Set in a valley in the southern region of New South Wales, Canberra is an attractive lakeside city with parklands, surrounding bushland and leafy suburbs. And, as well as the city’s natural attributes it is also home to some of the Australia’s most impressive architecture which manifests itself in the host of national attractions which are dispersed throughout Canberra.
There are many different ways to get around on all the attractions in the city and in the surrounding area. Highly recommended are Murray’s Canberra Day Tours or the City Sightseeing Canberra Tour bus. The latter also operate a shuttle service that will take you to Lake Burley Griffin for an hour’s cruise. For a real treat you can also take a Southern Cross Cruise where you can enjoy lunch or dinner on board or alternatively you can hire your own boat.
Because the capital is a planned city, however, making your way about on foot is also an excellent way to take everything in. Among the most popular attractions in Canberra are the Botanic Gardens, Telstra Tower, the Australian War Memorial, the National Museum, the National Aquarium and Wildlife Park and the New and Old Parliament Houses. Located outside the city you also have Gold Creek Village, Ginninderra Village, Cockington Green, Namadgi National Park and Canberra Space Centre.
Finally, for those of you who fancy trying something a little different try one of the wine tours, bush tours or Canberra’s Top Secret Tour where you will discover what the city’s secret service get up to.
Parkes Place, Canberra, Australia
In existence since 1982, this is a relatively new gallery by global standards but this hasn’t stopped it from making its mark. Housing a host of fascinating international collections which include paintings, prints, sculptures, tapestries and books, the main attraction of the gallery is the collection of Australian art, and the Aboriginal collection in particular.
Limestone Stone, Canberra, Australia
This memorial commemorates the life of every Australian man or woman who has ever served and died for their country during time of war. Areas such as the Hall of Memory, the Roll of Honour, the Reflecting Pool and the grave of the Unknown Soldier make a visit to the memorial quite meaningful and clearly display the horror and tragedy of war.
Capital Hill, Canberra, Australia
The Old Parliament House is actually located on King George Terrace at the foot of the hill while the new building has been given pride of place merging into the hill thanks to its grass covered contours. Both are well worth visiting and have daily tours which take place every thirty minutes.
11 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls, Canberra, Australia
Located about six miles north west of the city centre, this is a meticulously reproduced replica of an English country village. Built at one twelfth of the actual size you will feel like a character from Gulliver’s Travels as you tower over the miniature buildings making for a fascinating visit and the surrounding gardens are an excellent place to relax for a few hours.
Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, Australia
Commemorating Captain James Cook, the explorer credited with having discovered the east coast of Australia, this fountain which can be seen between 10.00am and 12.00pm, 2.00pm and 4.00pm and 7.00pm and 9.00pm shoots a jet of water which can reach up to one hundred and forty metres on a calm day so it makes for pretty impressive viewing.
National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross Street, Canberra, Australia
Located on the summit of Black Mountain the tower rises almost two hundred metres over the city and offers unparalleled 360 degree views from the fifty eight metre high platform. Situated in the picturesque surroundings of the Botanic Gardens, there is also a café and the city’s only revolving restaurant where you can relax and look out over the city.
Naas Road, Canberra, Australia
Covering some forty percent of the Australian Capital Territory, Namagdi National Park is located about thirty minutes south of Canberra city. Home to kangaroos, wallabies and wombats as well as eight peaks which reach a height of over 1700metres, the reserve has some excellent bush walking trails as well as picnic and camping facilities.
Parkes Place, Parkes, Canberra, Australia
Here’s one for the literary buffs among you. With a collection of over five million books, the best way to get around is probably to take the guided tour which last about an hour and take place daily. You will also find Internet facilities which are not usually that busy, unlike some of the other locations in the city.
Lady Denman Drive, Scrivener, Canberra, Australia
Set in seventeen acres of park and woodland which is only minutes away from the city centre you will see over one hundred and fifty species of fish and reptiles many of which reside in the four hundred gallon display tank. As well as the aquatic wildlife, the park is home to bears, monkeys, koalas, wallabies, numerous native birds and much more.
35 Bywong Town Road, Canberra, Australia
Traces of gold were discovered in Canberra in the early 1850s and this site remembers the people and the activities of the time where you will see an active gold mine in action and can even try panning for gold yourself but good luck they were only traces after all. Located about twenty-eight kilometres north of the city, several tours run buses to the village daily.