Discover Australia's history in the national capital
Treasures of Australian culture and Indigenous history are housed in the Australian National Collection within Canberra's museums, libraries, archives and galleries awaiting your discovery. Here's a suggestion for a great weekend of things to see in Canberra, matched with our local food and wines.
Day 1 - Saturday
Morning Australian War Memorial
Visit the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and connect with the stories of people and events that have shaped our nation. Discover the Australian experience of war in all its diversity and reflect on its enduring impact.
The Afghanistan: The Australian story explores the experiences of Australian men and women involved in fighting the war in Afghanistan and the dedication of their families at home. Told through the words of our veterans and their families, this exhibition shares the challenges, successes, sorrows and mateship of Australians fighting a war a world away.
Afghanistan: The Australian story is just one of the Australian War Memorial’s award-winning galleries containing relics, works of art, photographs, and personal items that help tell the extraordinary stories of ordinary Australians. Visit and see why the Memorial is one of the world’s great museums.
Lunch Poachers Pantry
Explore the rural surrounds of Canberra and head for Poachers Pantry where you can enjoy a rural setting and wonderful smoked foods accompanied by their Wily Trout wines, just one of our local Canberra District Wines.
Afternoon Wine tasting at Helm Wines
A trip out to Murrumbateman for a taste of some of the best local drops is a wonderful addition to any weekend in the nation’s capital; and no trip to the Canberra wine district would be complete without a visit to Helm Wines. Husband-and-wife team Ken and Judith Helm started the vineyard, winery and cellar door in 1973 and it continues to be a family affair with all of the family playing an integral part in the business. Helm Wines is renowned for its classic dry-style of Riesling. The winery uses a combination of modern and traditional equipment and adopts a minimalist approach to winemaking, so that what is in the bottle is as close as possible to what came from the vine.
For spectacular evening and night views over Canberra, Onred has fine views from Red Hill Lookout and lures diners with creative dishes highlighting fresh seasonal produce.
Day 2 - Sunday
Morning National Library of Australia
Explore the world’s greatest collection of material relating to Australia and the Australian people at the National Library of Australia.
The permanent Treasures Gallery houses beautiful, rare and unexpected gems from the Library’s extraordinary collection. Items include early maps and atlases, books, manuscripts, paintings, drawings, photographs and objects. You’ll find everything from James Cook’s Endeavour journal to William Bligh’s list of mutineers, from Patrick White’s glasses to an original manuscript for Waltzing Matilda. You can hire an iPod for an audio tour.
A vast collection of books, serials, manuscripts, photographs, music, oral histories and digital items can be accessed. Browse the bookshop and grab a bite to eat at the Bookplate cafe overlooking Lake Burley Griffin.
Lunch: For a more casual lakeside lunch, settle into Bookplate at the National Library of Australia or stroll over to Pork Barrel Cafe adjacent to Old Parliament House's Rose Gardens.
Afternoon Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
One of Australia’s most loved buildings is changing. Visit Old Parliament House today and you will find that there is always something new to discover.
Be captivated by intriguing stories and the beautiful architecture of this historic building on one of the free daily guided tours or be tempted by the new menu and enjoy one of the most scenic vistas in the heart of the nation’s capital. There are also special activities and spaces for children to explore. Depart Canberra at your leisure.
Where to stay in Canberra
Browse the largest listing of Canberra accommodation and either book online through our website or use our list as a valuable research service. Be sure to check out the latest in short break deals and offers.
If you call our Visitors Centre 1300 554 114 on Fridays, they often have last-minute hotel deals you won't find on other accommodation websites.