Big thanks to Neha Singh who wrote today’s post on the best things to do in Canberra. If you’d like to write a guest post for Not A Tourist, please email email@example.com
Australia’s capital city is greatly underrated, but the reality is that Canberra deserves a top spot on your Australian holiday program. If you are still cynical about a visit here, check out this compilation of top things to do in Canberra! You will be convinced that this city too has its fair share of compelling sights and experiences.
1. See Parliament House
It may sound cliché, but it is straightforward the first thing to do on your visit to Canberra. Take a guided tour of Parliament House on Capital Hill and return with an enlightening as well as comprehensive understanding of this iconic structure and its role in the Australian democracy, along with several other fascinating facts.
2. Explore a Trove of Art Collections at National Gallery of Australia
For art and culture lovers, this is one of the must-see attractions in Canberra. It is a creative sphere dedicated to brilliant artworks, with its exhibits representing Australian, Asian, American, European, and Pacific arts. Apart from these, the museum structure itself is a masterwork of contemporary architecture. You can elevate your visit here with an elegant High Tea session comprising the seasonal delicacies.
3. Visit the Australian War Memorial
With an intriguing museum, research facility and a shrine rolled into one, Australian War Memorial mainly remains to honor those who sacrificed their lives in the wars or made an indelible presence in the country’s humanitarian and conciliatory efforts. Through its heartwarming displays and presentations, it also narrates the inspiring stories of men and women who once served or continue to serve in the country’s military forces.
4. Walk into the Future
For this, travel to Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre! Featuring a spectrum of cool themed galleries, over 200 exciting science exhibitions and highly interactive experiences plus hands-on activities ideal for all age groups, this is a refreshingly amusing place to discover with your family and little ones. You will find it in the city’s Parliamentary Zone.
5. Experience a Scenic Hot Air Balloon Ride
This is one of the ultimate Canberra things to do for those who wish to take to the skies. Yes, it gives you once-in-the-lifetime chance to soar over the sights of Canberra and enjoy uninterrupted views over its city skyline, charming lakes and lush scenery, among others. It is a sunrise flight means it lets you take in the majesty of Canberra at its peaceful best. Moreover, the tour mostly culminates with a five-star buffet breakfast and a champagne toast.
6. Browse the Old Bus Depot Market
Whether you are a food lover or a collector of distinct wares, jewelry or souvenirs, this bustling market is unmissable. It is so iconic that it has had an exuberant existence in the city for about three decades. With more than 200 stalls to explore, it is held on every Sunday within the timeless industrial building in Canberra.
7. Feel the Tranquility and Beauty of Nature at the National Botanic Gardens
The Australian National Botanic Gardens is probably the ultimate place in the country or the world itself to admire the full range of Australian plant varieties under a single roof. With refreshing walking trails, amazing birds and reptiles, and captivating native plants, it is a one-stop destination for both plant enthusiasts and anyone looking for a retreat from the mundane city sights or experiences.
8. Enjoy the Best City Views from Mount Ainslie Lookout
Walter Burley Griffin, the renowned American architect, laid out the impressive plans for the National Capital. Making your way up to the Mount Ainslie Lookout allows you to experience Walter’s thoughtful vision to design the capital city and bring it to fruition. Apart from taking in the whole of Canberra, it is also a place to participate in a hive of activities including hiking, cycling etc.
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9. Discover the Wildlife at National Zoo and Aquarium
A visit to National Zoo and Aquarium is sure to delight animal lovers. Along with the chance to catch with animals from all over the world, it allows you to take part in a variety of interactive activities. These are as exciting as taking hold of snakes and hand-feeding its inhabitants like tigers, kangaroos and emus.
10. Get Sporty at AIS
There is no better place to get active in Canberra than at Australian Institute of Sports (AIS). This is one of the region’s premier sporting attractions with high-end facilities. Taking the dedicated 90-minute guided tour is one of the recommended ways to check out its diverse intriguing zones including Sportex.
11. Admire the Art of Glassmaking
Canberra boasts of the country’s only art center devoted to the contemporary glass art. Head to the Canberra Glassworks (in the Kingston Art Precinct) to experience in detail the level of creativity and intricacy involved in the finishing of the stunning glass art exhibits.
12. Set Out on a Winery Tour
Did you know that Canberra is a dream-come-true place for wine lovers? The region’s rolling hills with a salubrious climate and fertile soils make it one of the best places for winemaking. Come take a fully guided tour which journeys you to some of the region’s top local wineries. This only lets you learn the secrets of producing distinct Australian wines, but also taste them.
13. Be in Awe at the Street Art Scene
Besides its classic sights and contemporary attractions, Canberra is also the place to enjoy the country’s best street art scene. See some of the masterpieces of street art up-close as you wander around the city’s Braddon Street and Tocumwal Lane.
14. Hang Out at Weston Park
A quick drive of 10 to 15 minutes out of Canberra will lead you to this park. Packed with picnic areas, BBQ facilities, cycling tracks, and a vast playground, this 40-acre park is a favorite of families and kids alike. There is also a beach and a swimming area.
15. Pilot a Jet Plane
This is made possible with the Jet Flight Simulator Canberra. With its two unique, immersive experiences such as B737 Simulator and ICAROS Active VR (Virtual Reality), it will step you into the virtual world of jet planes and aviation in the most exciting way.
Travel Must-Haves To Visit Canberra
No matter you are solely traveling to Canberra or visiting here as part of your Australia expedition, you will mainly need an Australia visa to make an entry into the place. Barring a few exemptions (such as a visa on arrival for New Zealand citizens), the majority of nationalities traveling to Australia must mandatorily possess a visa to visit Canberra or Australia. Subject to the duration of your Australian holiday, you will be issued an eVisitor Visa which allows you for a stay of up to three, six or twelve months in the country.
With this above list of Canberra things to do, you might now think that it is forthright to visit this compelling Australian capital city. So don’t delay; plan a trip here – there is a lot of cool and exciting things to do in Canberra which make for a great holiday for adults and kids alike.