Are you planning a trip to Canberra to take advantage of all the capital has to offer? You'll be happy to know there are plenty of fun and interesting places to explore in this major metropolis.
Learn all about the history and culture of the Lucky Country at these three must-see highlights unique to the Australia's capital.
Canberra is the political and legal hub of Australia and it's here you can journey through Parliament to see where the major decisions affecting the country are made.
Free guided tours start every half an hour, making it easy to fit this attraction into your schedule no matter how long or short your trip. Sitting days are Monday and Tuesday from 9am and Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30am – be sure to keep this in mind if you want to see politicians in action. However, you are free to wander the public grounds at your leisure.
Take your time to enjoy the spectacular architecture and magnificent design. Luckily, you can stay for a maximum of three hours in the underground car park or find a spot between Parliament House and the rear of old Parliament House.
This will give you plenty of time to leisurely wander down the Parliament House Walk, which is a 3.4 kilometre long path that winds its way through central Canberra. Along the way you can learn about the history of the culture of the city – keep an eye out for the 13 interpretive signs along the route.
National Museum of Australia
Are you looking to learn more about Australia and its people? This museum might be just the ticket and you are sure to find many inspiring tales within its walls.
It is open from 9am to 5pm daily, except Christmas day and offers free on-site parking for up to four hours, so you can easily enjoy that educational buzz.
When you first arrive, you are sure to notice the stunning and unusual design of the building which is the work of architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall and Robert Peck von Hartel Trethowan. The building has a post-modern structure and was designed to reflect the diversity of the museum's collection – it won the International Design Competition in 1997.
The museum offers a range of artwork and information. There are some permanent galleries that are always available free of charge, as well as travelling exhibitions. The permanent galleries include the stories of the First Australians, the Eternity collection, Journeys, Landmarks and Old New Land.
Australian War Memorial
With the centenary of ANZAC day around the corner, there is no better time to visit this memorial and pay homage to those Australian soldiers who laid down their lives for the country.
This memorial also features a research centre reading room where you can learn more about Australia's war history. This is open on weekdays from 10am – 4:50pm and on weekends from 1pm to 4:50pm.
Voluntary guides are also around to offer free 90 minute tours of the galleries at 10am, 10:15am, 10:30am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm daily, always leaving from the front foyer of the memorial. This is a great chance to chat with an expert about the memorial – you may be surprised to see what you learn!
If you are planning on hiring a car around November and travelling down to Canberra, you may be in luck as it is then that the Anzac voices exhibition will open. Here, you can see many treasures from the archives and learn about Australia's role in the Second World War.
Got the kids with you? There is a great Discovery Zone perfect for younger visitors. This is open from 12:30 – 1:30pm during weekdays but all day in the weekend, on public holidays and during the ACT school term.