The centre of the nation’s governance offers a lot more than just political drama. Visit this cultural and artistic hub and enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife right on the city’s doorstep.
What To Do
Visitors to Canberra are spoilt for choice – some of the nation’s greatest institutions are located in the capital city. If you’re looking to find out more about the history, politics, art and culture of Australia, you’ve come to the right place.
Australian Parliament House
Enjoy a free tour of Parliament House, the decision-making centre of Australian democracy. Parliament House boasts several esteemed collections and run special exhibitions, as well as specialised guided tours. Witness politics in action during Question Time, or escape to the tranquillity of the landscaped gardens.
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial commemorates each conflict that Australia has been involved in. The memorial features an art-deco commemorative courtyard and is attached to a large museum devoted to our nation’s military history.
National Portrait Gallery
This stunning gallery showcases the depth of talent of Australian artists, ranging from Indigenous art, to colonial times, to contemporary displays. Spot the many famous Australians featured in the portraits and enjoy this celebration of the diversity of Australia.
National Museum of Australia
For a snapshot of the history of Australia, look no further than the National Museum. The contemporary space hosts both permanent collections and touring exhibits, and it also features an exciting interactive outdoor exhibition, Garden of Australian Dreams.
How to Get Here
Canberra is easily reached by air, road, train and bus. For international travellers, there are daily flights from Singapore and Doha. However, many tourists find it easier to enter via one of the larger eastern Australian cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, with multiple daily domestic flights.
Canberra is a three hour drive from Sydney and an eight hour drive from Melbourne. Regular bus services are available, as well as a Sydney to Canberra train via the Southern Highlands. The train trip takes four and a half hours.
When To Go
Canberra is known for getting cold during the winter months. The best time to visit this thriving city is during Spring (September to November), when the weather is warm enough to enjoy Canberra’s outdoor attractions. It is also a time when Parliament is likely to be sitting, unlike the summer when many politicians take time off. If you’re hoping to see democracy in action, time your visit to coincide with the sitting calendar.
Things To Know
Canberra is well-known for being a city of roundabouts – there are almost no traffic lights in the city! If you’re hiring a car, expect traffic to keep flowing.
The best food and drink options can be found along Kingston Foreshore, Lonsdale Street in Braddon, and Bunda Street in the CBD.
Many top attractions offer free public tours throughout the week, so check out the calendar ahead of time.