picnic: Pack a picnic and enjoy the lake’s parks and picnic areas.
- Take a guided tour: Join a guided tour of the lake to learn about its history and significance and to admire its many sights and landmarks. This is the best option if you are interested in enjoying the top things to do in Canberra while enhancing your knowledge.
- Visit the National Carillon: See the National Carillon, a beautiful tower that houses bells and serves as a concert venue.
- Admire the architecture: Take in the stunning architecture of the many buildings and monuments surrounding the lake, including the National Museum of Australia and the High Court of Australia.
Things to Do in Canberra (5-6)
Visit the Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is a national institution that honors the service and sacrifice of Australia’s military personnel. The top things to do in Canberra include paying your respects to the Australian soldiers who have served their country and learning about its military history.
When visiting the Australian war memorial, you can enjoy the following activities.
- Visit the exhibitions: Explore the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions, which showcase the history and heritage of Australia’s military and its involvement in conflicts at home and abroad.
- See the Galleries of Remembrance: Pay your respects at the Galleries of Remembrance, which hold the names of all Australians who have served in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. It will allow you to enjoy some of the informative things to do in Canberra.
- Attend the Last Post Ceremony: Join the daily Last Post Ceremony, which honors the sacrifice of Australia’s military personnel.
- Take a guided tour: Join the memorial to learn about its history, collections, and exhibitions and gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s military heritage.
- Visit the Research Centre: Explore the memorial’s extensive archives and research materials, which hold a wealth of information on Australia’s military history. You can include it in things to do in Canberra list to get the best out of your tour.
- Explore the outdoor exhibits: See the outdoor exhibits, including tanks, artillery, and aircraft, and learn about the technology and equipment used in conflicts.
- Attend a special event: Check the memorial’s events calendar to see if there are any special events, such as concerts, lectures, or exhibitions, happening during your visit.
- Visit the gift shop: Browse the memorial’s gift shop for unique souvenirs and gifts, including books, prints, and military memorabilia. If you wish to shop or take some memorials home, you can visit this gift shop to enjoy wholesome things to do in Canberra.
Head to National Botanic Gardens – Peaceful Things to Do in Canberra
Want to enjoy some peaceful and beautiful things to do in Canberra? Head to National Botanic Gardens. The National Botanic Gardens is a beautiful and peaceful destination in Canberra that showcases the diverse flora of Australia and the world.
Here are some things to do there:
- Take a guided tour: Join a guided tour of the gardens to learn about the plants, trees, and flowers on display and to gain a deeper understanding of botany and horticulture.
- Explore the different gardens: Stroll through the different gardens, including the Rainforest Gully, the Rock Garden, and the Bicentennial Garden, and see a wide variety of flora from Australia and around the world.
- Visit the visitors center: Learn about the history and mission of the National Botanic Gardens. You can also include heading to the visitors center and seeing exhibits on the plants and wildlife that inhabit the gardens while indulging in some things to do in Canberra.
- Attend a workshop or event: Participate in a workshop or attend an event to learn more about botany, horticulture, and gardening and to meet other gardening enthusiasts.
- Take a picnic: Pack a picnic and enjoy a day surrounded by the beauty of the gardens, with plenty of picnic areas and benches available.
- Visit the herbarium: Explore the gardens’ herbarium, which houses over 1 million plant specimens, and learn about the history and uses of different plants.
- Enjoy the scenery: Admire the scenery of the gardens, with its lush vegetation, beautiful ponds, and diverse wildlife, and take in the peaceful and serene atmosphere. It is one of the best things to do in Canberra if you love to enjoy the scenery.
Things to Do in Canberra (7-8)
There are plenty of things to do in Canberra, including visiting Questacon.
Questacon is the National Science and Technology Centre in Canberra, offering interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and activities designed to educate and engage visitors of all ages.
Here are some things to do in Questacon
- Explore the exhibitions: Discover the world of science and technology through hands-on exhibits and interactive displays, covering topics such as physics, biology, engineering, and more.
- Attend a demonstration: Watch live demonstrations and shows, including interactive science shows, laser shows, and more, to learn about different scientific concepts in a fun and engaging way. If you are heading to Canberra, it is definitely one of the best things to do in Canberra.
- Participate in hands-on activities: Get hands-on with science through a variety of interactive activities, including building challenges, virtual reality experiences, and more.
- Take a guided tour: Join a guided tour of the center to learn more about the exhibits and the science behind them and gain a deeper understanding of science and technology.
- Visit the gift shop: Browse the Questacon gift shop for educational toys, games, books, and more, inspired by the science and technology on display at the center. You can take many memories home if you include them in your things to do in the Canberra list.
- Attend a workshop: Participate in a workshop or program, such as a coding or robotics workshop, to learn new skills and expand your knowledge of science and technology.
- Visit the cafe: Take a break and enjoy a meal or snack at the Questacon cafe, which offers a variety of food and drinks in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Things to do in Canberra can be fun, including visiting the cafe to taste some delicious food.
Explore the Australian National University – Things to Do in Canberra
Want to enhance your learning experience? Then, you can head to Australian National University to enjoy the best things to do in Canberra.
The Australian National University (ANU) is a leading research and educational institution in Canberra.
Here are many things to do in Canberra while visiting this university. Some of the best things include the following.
- Attend a lecture or seminar: Participate in a lecture or seminar at the university to learn from experts in a variety of fields, including science, humanities, and more.
- Take a campus tour: Join a guided tour while indulging in the top things to do in canberra. It will allow you to explore the ANU campus to learn about the history and architecture of the university and to see some of the key buildings and facilities.
- Visit the art galleries: Check out the ANU art galleries, which showcase a range of contemporary and historical art, including works by Australian and international artists.
- Explore the museums: Visit the ANU museums, including the ANU Archaeology and Anthropology Museum, and learn about the history, culture, and science of Australia and the world.
- Participate in a cultural event: Attend a cultural event, such as a concert, play, or dance performance, to experience the vibrant arts scene at ANU. If you are taking your kids to Canberra, they will enjoy such things to do in Canberra.
- Enjoy the outdoors: Take a stroll through the scenic grounds and gardens of the university, and admire the natural beauty of the area.
- Study in the library: Utilize the extensive resources of the ANU library, which offers a range of books, journals, and other materials to support research and study. The top things to do in Canberra, such as this one, are the best for book lovers.
Things to Do in Canberra (9-10)
Visit the Mount Ainslie Lookout
For people who love to enjoy some adventurous outdoor activities, here is what you need to include in your things to do in the Canberra list. Mount Ainslie Lookout is a popular destination for visitors to Canberra, offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas.
Some things to do in Canberra at this beautiful destination are as follows.
- Take in the views: Enjoy the stunning views from the lookout, which offer a 360-degree perspective of the city, including landmarks such as Parliament House, Lake Burley Griffin, and more. While indulging in such things to do in Canberra, you can enjoy scenic views.
- Hike the trail: Take a walk along the Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve trail, which winds its way through the bushland and offers scenic views of the city and surrounding areas.
- Learn about the history: Read the interpretive signs along the trail, which provide information about the history, flora, and fauna of the area.
- Watch the sunrise or sunset: Plan a visit to the lookout at sunrise or sunset, when the city and surrounding landscape are most beautiful, with the sun casting a warm glow over the area. Nature lovers will definitely enjoy things to do in Canberra, such as these.
- Picnic: Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy a picnic with friends or family at one of the picnic areas located near the lookout.
- Birdwatching: Observe the diverse birdlife in the area, which includes a range of species such as parrots, kookaburras, and more.
- Photography: Capture the stunning views and natural beauty of the area with a camera or smartphone, and create memories to last a lifetime. If you want to get the perfect backdrop for your pictures while enjoying the top things to do in Canberra, this place is definitely worth the visit.
Take a scenic drive to nearby destinations
Australia has some of the best and most beautiful destinations. Driving through these beautiful and scenic destinations is definitely the best thing to do in Canberra.
Canberra is surrounded by beautiful scenery and stunning landscapes, making it the perfect place for a scenic drive.
Some of the scenic drives to consider in and around the city for the top things to do in Canberra include the following.
- Around Lake Burley Griffin: Take a drive around the beautiful Lake Burley Griffin, stopping at various points along the way to take in the views, picnic, or explore the many parks and gardens that line the shore.
- Cotter Road: Head out of the city along the picturesque Cotter Road, which takes you through the rolling hills and forests of the Namadgi National Park.
- The Murrumbidgee River Loop: Take a drive along the Murrumbidgee River Loop, which follows the river and offers views of the surrounding landscape and wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and more. You’ll enjoy such things to do in Canberra.
- Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve: Visit the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, located a short drive from Canberra, for a scenic drive through the stunning bushland and woodland and the chance to see a wide range of wildlife and native plants.
- Blue Range Ridge: Take a drive along the Blue Range Ridge, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills, forests, and valleys and provides access to a range of walking trails and picnic areas. While enjoying these things to do in Canberra, you will love such scenic destinations.
Wrapping It Up!
So, Canberra is a unique destination that offers a unique experience to people. It is surrounded by stunning landscapes and scenic drives, including the scenic routes around Lake Burley Griffin and the Murrumbidgee River Loop. Also, there are many things to do in Canberra that visitors can enjoy.
So, if you are planning to visit Canberra, we’d say it is definitely worth visiting. You can have a unique experience here as it offers one of a kind experience to visitors of all ages.
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Where is Canberra?
Canberra is the capital city of Australia and is located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in the southeastern region of the country. It is situated approximately 280 kilometers (174 miles) southwest of Sydney and 660 kilometers (410 miles) northeast of Melbourne. The city is located in the ACT's central plain between the Australian Alps and the coast of New South Wales and is surrounded by rolling hills and forests.
How can I reach Canberra?
There are several ways to reach Canberra:
By Air: The Canberra International Airport is located just a few kilometers from the city center and offers regular flights from major cities in Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
By Road: Canberra is located along the Federal Highway, which connects it to Sydney to the south and Melbourne to the north. It's also connected to the coast by the King's Highway. Both highways provide scenic drives through picturesque rural landscapes.
By Bus: Regular bus services are available from Sydney and Melbourne to Canberra. These services offer a convenient and cost-effective way to reach the city.
By Train: The Canberra railway station is located in the city center and offers regular train services to Sydney and Melbourne.
What are the top five things to do in Canberra?
Here are the top five things to do in Canberra:
Visit the Australian War Memorial
Explore the National Museum of Australia
Visit the National Gallery of Australia
Take a stroll in the National Botanic Gardens
Should I visit Canberra?
Whether or not you should visit Canberra depends on your interests and travel goals. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider a visit to Canberra:
It's the capital city of Australia
It's home to important cultural institutions
It's a great destination for nature lovers.