Australia’s Parliament House is the centre of government in the country. But there’s more to this destination that quarrelling politicians. Visit to learn more about the country’s history, discover the art and architecture, and explore the beautiful gardens.
What To Do
A trip to Canberra isn’t complete with a visit to Parliament House. Explore the many ways to discover this important part of Australian culture and society.
Tours of the building and the collections inside are free for all and run daily (excluding Christmas Day). They run every half hour between 9am and 4pm, and last for 90 minutes. Bookings are essential via the Australian Parliament House website.
Specialised guided tours take you further into the history and significance of Parliament House.
The Architecture of Parliament House tour explores the symbolism and vision of the building, including iconic spaces such as the Marble Foyer, Great Hall, and the chambers. The tour runs daily at 12:30pm and lasts 50 minutes. Pricing is $20 per person.
The Arts and Furniture Collections of Parliament House tour includes an in depth look at the beautiful and significant pieces in the art collection. 25,000 pieces of high quality furniture and 7000 works of art are stored at Parliament House. The tour runs daily at 11am and lasts 50 minutes. Pricing is $20 per person.
The ‘Yeribee’ Indigenous Experiences of Parliament House tour explores the ways that Australia’s First Peoples are participating in the nation’s democracy and looks at artworks from celebrated Indigenous artists. The tour is free, runs daily at 9:30am and lasts 50 minutes.
Want to see parliament in action? During sitting times, get a glimpse of political question time. The tour accommodates 24 people and allows you access to the gallery. Additional security measures are in place. Entry is free.
Parliament House hosts exhibitions of significant works around specific themes. Exhibitions typically run for four months at a time and are free to enter. Check out the website for current showings.
Parliament House is set on a 33 hectare site and includes large areas of gardens. The native gardens surround the eastern and southern sides and feature plants indigenous to the ACT. The formal gardens are a peaceful space with water features and statues of Chinese lions.
Australia’s military history is also on display at the RSL fountain and the Armillary sphere sundial on the northern east corner.
How to Get Here
Parliament House is located on Parliament Drive in the heart of Canberra.
Parking is located in the Forecourt Basement car park and is free for the first two hours and all day on weekends and public holidays. Bus stops are located on Federation Mall, 200m from the entrance. Bike racks are available on site.
Things To Know
Parliament House is open 9am to 5pm. It is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.
Food and Drink
All that politics making you hungry? The Queen’s Terrace Café is located onsite, offering coffee, snacks and light meals.
Shopping and Souvenirs
If you want something to remember the experience, the Parliament Shop is available for purchases. The shop has a large range of books as well as other gifts and souvenirs.
As it is the centre of government, expect to see higher levels of security at Parliament House than elsewhere in Australia. All visitors must go through security screening and have personal possessions inspected. If a Security Officer or member of Australian Federal Police gives you an instruction, you must comply. Photography is not allowed in certain areas during chamber proceedings.