Exploring Canberra is an adventure that touches on every aspect of life – history, culture, gastronomy, wildlife, nature, and adventure. It’s a city where the freedom of the great outdoors meets a vibrant and modern cityscape, inviting you to discover all it has to offer. So, whether you’re planning a short getaway or a long vacation, consider Canberra for an unforgettable experience.and also know here Best Things To Do In Canberra.
Best Things To Do In Canberra
1. Discovering Canberra’s Rich History and Culture
Canberra, the capital city of Australia, is a melting pot of history and culture waiting to be explored. Begin your journey at the Australian War Memorial, a monument, a museum, and an archive commemorating the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in the war. With its stunning exhibitions and soul-stirring commemorative area, this place tells a poignant story that touches every visitor.
Venture next to the National Museum of Australia, where you can immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of the nation’s social history. This state-of-the-art facility offers interactive exhibits that present Australian stories with an innovative twist. Don’t miss the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings and the fascinating insights into the lives of Australia’s prehistoric fauna.
Parliament House is another must-visit for history and politics buffs. Not only can you watch democracy in action in the public galleries, but you also marvel at the exquisite architecture that this monumental building showcases. Visiting Parliament House provides a unique perspective on how Australia has been shaped over the years.
2. Experience Canberra’s Natural Beauty
Canberra’s allure doesn’t stop at its cultural richness; it extends to breathtaking natural vistas and outdoor adventures. Nestled within the city is Lake Burley Griffin, a man-made masterpiece perfect for boating, paddleboarding, and leisurely lakeside picnics. This scenic spot is a hub of tranquility amidst the urban sprawl, offering a serene escape.
A trip to the Australian National Botanic Gardens will allow you to discover the country’s diverse plant life. Wander along the paths surrounded by rainforest trees, desert flora, and blossoming gardens. Each step will reveal the unique biodiversity of Australia and leave you in awe of nature’s splendor.
Finally, if you’re keen to see Australian wildlife up close, visiting Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is a must. Whether it’s spotting platypus in their natural habitat or trekking through the eucalyptus forests, the reserve offers an unmatched encounter with native wildlife.
3. Canberra’s Vibrant Food and Wine Scene
Your visit to Canberra would be incomplete without indulging in the city’s dynamic food and wine scene. The city brims with innovative restaurants, trendy cafés, and bustling markets that pay homage to Australia’s diverse culinary landscape. A farm-to-table ethos runs deep in Canberra, with many establishments offering fresh, local produce that creates a riot of flavors on your palate.
Sample some of the city’s finest wines at the numerous vineyards located just outside the city. The Canberra district is renowned for producing exceptional cool-climate wines, particularly its crisp Rieslings and robust Shirazes. A wine-tasting tour will offer the chance to chat with passionate vintners, walk through beautiful vineyards, and of course, savor the exquisite wines.
Don’t forget to visit the Old Bus Depot Markets on a Sunday, where you can relish mouth-watering food, and also discover local crafts, jewelry, and clothing. This thriving market, packed with vendors selling their unique wares, presents an authentic Canberra experience.
This guide provides a peek into what makes Canberra a compelling travel destination. A fusion of culture, nature, and gastronomy, Canberra has something for every traveler. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or a food and wine connoisseur, Canberra promises an enriching and unforgettable journey. So pack your bags and get ready to explore this vibrant Australian city!
4. Engage in Canberra’s Dynamic Arts Scene
Canberra’s arts scene is as varied and vibrant as the city itself. Start your exploration at the National Gallery of Australia, home to more than 100,000 works of art. This place showcases Australian, Indigenous, Asian, and international art. The sculpture garden, with works by Rodin and other renowned artists, set against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Burley Griffin, offers a unique outdoor cultural experience.
Next, visit the Canberra Glassworks, a dynamic, professional artist’s facility where you can witness glass artists at work. You can even participate in workshops and create your masterpiece. It’s a testament to Canberra’s commitment to supporting contemporary glass art and its artisans.
In the city’s heart, you’ll find the Canberra Theatre Centre, hosting a range of performances, from ballet and symphony concerts to drama and comedy shows. It’s a hotbed of creativity and a testament to the city’s thriving performing arts scene.
5. Adventure and Outdoor Activities
For the more adventurous, Canberra doesn’t disappoint. Mountain biking at Mount Stromlo, hot air ballooning over the city, and hiking in Namadgi National Park are just some thrilling experiences awaiting you. The city is surrounded by nature reserves and parks, making it an ideal playground for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Lake Burley Griffin circuit, a 40km loop, is perfect for cycling enthusiasts or those up for a leisurely walk. The route offers stunning views of iconic landmarks and hidden gems of Canberra. For those seeking a bird’s eye view of the city, a hot air balloon ride at sunrise is necessary. It’s an exhilarating experience that offers an unparalleled perspective of Canberra’s architectural design and natural beauty.
Namadgi National Park, at the northern end of the Australian Alps, offers challenging hikes and stunning scenery. Trails wind through wildflower meadows, aboriginal rock art sites, and stunning viewpoints. It’s a fantastic place to connect with nature and appreciate Australia’s diverse landscapes.
6. Educational Excursions in Canberra
Canberra is also a city of learning, boasting several world-class universities and a plethora of scientific and technological institutions. The Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre, is a fantastic place for kids and adults. With more than 200 interactive exhibits, it demystifies science in the most fun and engaging way.
Head over to the CSIRO Discovery Centre to learn about cutting-edge research in climate, water, and robotics. The center offers interactive displays and various programs that make science accessible and exciting.
In conclusion, Canberra offers more than just being the political capital of Australia. It’s a city where history, culture, nature, adventure, food, wine, arts, and science converge, creating an exceptional travel experience. So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Canberra has many experiences to offer, ensuring you’ll leave with unforgettable memories and a desire to return.
7. A Gastronomical Journey in Canberra
Canberra is also a city of gastronomic delights, a paradise for food and wine lovers. The city’s culinary scene is burgeoning, reflecting Australia’s multicultural diversity and the bountiful produce of the surrounding region. It’s home to award-winning restaurants, innovative cafes, and some of the country’s best wineries.
Begin your culinary adventure at the Canberra Farmers Market. Held every Sunday, it’s a great place to taste the region’s freshest produce, meet local farmers, and sample artisanal goods. The market’s buzzing atmosphere will energise your senses and whet your appetite for the culinary exploration that lies ahead.
Embark on a self-guided tour of Canberra’s wine region, boasting over 30 boutique cellar doors. The region is renowned for its cool-climate wines, especially Riesling and Shiraz. Enjoy tastings and meet the winemakers who share their passion and stories behind each bottle. Finish the day with a meal at a vineyard restaurant, pairing local wines with exceptional food against the backdrop of rolling vineyards.
In the city, Canberra’s award-winning restaurants are making waves with their innovative menus. They champion local produce and incorporate global flavors to create unique dining experiences. From casual brunch spots to fine dining establishments, Canberra’s dining scene is diverse and constantly evolving, promising something to satisfy every palate.
8. Vibrant Festivals and Events
Canberra’s vibrant events calendar is filled with celebrations of food, art, culture, and more. No matter when you visit, there’s likely to be a festival or event adding extra excitement to the city’s atmosphere.
The National Multicultural Festival is a celebration of diversity, with performances, parades, food stalls, and more representing cultures from around the globe. The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is another key event, filling the sky with a colorful array of hot air balloons.
Meanwhile, Enlighten Festival transforms Canberra’s iconic buildings into a spectacle of light and color. It’s a visually stunning event that showcases local artists’ creativity and innovation. Alongside the light installations, the festival features live music performances, dining experiences, and family-friendly activities, creating a lively and engaging atmosphere in the city’s heart.
9. Retail Therapy in Canberra
If you’re looking for a bit of retail therapy, Canberra has you covered. From stylish boutiques to sprawling shopping centers, the city offers a wide variety of shopping experiences to suit every taste and budget.
Canberra Centre, located in the heart of the city, is home to an extensive range of stores, from high-street brands to high-end designers. It’s a one-stop shop for fashion, beauty, homeware, and more.
For a more boutique experience, head over to Lonsdale Street in Braddon. This vibrant strip houses independent shops selling unique clothing, handmade jewelry, artisanal goods, and more. It’s also the place to find Canberra’s best coffee shops and eateries, perfect for a shopping break.
Finally, don’t miss the Old Bus Depot Markets, a Sunday market filled with antiques, crafts, local produce, and food stalls. It’s a treasure trove of unique finds and a great place to support local artisans.
In summary, Canberra is an exciting city that offers a rich tapestry of experiences. From its impressive landmarks and cultural institutions to its vibrant food scene, outdoor activities, festivals, and shopping options, the city has something for everyone. So, pack your bags, set your GPS, and prepare for an unforgettable journey to the heart of Australia.
10. Relaxing in Canberra’s Gardens and Parks
Canberra is well-known for its expansive green spaces, and spending a tranquil day in one of the city’s many parks and gardens is a must. They provide a respite from the city’s bustling energy and offer an opportunity to connect with nature right in the city’s heart.
Start with the Australian National Botanic Gardens, which houses the world’s most comprehensive display of living Australian native plants. This beautiful sanctuary serves as a conservation center for Australia’s diverse flora. Meandering through its rainforest gully, savanna garden, and other unique plant communities will feel like a journey across the Australian continent.
For those who appreciate traditional, manicured gardens, the historic Old Parliament House Gardens offer a peaceful retreat. These elegantly designed gardens, adorned with roses and other beautiful blooms, provide a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing stroll or picnic.
Finally, the extensive grounds of Commonwealth Park, particularly vibrant during the annual Floriade festival when a million flowers burst into bloom, make for a delightful day out. Complete with a picturesque lake, walking paths, picnic areas, and play spaces, it’s a haven for outdoor enjoyment.
11. Get Up Close with Australian Wildlife
Canberra offers several opportunities to interact with Australia’s unique wildlife. From kangaroos to koalas and colorful birds to creepy crawlies, the city’s wildlife parks and reserves bring you face-to-face with the country’s diverse fauna.
The National Zoo & Aquarium allows you to get up close to various animals, both Australian natives and exotic species. The zoo’s unique animal encounters provide an unforgettable experience, whether you’re feeding a tiger, meeting a cheetah, or having breakfast with a giraffe.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, located on the outskirts of Canberra, offers a truly wild experience. This expansive protected area houses a variety of Australian wildlife in its natural habitat. The reserve’s well-marked trails make it easy to spot kangaroos, wallabies, platypuses, and many bird species.
Visiting the Australian Reptile Centre, housing an extensive collection of reptiles and amphibians, will also be a memorable experience. The Centre’s immersive exhibits, educational talks, and interactive sessions make it a fantastic learning experience for all ages.
12. Adventurous Outings in Canberra
For those with an adventurous spirit, Canberra provides ample opportunities to get the adrenaline pumping. With its surrounding natural landscapes and state-of-the-art facilities, the city caters to various adventure activities.
Climb the Mount Ainslie lookout for panoramic city views, bushwalk through Namadgi National Park, or mountain bike in Stromlo Forest Park. These outdoor spaces offer a thrilling exploration of Canberra’s rugged side.
Meanwhile, the city’s artificial lake, Lake Burley Griffin, is a hub for water activities. You can hire a kayak, paddleboard or sailboat to enjoy the lake and its beautiful surroundings.
For indoor adventurers, the iFLY Indoor Skydiving Centre offers an exhilarating experience. It’s an opportunity to experience the thrill of freefall without jumping from a plane. Regardless of your adventure preference, Canberra offers an array of thrilling experiences that will keep your heart racing.
Stay At Ovolo Nishi, Best Hotel In Canberra
Immerse yourself in the heart of the Canberra scene at the Ovolo Nishi, renowned as one of the best hotels in the city. Strategically located in the vibrant NewActon precinct, the hotel is a gateway to the best things to do in Canberra. The property stands out with its innovative design, commitment to sustainability, and eclectic mix of local art – a testament to Canberra’s dynamic cultural scene. Not just a place to rest your head, the Ovolo Nishi is a whole experience in itself, making it a top addition to your Canberra itinerary.
Stay At Ovolo Nishi, Best Hotel In Canberra Canberra Hot Air Balloon At Sunrise Win The Canberra Pub Crawl Game Visit National Gallery of Australia Visit Floriade Festival Go On An Art Scavenger Hunt In Canberra Visit The Pink Lake In Canberra Enjoy A Fun Winery, Distillery & Tasting Tour Visit The Australian War Memorial Visit Cockington Green Gardens Visit Parliament House The National Museum of Australia Questacon – National Science And Technology Centre Explore The Street Art In Canberra Visit National Portrait Gallery in Canberra
Canberra Hot Air Balloon At Sunrise
Witness the beauty of Canberra from a whole new perspective: the sky. One of the must-try things to do in Canberra is taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. As the sun peeks over the horizon, the cityscape of Canberra unfolds beneath you, painted in hues of gold, pink, and orange. The tranquility of gliding over the city as it wakes up is an unforgettable experience. The flight offers spectacular views of iconic landmarks like Lake Burley Griffin, Parliament House, and the National Arboretum, making it a highlight of any trip to Canberra.
Win The Canberra Pub Crawl Game
Embrace the vibrant nightlife scene as you embark on the Canberra Pub Crawl game. This self-guided tour leads you to some of the city’s best bars and pubs while challenging you to fun tasks. With a delightful mix of historical pubs and modern bars, the crawl is an entertaining way to experience Canberra’s nightlife and make new friends. It’s not just about drinks; it’s about the camaraderie, the stories, and the local culture. Participating in the pub crawl game is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Canberra.
Visit National Gallery of Australia
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the National Gallery of Australia. Home to more than 166,000 works, the gallery boasts an expansive collection spanning Australian art, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, Asian and Pacific art, and international works. The gallery also features a range of exhibitions, workshops, and events, offering insight into Australia’s rich artistic heritage and contemporary art scene. Visiting the National Gallery of Australia is not just one of the top cultural things to do in Canberra, it’s an opportunity to engage with the vibrant arts scene and history of the country.
Visit Floriade Festival
If you’re visiting Canberra in spring, a trip to the Floriade Festival is an absolute must. This annual event celebrated over a month, is the largest floral festival in the Southern Hemisphere. The festival sees Canberra’s Commonwealth Park transformed into a sea of color, with over one million flowers in bloom. The Floriade Festival is not just about admiring the beautiful flowers; it also features music performances, workshops, and culinary events, making it a fun-filled event for all ages. Attending the Floriade Festival is undoubtedly one of the most colorful things to do in Canberra.
Go On An Art Scavenger Hunt In Canberra
Canberra isn’t just known for its national institutions; it’s also a haven for street art. Going on an art scavenger hunt is among the most engaging things to do in Canberra. The city’s laneways, building facades, and public spaces are adorned with vibrant murals created by local and international artists. This exploration offers a different perspective of Canberra’s culture, infusing art into the everyday. Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply enjoy a good stroll, an art scavenger hunt is an exciting way to uncover the hidden gems of Canberra’s street art scene.
Visit The Pink Lake In Canberra
Few things are as intriguing as a lake that changes color. Yes, you heard that right! Lake George, located just outside Canberra, transforms into a mesmerizing pink hue under certain weather conditions. The unique phenomenon is caused by a specific type of algae and makes for some stunning photos. The sight of the vast, pink expanse against the Australian sky is simply breathtaking. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Canberra, visiting Pink Lake should definitely be on your list.
Enjoy A Fun Winery, Distillery & Tasting Tour
Canberra is nestled within a premier cool-climate wine region, making a winery tour a must-do. Visit award-winning vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and of course, sample some excellent wines. But it’s not just about wines; Canberra’s distilleries are gaining recognition for their quality spirits too. Tasting tours often include visits to local distilleries where you can savour gins, vodkas, and whiskeys, often infused with Australian botanicals. So, indulge in the good life; enjoying a winery and distillery tasting tour is among the most decadent things to do in Canberra.
Visit The Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is a poignant tribute to the country’s servicemen and women. Combining a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive, the memorial offers a profound insight into Australia’s military history. As you explore the exhibits, you will be moved by the stories of courage, sacrifice, and camaraderie. The daily Last Post Ceremony, where one serviceman or woman is commemorated, is particularly touching. Visiting the Australian War Memorial is more than just one of the things to do in Canberra; it’s an opportunity to pay respects and reflect on the impacts of war.
Visit Cockington Green Gardens
Step into a miniature world at Cockington Green Gardens. This charming attraction features meticulously handcrafted miniature buildings set in beautifully landscaped gardens. The original area depicts an idyllic English village, while the international display showcases iconic buildings from around the world. Children will love the miniature steam train ride around the gardens. Visiting Cockington Green Gardens is one of the fun and family-friendly things to do in Canberra.
Visit Parliament House
No trip to Canberra would be complete without a visit to Parliament House, a symbol of Australian democracy. This architectural marvel, located at one end of the Parliamentary Triangle, is open to the public. You can explore its impressive spaces, including the Marble Foyer, the Great Hall, and the House of Representatives and Senate chambers. If you time your visit right, you may even get to see Parliament in session. With its blend of architecture, art, and history, a visit to Parliament House stands out among the educational and engaging things to do in Canberra.
The National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia offers a rich tapestry of the country’s social history. Its wide-ranging exhibits trace the journey of Australia from ancient indigenous cultures to modern multicultural society. The museum’s innovative and interactive displays are designed to engage visitors of all ages. From seeing the iconic Holden Prototype No.1 to exploring the stories of the First Australians, the museum offers a unique and fascinating journey through Australia’s past and present. It’s definitely among the top things to do in Canberra for history and culture enthusiasts.
Questacon – National Science And Technology Centre
If you’re traveling with kids or are a curious soul yourself, Questacon is a must-visit. This national science and technology center makes learning fun with its interactive exhibits. Experience an earthquake, learn about the physics of flight, or confront a robotic AI – the opportunities for discovery are endless. Questacon’s dedication to promoting an understanding and appreciation of science makes it one of the most engaging things to do in Canberra.
Explore The Street Art In Canberra
Canberra’s vibrant street art scene adds a splash of color to the city’s urban landscape. Exploring these outdoor art exhibits is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable things to do in Canberra. Renowned local and international artists have transformed the city’s walls into dynamic murals that reflect diverse themes, from social issues to abstract imagery. These murals not only beautify the city but also encourage thoughtful conversation. Grab a map, or join a guided tour, and take a leisurely stroll to admire these public artworks.
Visit National Portrait Gallery in Canberra
The National Portrait Gallery houses an impressive collection of portraits of prominent Australians who have made significant contributions to the nation. Artists interpret their subjects in diverse mediums, giving us a captivating insight into the people who have shaped Australia. The gallery regularly hosts special exhibitions and offers a range of educational programs. Visiting the National Portrait Gallery is one of the most enriching things to do in Canberra, offering a blend of art, culture, and history.
Fun Things to Do in Canberra for Adults
- Winery and Distillery Tour: Canberra is well-known for its vineyards and distilleries. An adult trip to Canberra isn’t complete without sampling some of the finest wines and spirits the region has to offer. Set in beautiful landscapes, these vineyards and distilleries provide not only great tasting experiences but also picturesque views.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride: Soar over the city in a hot air balloon for an unforgettable experience. With the beautiful Canberra landscape unfolding beneath you, this unique experience is undoubtedly a thrilling activity and one of the fun things to do in Canberra for adults.
- Visit Casino Canberra: For adults looking for an exciting evening, Casino Canberra is the place to go. With its sophisticated gaming facilities and elegant bars and restaurants, it provides a vibrant nightlife experience that adults will surely enjoy.
5 Things to Do in Canberra this Weekend
- Visit Floriade Festival: If you’re in Canberra this weekend, visiting Floriade Festival should be on your list. It’s an annual celebration of spring with stunning flower displays, entertainment, and food stalls.
- Art Scavenger Hunt: Canberra is filled with beautiful art pieces, and an art scavenger hunt makes for an adventurous weekend activity. It’s a unique way to explore the city’s art scene while having fun.
- Explore the Australian War Memorial: Dedicate a day to the Australian War Memorial. It offers a moving and educational experience that delves into Australia’s military history.
- Stroll Around Lake Burley Griffin: Spend a relaxing weekend morning or afternoon strolling around Lake Burley Griffin. The tranquil surroundings and beautiful views make it a perfect weekend activity.
- Visit the National Museum of Australia: Explore the country’s rich history at the National Museum of Australia. With its engaging exhibits, it’s an ideal weekend outing.
Things to Do in Canberra CBD
- Visit the National Gallery of Australia: Located in the heart of Canberra CBD, the National Gallery of Australia is home to a diverse collection of art from Australia and around the world.
- Explore the Canberra Centre: Shopping enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the Canberra Centre, which offers a wide range of stores, from high-end fashion to local boutiques.
- Dining in the CBD: Canberra’s CBD is a gastronomic hub with many restaurants and cafés offering local and international cuisines. Try local produce or enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafes.
- Take a Walk in Glebe Park: Glebe Park, situated in the CBD, is a beautiful, serene space, perfect for a relaxing stroll, a picnic, or simply enjoying nature amidst the bustling city.
- Nightlife in Canberra CBD: The CBD houses many of Canberra’s nightlife hotspots. From lively pubs and clubs to sophisticated cocktail bars, there’s something for everyone to enjoy after sunset.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Canberra
Q: What is Canberra most famous for?
Canberra is most famous for being the capital of Australia, home to many national institutions including the Australian Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, and the National Gallery of Australia. Canberra is also renowned for its outdoor activities, including cycling, hiking, and wildlife spotting.
Q: When is the best time to visit Canberra?
Canberra is a year-round destination, but many visitors find the autumn (March-May) and spring (September-November) the most appealing. During these seasons, the city is adorned with autumnal hues and vibrant spring blooms respectively.
Q: Is Canberra a good city for families?
Absolutely! Canberra offers a range of family-friendly attractions. You can explore Questacon (the National Science and Technology Centre) with over 200 interactive exhibits, or visit the National Zoo & Aquarium where children can get up close with a variety of animals.
Q: Is Canberra worth visiting?
Undeniably. Canberra is a city that combines natural beauty with cultural richness. The city offers a unique blend of art, history, outdoor activities, and food, making it a worthwhile addition to any Australian travel itinerary.
Q: What is the food like in Canberra?
Canberra has an evolving food scene, with a great blend of trendy cafes, upscale restaurants, and local markets. You can enjoy a diverse range of cuisine, including Australian, Asian, and European, often featuring locally sourced ingredients.
Q: What is Canberra Australia best known for?
A: Canberra, Australia is best known for its significant role as the political hub of the country. Home to the Australian Parliament House, High Court, and many other governmental agencies, the city is at the heart of Australia’s political landscape. Additionally, it’s renowned for its numerous national museums, galleries, and memorials, as well as its lush green spaces and opportunities for outdoor activities.
Q: Is Canberra good for tourists?
A: Absolutely! Canberra offers an array of attractions that appeal to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie, Canberra has something for you. The city is easy to navigate and has a welcoming vibe, making it an excellent destination for tourists.
Q: How long should I spend in Canberra?
A: The duration of your visit will largely depend on your interests. However, a 2-3 day trip is generally sufficient to explore the main attractions of Canberra, such as the Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery, and some of the city’s natural reserves. If you wish to delve deeper into Canberra’s food scene, outdoor activities, and surrounding areas, you might want to consider extending your stay.
Q: What is unique about Canberra?
A: One unique aspect of Canberra is its design. The city was purpose-built as the capital, with a design that integrates natural vegetation into its urban layout, making it the “Bush Capital” of Australia. This connection with nature alongside its role as the political and cultural hub of the nation is what sets Canberra apart. It’s a place where you can appreciate world-class arts and historical collections in the morning, enjoy a leisurely lunch at a vineyard in the afternoon, and later watch the sunset over the Brindabella Ranges – all in a day.