Popular as the seat of Australia’s government, Canberra is modern metropolis that boasts a well-planned layout, expansive public green spaces, and clean environment Set between the majestic Mt. Ainslie and Lake Burley Griffin, the city has a very welcoming laid-back and natural feel, especially when compared to more larger and more popular cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
Other than being the country’s political hub, Canberra is also known as a haven for art, culture, and nature lovers. Its many event halls, museums, and galleries feature some of the best exhibitions showcasing Australia’s natural beauty, dynamic culture, and national identity.
If you’re visiting Canberra for the first time, below is a list of must-try activities in the capital city.
Enjoy the best views from the summit of Mt. Ainslie
Located within Canberra National Park, Mt. Ainslie is a hill that offers the best views of Canberra. You can head to the lookout and luxuriate in the impressive scenery that includes vantage views of the War Memorial, ANZAC Parade, Black Mountain, and the Parliament House. Should you wish to experience Mt. Ainslie on foot, there are many walking trails to explore. It is also a great spot for watching the sunrise or sunset.
Visit the Parliament House
One of the key attractions in Canberra, the Parliament House is a gorgeous, boomerang-shaped structure that boasts 4,700 rooms and sweeping lawns. The area spans 32 hectares. What’s great about the Parliament House is that since it opened in 1988, many areas within the facility are open to the public. Tours are available every 30 minutes, from 9am to 5pm. The building also houses a sizeable collection of more than 6,000 artworks, including portraits of every noteworthy Australian political figure as well as other pieces significant to Australian culture and history.
Delve into 50,000 years of indigenous heritage
The National Museum of Australia is an art and culture space that is brimming with more than 50,000 years of indigenous heritage. Made possible by the National Museum of Australia Act of 1980, the award-winning museum not only houses the world’s most extensive collection of bark paintings – an Aboriginal art form – and stone tools, it is also home to the heart of Phar Lap, Australia’s greatest racehorse, and exceptional exhibitions of pivotal events that have helped shape Australia into what it us today.
Explore the National Gallery of Australia
Another must-visit tourist attraction in Canberra is The National Gallery of Australia. Here you can explore more than 160,000 artworks, including the works of Picasso, Monet, Warhol and Nolan alongside a fascinating collection Australian indigenous art.
Head to Namadgi National Park
A relatively short drive south of Canberra, the Namadgi National Park is a popular day trip destination in the Australian Capital Territory. Aside from diverse flora and fauna, the nature attraction is also teeming with ruggedly beautiful rural scenery, from lush greenery to granite mountains. The park is also a protected area inscribed in the Australian National Heritage List.
Cruise along Lake Burley Griffin
An artificial lake located right in the city centre, Lake Burley Griffin is one of Canberra’s most popular attractions. Take a cruise along the man-made lake to see the capital’s most popular landmarks in a unique setting and from a totally different perspective.
Learn about the art of glassmaking
Discover the art of glassmaking by visiting Glassworks, a cultural centre dedicated to modern glass art. Spend time at the studio and gallery and rub elbows with glass artists and fellow art lovers. If you want to learn a thing or two about glassmaking, the facility also offers workshops. Don’t forget to purchase a few pieces of glass art as souvenirs.
Pay homage at the Australian War Memorial
Built in 1941 to commemorate the courageous Australian men and women who served and died in war, the Australian War Memorial is a must-see for every first-time visitor to Canberra. The memorial includes a military museum, a research centre, and a commemorative shrine.
Walk the length of Anzac Parade
The Anzac Parade, leading up to the Australian War Memorial, is a eucalyptus-lined, three-lane road and thoroughfare that plays an important role in many ceremonial occasions like the ANZAC Day as well as major military memorials. The Anzac Parade is named in honour of the members of the Australian and New Zealand army corps who served in World War I.
Marvel at the Carillon Bell Tower
Sitting on Aspen Island in Lake Burley Griffin, the National Carillon is a popular architectural landmark in Canberra. A gift of the British Government to Australia, the 50-metre tall bell tower holds 55 bronze bells.
Enjoy the views at the National Arboretum Canberra
Opened to the public in February 2013, the National Arboretum Canberra is set at the western edges of Lake Burley Griffin. Aside from the fantastic views that are best admired from different lookouts, the 250-hectare arboretum also features 94 forests composed of rare, symbolic, and endangered trees from Australia and other parts of the world. The attraction also has a stage and amphitheatre, the award-winning Village Centre, a smaller event and exhibition space, and monumental art installations.
Started in 1988, the Floriade is one of Canberra’s most popular annual tourism event. From being a grandiose floral display, it has become the leading spring festival in Australia that offers a world-class program of music, arts, culture, food and wine, horticultural workshops, entertainment, and a host of recreational activities.
Experience beauty and diversity in Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory. Start with your amazing journey with Travezl.com.
By: Brendelyn Balaga