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Canberra is one of the world’s great national capitals, and one of the few planned cities on earth. The name Canberra stems from the aboriginal word Kamberra meaning ’meeting place’, and it is home to many of Australia's iconic institutions and treasures, the Federal Parliament of Australia, the judiciary, the defence and intelligence agencies, the Australian public servants, and the International diplomatic community.

Canberra showcases the diverse history of our country and is home to the Australian Story. It is a city of 350,000 people and is geographically 150 km from the ocean and 281 km from Sydney. It is conveniently nestled between the Snowy Mountains and Australia’s high country and the pristine beaches of Australia's east coast. The Australian Parliament sat in Canberra for the first time in 1927, after the city was selected and named Canberra in 1913.

Canberra has more attractions than any other Australian capital city, with an array of world class museums, galleries and institutions housing some of the most valuable of Australia's artworks, war memorabilia, documents, publications, archives, music and sound recordings.

Many of the most significant attractions are located within the Parliamentary Triangle, on either side of Lake Burley Griffin. These include Parliament House, the Museum of Australian Democracy, the National Library of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the High Court of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, The National Museum of Australia and the National Archive of Australia. The National Film and Sound Archive is allocated within the grounds of the Australian National University.

On the outskirts of the city the Australian Institute of Sport is located in the suburb of Bruce, the Royal Australian Mint is located in Deakin. The Australian National Botanic Gardens is located a short distance from the Australian National University, the National Zoo and Aquarium is in Yarralumla, and the Gold Creek precinct, to the city’s north, houses Cockington Green Gardens, the National Dinosaur Museum, the popular Bird Walk Avery and the Australian Reptile Park.

Stromlo Forest Park is a world-class sporting facility 15 minutes drive from the city. The purpose-built event pavilion, criterium cycling circuit, grass running track, a trials course and cross country and downhill mountain bike tracks have hosted national and international events. Stromlo Forest Park has trails suitable for equestrian riders, runners and walkers.

And within 30 minutes of the city are around 35 wineries, producing national and international award-winning wines. These cool climate vineyards in Murrumbateman and Lake George are among the best in the world.


Key attractions



Floriade is the biggest flower festival in Australia, a spectacular celebration of spring, set in Canberra's Commonwealth Park. This event boasts over 1 million plants and attracts visitors from all over the world. Apart from the spectacular array of garden beds, there are displays of garden products, arts and crafts, activities and demonstrations of all sorts, garden features, and a wide variety of merchandise on sale, as well as restaurants and cafes.


Australian War Memorial

The Memorial is one of the world's best war museums. It commemorate the commitment, camaraderie and sacrifice of Australians who have served their country. You’ll discover the stories of war, armed conflict and peacekeeping activities. Place a poppy on the Roll of Honour wall, experience a 1943 night raid over Berlin, view the  G for George sound and light show. You can explore a First World War trench, a Vietnam War helicopter and sound show, a Cold War submarine and learn about the peacekeeping activities of the Armed services. Don’t miss the moving rendition of the Last Post at 5pm daily.


National Gallery of Australia

More than 100,000 works of art and world-class art exhibitions are on display at the National Gallery of Australia. See the famous Blue poles, and the impressive selection of famous Australian artworks by Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and many more. There’s also works from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Asia and Art of the Indian Subcontinent Gallery.


Parliament House

The home of Federal Parliament, the massive building is topped with an 81 metre flagpole with an Australian flag bigger than a double-decker bus. Watch parliamentarians in action at Question Time from 2pm on sitting days. Take a free guided tour to learn about parliamentary processes and the impressive architecture. You’ll also enjoy the renowned collection of Australian contemporary art. Stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens. The Queen's Terrace Cafe offers sweeping views of Lake Burley Griffin. Choose from a great range of quality gifts, souvenirs and books at the Parliament Shop.


National Museum of Australia

The Museum contains thousands of objects that represent Australia’s history and cultural heritage. See famous Australian icons like Phar Lap’s heart and Captain Cook’s teacup. Discover the key themes of Land, Nation and People. State-of-the-art technology and exhibition design, multimedia, live performances, hands-on activities and guided tours will enhance your visit. This multi-award winning museum is the first in the country devoted to the stories of Australia and Australians. The colourful building is an architectural landmark that complements its beautiful surroundings.


National Portrait Gallery

See more than 400 portraits of people who have shaped the nation, and the paintings, drawings, sculptural works and photography that reflect Australia’s history, diversity and culture. Discover portraits of people from all walks of life including artists, musicians, entertainers, politicians, sports people and royalty. Favourites include Ned Kelly’s death mask and Howard Arkley’s portrait of Nick Cave. Enjoy the natural light, wood and stone featured in the National Portrait Gallery's design, and take time out to have a coffee at their well appointed café.


National Library of Australia

See the beautiful, the rare and the unexpected at the National Library of Australia on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Enjoy unparalleled access to Australia’s documentary heritage. Australian print materials include books, serials, maps, newspapers, music and ephemera. Search for online publications and unpublished material such as manuscripts, pictures and oral history. You can also find considerable general overseas and rare book materials, and world-class Asian and Pacific collections. Discover fine food and places to relax at their three cafés. The bookshop has Australia's best authors on offer and perfect gifts.


National Zoo and Aquarium

Visit Australia's only combined zoo and aquarium and see Australia's largest collection of big cats, giraffes and bears. See the eight magnificent white lions that have made Canberra their home. It is a fun zoo for all ages with a mix of terrestrial and aquatic species. There are plenty of native animals on display as well as some favorite overseas visitors.


Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

This rural heaven is located about 40 minutes drive west of Canberra. You can see hosts of native birds and animals in their natural environment. There are plenty of hiking trails, with some adventurous ones to the mountaintops.See koalas, emus, kangaroos, the endangered brush-tail wallaby, reptiles, possums and echidnas in a natural setting. This unique outdoor attraction also features high quality exhibits and boardwalks. Ask about guided walks, activities and bush trails at their Visitor’s Centre. Enjoy hands on displays and education amenities. Gifts, coffee and light refreshments for sale. Electric and wood-fired barbecues are available free of charge. Take one of their many guided tours.


The National Arboretum

The National Arboretum Canberra has 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world. 

The Village Centre is the first point of arrival at the Arboretum. This award-winning, architect-designed building with panoramic views over Canberra provides a variety of facilities such as; a restaurant, cafe, gift shop, information hub, and the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection.


The Australian Institute of Sport

This famous sporting institute opened in 1981 and since then has trained most of Australia's greatest athletes across a variety of sports. There are some fun and interesting tours conducted here, with well known members of the Institute conducting many of them. A highlight is the interactive Sportex museum, where you can test your fitness levels against our top Olympians.


National Film and Sound Archives

Relive your childhood at the National Film and Sound Archive. This is a collection of radio, television and film archives. Discover film clips, sound bites, touch screens, photographs, costumes and other memorabilia from Australia’s audio visual history. See continuous screenings of film classics. Visit the exhibitions. Stay for a film or browse in the shop. Enjoy the art deco architecture and courtyard cafe. The Archives, housed in the art deco former Institute of Anatomy, are a division of the Australian Film Commission. It is locate within the grounds of the Australian National University