As Australia's capital city, Canberra offers a great diversity of things to see and do, ranging from the cultured and classy to the unique and offbeat. By hiring a car from East Coast Car Rentals, you'll have the opportunity to explore every nook and cranny of this young but historic city.

Down to a tree

The National Arboretum plays host to a fine collection of rare and symbolic Australian trees and shrubs, as well as a multitude of others from over 100 countries around the world. Spread over more than 600 acres of rustic countryside, the Arboretum is found just six kilometres from lively Canberra. Your eyes will be in for a treat as they absorb the sights of the nearby glistening crystal of Lake Burley Griffin and the cloud busting mountains looming in the distance.

Of particular interest at the Arboretum is the The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia. Featuring an extensive collection of the cute miniature trees, you'll feel like Gulliver as you walk through the tiny, but sprawling forest. A truly unique experience awaits the little ones at the Arboretum in the shape of the Pod Playground, which includes a bizarre assortment of banksia cubby houses and capsules in the shape of acorns, seed of the mighty oak. Slung together by swinging ropes and twisting tubes, it'll be a hard task tempting your children away to refuel at The Village Centre, but persevere, as a fine restaurant, quirky gift shop and unrivalled views of the scenery below await.

If I could just chime in here…

Found on a small island in Lake Burley Griffin, the National Carillon is a tall bell tower that was a gift from the British government to the people of Canberra, celebrating the 50th year of the Australian capital. Featuring over 55 bells of varied size, the monument is, in essence, an enormous musical instrument – a little larger than your average tambourine! Chiming every fifteen minutes and playing a jolly tune on the hour, the National Carillon is best heard when you are within a radius of 100 metres of the tower, ideally with an unrestricted view. The gentle tones of the bells flow elegantly from the height of the tower, across the lapping lake and into the ears of anyone wandering in the immediate vicinity.

Making a mint

Those coins in your pocket have got to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is here – the Royal Australian Mint. Take a wander through the history of Australian coinage in the gallery, learn all about how they are made, and even mint your very own dollar. Delve deep into the vaults, past heavy doors and locks the size of cars, and you'll discover some of the rarest, most valuable coins in Australia – who new that a once cent piece could, in fact, be worth a fortune?