10 reasons to visit Australia’s capital city

Our top attractions in Canberra.

Despite being Australia's capital city, Canberra is often skipped over in favour of the better known attractions of Melbourne and Sydney. However, we think Canberra has plenty to offer the East Coast road tripper. The capital offers opportunities to learn about Australia's history and national identity, as well as some great coffee breaks and rainy day entertainment.

Here are ten reasons why you should visit Canberra on your Australian road trip.

1) Parliament House

Opened in 1988, Canberra's Parliament House is the centre of Australian politics and you'll find free guided tours on offer throughout the day. The building itself is a unique design that makes for great photos at sunset. It replaced 'Old Parliament House', which is still open for visitors and remains largely as it was during use. 

Inside the building, there's Australian art on display alongside details of the country's political history. When Parliament is in session, visitors can watch Question Time.

2) National Museum of Australia

Telling the story of Australian heritage and delving into Aboriginal history, art, politics and culture, the national museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone wanting to learn more about the country they're travelling in.

Visitors are treated to workshops giving everyone chance to try the art of glassmaking.

3) Canberra Glassworks

At this fascinating studio, visitors are treated to workshops giving everyone chance to try the art of glassmaking. There are also tours of the facilities which go into great depth about the artists and their inspirations.

The Glassworks studio also has a shop offering glass souvenirs and art.

4) National Zoo and Aquarium

Located conveniently in the middle of the city, the National Zoo and Aquarium is an opportunity to see wild animals and even feed or pet them on ZooVenture tours. The zoo is also home to a new and very comfortable hotel, where you can choose from glass-walled bungalows or treehouses overlooking the giraffes! 

5) Floriade

This beautiful flower festival runs for one month in the spring. Covering two acres of city park space, the festival encompasses over one million flowers in curated displays, and offers evening entertainment too. The entire festival is free to attend.

Consider timing your visit for a sunset at Dairy Farmers Hill.

6) National Arboretum

With 250 hectares to explore here, you'll be able to find enough to entertain you for quite a while. Following bushfire damage, the area was redesigned and there are now 100 forests and 100 gardens alongside picnic spaces, a cafe, works of art and poetry.

Consider timing your visit for a sunset at Dairy Farmers Hill.

7) Lake Burley Griffin

Despite being an artificial lake, the Burley Griffin provides a wide range of activities right in the centre of Canberra. From quiet walks, to cruises, learning to paddleboard, sailing or hot air ballooning, there's something for everyone here. The city skyscape is visible from the shores and the scenery is particular beautiful at sunset.

8) National Botanic Gardens

Whether you're a budding horticulturist or simply interested in Australia's native flora, you'll learn plenty at the National Botanic Gardens. Here you'll learn all about the native plant life, and their part in traditional culture.

You can take your time and walk around the gardens, or make use of the 45-minute air-conditioned bus tour if it's a little too warm outside.

9) Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Close to the city centres, these wetlands provide an opportunity to view a variety of birdlife, plants and flowers or join in with a special event. Follow the paths around the wetlands or take advantage of the special bird hides to help you spot your favourites.

You'll get a great view of Capital Hill and the scenery surrounding the city.

10) Mount Ainslie

Affording views across the capital, the panorama at the top of Mount Ainslie is well worth the climb. There's a well-maintained signposted trail to the top, accessed from behind the Australian War Memorial and you'll get a great view of Capital Hill and the scenery surrounding the city.

To make exploring Canberra easy, grab an East Coast Car Rentals vehicle hire.

About the Author

Chester is a foodie and loves to explore the great land of Australia. He is currently blogging for East Coast Car Rentals.

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