Canberra is the city of many legendary institutions as well as some of the best architecture on the planet. To explore this city very well, one needs to have a thorough know-how of the place; so do have a map with you. Home of the national parliament, Australian War Memorial, federal government departments, and Parliament house, Canberra has much to say about its historic as well as political journey. Therefore, things to do in Canberra include exploring these national monuments, galleries, and museums. Further, Canberra is also a bush capital, so expect outdoor excursions including cycling as well as bushwalking.
Canberra is very hot during November to March and turns out to be very cold between June and August. The best time to visit Canberra is from June to August (autumn). Summer is only for those who love water sports.
One of the interesting things to do in Canberra is to explore the Parliament House that is on the Capital Hill. This vital landmark gives you a window to peep into not only in its history but also into some of the best Australian artworks. Go for a guided tour, see a film in the theater here, and take lunch on its terrace. See if you can visit it during the Parliament session for watching the political course.
National Gallery of Australia is the home of the magnificent local as well as international art collection ranging from the European Old Masters to the modern Aboriginal artists. Check out here for international blockbuster collections including Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles. Then, relax via a simple amble in the Sculpture Garden showcasing the great works of the nation’s leading sculptors as well as a lily pond in white fog. Accessible from the Canberra Railway Station, the Canberra Railway Museum at Geijera takes you back in time to celebrate the golden time of railways. There are also BBQ facilities here available for free. Australian War Memorial is a national shrine preserving a vast collection of militaria as well as paintings revealing much about the military past.
One of the exciting things to do in Canberra is to take a tour of the National Botanic Gardens on the Black Mountain. Offering a natural habitat, this is where you get a chance to explore thousands of indigenous flora – eucalypt forest, smoggy rainforest, and medicinal plants of the Aborigines. Just a walk is enough to know about all this. Ensure that you take up a guided tour.
You just cannot miss the Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve that is outside Canberra, but is easily reachable. This natural wonder feature mind-blowing landscapes as well as alpine wilds spreading over 33% of the total city land. In the reserve, you can spot kangaroos, emus, koalas, and more indigenous animals. And yes, cycling and bushwalking is a must here. Near the reserve stands one more attraction – The Deep Space Communication Complex towards the south of the city. Operated by the Australian Department of Science and NASA, this is where you will come across spacecraft models and audio-visuals.
Black Mountain Tower, at 5 km from the city centre and soaring over the summit of Black Mountain, offers panoramic vistas of Canberra from a viewing platform. If you enjoy fantastic views, then do come here. There is also a revolving restaurant as well as exhibit of telecommunications history. The admission fee is $7.50 per adult and $3 per child (4 to 16).
Do visit the Lake Burley Griffin for padding, kayaking, canoeing, and cruising. Further, you can also choose to cycle, skate, or walk around the lake. For some great flavors, try out Ginseng at Manuka specialized in vegetarian Singapore noodle. Just book a table here of the second floor for also enjoying the soaking vistas of the Manuka tree tops. Courgette Restaurant at Acton offers fine dining especially a 4-course lunch for below $45. For a budget accommodation, I would recommend Quality Hotel Wooden for AUD 198 per night and Crowne Plaza for AUD 163.