It is that time of the year when people who love to travel pack their bags for another exciting trip. Traveling is one of the best ways to relax after long months or weeks at work. The relaxing effect still remains the top reason why tourists choose it over any other activity. Canberra has managed to make it to the bucket list of many people who even after visiting still refuse to strike it out because it is always worth another visit. If you have never considered being to this city, after reading this, you sure would add it to your bucket list.
Canberra is the capital of Australia and it lies between the two popular Australian cities, Sydney and Melbourne. This city was carefully designed by American architects, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin (his wife).
It is known for beautiful festivals and before we proceed to list out places you should consider going in Canberra, it is important that you consider your means of transportation. If you plan to hire a Canberra taxi service, here is the good news!
Canberra has amazing taxi services you could choose from such as ACT Cabs. Below are popular destinations in Canberra.
1. National Carillon
This white Carillon tower is a beautiful sight to behold. It is a 50-meter high tower gifted to Canberra by the British government on Canberra’s 50th birthday in 1964. The towers have 55 bronze bells that range from 7kg to 6 metric tons and have been the center of attraction since then. If you love to go on picnics, relax and listen to music, this is a perfect place for you. If you are a lover of music, then you should consider visiting on a Wednesday or Sunday from 12:30 to 1:20pm when the music of the bells sweeps across the lake giving you the peace and serenity you came looking for. You may consider staying till night so you can capture beautiful pictures of the tower when it is lit. This beautiful gift to Canberra turned out to be a perfect relaxation center for tourists and people who want to take some time off work.
2. National Zoo and Aquarium
For the lover of animals, you just found a perfect location. This place is the only place in Australia that combines aquariums and zoos. It is privately owned and is just five minutes from the city center. If you have been dreaming of seeing those tiny denizens of the reefs and other marine life, this is an opportunity. The zoo houses several species of animals ranging from cheetahs to tigers, lions, bears etc. The animal encounters allow you to go behind the scenes and interact with animals, so you can seize this opportunity to get up close with your favorite animals at this popular, exotic Canberra zoo.
3. Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
This museum was previously the Old Parliament House. It is just a few steps away from the New Parliament House and allows you to learn the history of the building and other important foundations of the Australian government. It was the Provisional Parliament House until 1988 when the New Parliament House was opened. It was opened by The Duke of York who later became King George VI. In this museum, you can visit the press room, sit in the old Prime Minister’s office, learn about past Australian Prime Ministers and read historical documents. You can come along with your children as there are free daily craft activities and exhibits they could enjoy while you go on your tour. There are free guided tours available to you and you can stroll among the National Rose Gardens after visiting this building. The address of this beautiful site is 18 King George Terrace, Parkes.
4. National Portrait Gallery of Australia
The National Portrait Gallery of Australia is located near the High Court of Australia and the National Gallery. Here, you can find over 400 beautiful portraits of the most influential persons of Australia. They are in the form of paintings, sculpture and photographs. There are multimedia presentations that give you interesting details about their lives and contributions to the great Australian nation. While visiting this gallery, you have access to free parking and the popular café and bookshop nearby are designed to ensure you enjoy your tour. This Gallery is located at King Edward Terrace, Parkes.
5. Australian War Memorial
The name explains what you are in for! Just like the name says, the Australian War Memorial commemorates Australia’s war fatalities. It was inaugurated in the middle of the Second World War and is an excellent combination of art gallery, library, museum and archives. At the entrance of the memorial, you will find, inscribed on the walls of the colonnades, the names of every Australian that died in war since 1885. The list will give you goosebumps. Beyond the entrance, there are different galleries narrating the stories of conflicts Australia has been involved in right from the colonial days to present. You have to be prepared for the evolving highlights that will leave you glued. Remember to bring your children along as there is a Discovery Zone designed for children. There is commonly a Last Post in honor of the fallen played at 4:55pm everyday, you should stay for this. The address of this memorial is Treloar Crescent, Campbell.
6. Lake Burley Griffin
This sparkling water of Canberra is located in the city center. Most of the fantastic places and things you would love to do in Canberra lie along the shores of this lake. It was completed in 1963 after the popular Molonglo River. This lake is not just ornamental, it is also for recreational activities such as canoeing, dragon boating, windsurfing, paddle boating and sailing. Situated to the north of this lake is the Canadian Flagpole. The erection of this building led to the development of the commonwealth park in Canberra. The lake houses good populations of golden perch, carp, large Murray cod and Redfin. Tourists love to come here for picnics, strolls along the waterfront paths etc.
This is one of the top destinations for families visiting Canberra. It is family-friendly and ensures your kids are not left behind in the fun. Questacon is the National Science and Technology Centre and it is located between the high court and the National Library. Questacon offers a lot of do-it-yourself experiments and hands-on science displays both adults and children find exciting. This destination leaves you with a better understanding of the importance of science and technology in our day to day activities. There are over 200 hands-on exhibits and guest lectures, science shows, and special events are provided too. The Water related fun you experience at this place will leave you yearning for more.
8. National Library of Australia
For the lover of books and our ardent readers, here we go. Opened in 1968, this library houses several manuscripts, books, newspapers, music, pictures, historical documents etc. The most valuable possessions of this lovably still remains the Wills’ diary of his expedition with Burke in 1860-61 and the Captain Cook’s journal (1768-71). It was built in the style of a Greek temple and decorated with marbles from Italy, Greece and Australia. Located at the lower floor is the exhibitions gallery that hosts visiting displays for visitors, however they are required to make advance bookings to access this service. There is also the Treasures gallery, which displays the National Library’s collections.
If you have a special interest in books and historical documents, your visit to Canberra is incomplete, if you skip this place.
9. Mount Ainslie Lookout
It is a known fact that Canberra has one of the most fascinating layouts in Australia. If you are still in doubt, then head to Mount Ainslie, a popular vantage point of Canberra. Along the way to this vantage point, there are commemorative plaques that help you learn about the historic battles of Australia. Expect to come across some animals and birds, they are part of the fun. If you are too tired to walk to this lookout, you can as well drive. This lookout gives you a perfect view of the lake Burley Griffin, Anzac Parade, and the Old Parliament House. You may feel cold, be sure to come along with your jacket. Mount Ainslie Lookout is located at Mount Ainslie Drive, Canberra. If you can’t individually visit all the places the lookout covers, why not head down to Mount Ainslie and get a good view of them from a perfect location.
10. Australian National Botanic Gardens
The Australian National Botanic Gardens is just a kilometer west of the city center and it is highly recommended for green thumbs. This place houses the important botanical collections and flora of Australia. Come along with your kids, they will, definitely, love it here. This garden gives you access to Black Mountain Nature Park, where you can hike for as long as you want. The Red center garden has deep red earth that will hold your attention for a long time, the Children’s Discovery Walk will keep your children entertained and the Rain Forest Gully is a beautiful sight to behold, so what stops you from visiting this place.
11. Royal Australian Mint
All the Australian coins get minted at this place, which makes it the perfect place to learn about the Australian currency. There is a gallery where you can watch how coins are manufactured as well as video presentations and multimedia displays that teach you the history of Australian coins. Here is a perfect opportunity to discover some of the rarest coins of Australia, you can even get the opportunity to mint your own $1 coin. There is a free tour that runs from 11am to 2pm from Monday to Friday, you can take advantage of this. When you are ready to leave, you could head down to the souvenir shop and get some gifts for your loved ones. The address of the Royal Australian Mint is Denison Street, Deakin.
12. Jerrabomberra Wetland
Jerrabomberra satisfies your cravings for the feel of nature. It is just about 8 minutes drive from the city center. The sounds of nature are enough to leave you feeling peaceful and calm. There are over 170 species of bird in this wetland including black swans, purple swamp hen, black cockatoos etc. This wetland came into existence when the Lake Burley Griffin got filled resulting in the rising of the water table on the Molonglo River floodplain- a blessing in disguise. There are walking tracks and boardwalks that make it extremely easy for you to explore this place. You could go on bird-watching tours with tour guides. If you are interested in learning more about this wetland, you could download a free app. This wetland is located at Dairy Road, Fyshwick, ACT.
13. Black Mountain Nature park
Here is a good place to hike away boredom and stress. This place offers you the perfect experience of wilderness, in case you have never visited one before . Walk through the bush land and discover different species of native birds and other animals. The Australian Institute of Sport is located at the foot of the park and it is the training place for the top sports men and women of Australia, a glimpse will leave you happy. The Black Mountain Summit leads you to the Telstra Tower where you can get a panoramic view of Canberra.
The list of places to visit in Canberra is endless, it depends on how much time you have to spend in this popular tourist destination. There is never a boring day in Canberra. Most of the places listed above are accessible by taxis, so you need not worry about walking long distances, if you are too tired to do so. You can also consider opening a corporate taxi account if you are heading over to Canberra for work purposes.
Pack your bags, make an arrangement with ACT Cabs and head straight to Canberra for the fun of your life.