Things to see and do in Australian Capital Territory
Attractions in Australian Capital Territory
A great Australian pastime, no trip would be complete without exploring Canberra’s many bushwalks. Take to Namadgi National Park for over 160 km (99 miles) of walking tracks, scale Gibraltar Peak in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve or tackle a walk closer to the city with Red Hill Lookout, Black Mountain or Mount Painter. Most trails allow visitors to embark on a good exploration of the Australian bush, with panoramic views across the reserve and even include the chance to see some Aboriginal rock art.
The boom time for this town, 80km (50 miles) from Canberra, was between 1895-1906. Today Bywong is a living history lesson with a recreated 1890s village on the site. See the mine site and the machinery used to extract gold from the ore as part of a gold tour.
Canberra, Australian National Botanic Gardens
Bursting with Australia's beautiful and diverse plant life, Canberra's Australian National Botanic Gardens are a refreshing green escape. Wander or take a tour within its diverse gardens, spot butterflies fluttering amongst vibrant flowers or keep an eye out for resident Chocolate Wattled Bats. There is also a healthy café onsite offering wholesome and local meals.
Canberra, Australian War Memorial
Spend the annual ANZAC Day at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, which is deservedly one of the city's most popular attractions, and the scene of the colourful annual ANZAC Parade. It contains archives, galleries displaying relics, photographs and art.
Canberra, Black Mountain Tower
Peer down at the Australian Capital Territory from the 195m (650ft) Black Mountain Tower on the summit of the 812m- (2,664ft-) high Black Mountain.
Canberra, National Gallery
The National Gallery, located in Canberra features almost 160,000 works of art from all around the world, spanning collections by European masters such as Van Gogh to indigenous art. Featuring an impressive outdoor space, visitors will be mesmerised by James Turrell’s ‘Skyspace’, an immersive and remarkable sculptural monument.
Canberra, National Museum of Australia
Delve into the depths of Australian history on the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, at the National Museum of Australia, the storybook of the nation. From aboriginal bark paintings to documentation of the Sydney Olympics, all facets of Australia's diverse past are found here.
Canberra, Parliament House
Observe where parliament used to sit until 1988 at the impressive Old Parliament House in Canberra's elegant city of wide streets, gardens and parkland; learn more about the role and function of the federal parliament at the more modern Parliament House.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park are great to explore and discover by bike. The sanctuary at Tidbinbilla offers a chance to witness the wildlife of the area up close, while mountain biking across the fire trails in Namadgi National Park remains a popular pastime, with 400km (250 miles) of track to cover.
Make time for a round of golf: the Royal Canberra Golf Club, located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, is ranked amongst the top 10 courses in Australia while the Federal Golf Club features views to the Brindabella mountain ranges.
Hot air balloon ride
Take to the skies in a balloon for the perfect vista of Canberra, or for the less adventurous, glance up at a flurry of them at the Festival Balloon Spectacular every year around March and April. The best views are offered from the lawns of Old Parliament House.
Murrumbidgee River Corridor
Round off a good walk or horse ride with a picnic in the scenic park area along the Murrumbidgee River Corridor. More than 60km (37 miles) of the Murrumbidgee River meanders through the territory, and there are myriad picnic and swimming spots.
Namadgi National Park
Gaze at prehistoric sites with Aboriginal rock paintings, rare sub-alpine species of flora and fauna and enjoy spectacular views and walking tracks in the Namadgi National Park. Keep an eye on the skies at one of the most important bird habitats in the region, which becomes a refuge for large numbers of waterbirds during drought in inland Australia: the wetlands.
Just a two-hour drive south of Canberra, the Snowy Mountains are worth at least a day trip out. Travel through historic Cooma and Thredbo village and take a chairlift up to the peaks. Enjoy the Alpine scenery on skis or snowboard in winter and try horse riding, quad biking or a variety of watersports in summer. For spectacular mountain views, try your hand at the Kosciuszko Alpine Way, that meanders through quint villages and majestic sceneries, from Canberra to Victoria.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Enjoy a wealth of Australian fauna and flora at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve; a number of bushwalking trails are provided, and visitors can observe majestic mountain views and lush forests of gums and ferns. Follow the Birrigai Trail and experience the native homeland of the Ngunawal people, whilst spotting kangaroos, emus, wallabies, platypus, bush birds and water birds in their natural habitat.
Canberra and Region Visitors CentreAddress: Parkes , Regatta Point, Barrine Drive, Australian Capital Territory, 2600
Telephone: +61 2 6205 0044.
Mon-Fri 0900-1700; Sat-Sun 0900-1600.