Australia's national attractions
There’s no better place to discover the Australian story than in Australia’s capital, Canberra. At the National Museum of Australia you will find an eclectic mix of Australiana from the unusually large heart of legendary racehorse Phar Lap to the Holden Prototype No.1. Visit the National Gallery of Australia to view Australia’s national art collection, which has more than 165,000 works and includes the world’s largest collection of Indigenous Australian artwork. Make a stop at the nearby National Portrait Gallery to see works on the people and identities who have shaped our national identity. Explore the largest collection of books, manuscripts and treasures at the National Library of Australia and official records of Australia at the National Archives. See where Australia’s political decisions are debated and decided at Parliament House, and hear the stories of the people and events that have shaped the nation at the Australian War Memorial.
Canberra outdoors and adventure
Explore the major landmarks around Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin from land or water. The central basin is a hub of activity, especially in the warmer months. A fun way to get around the lake is on a guided segway tour with Seg Glide Ride located near the International Flag Display on the southside of the lake. You can also hire sailing boats from the Canberra Yacht Club. Discover Australia's capital from the comfort of cruising on the lake and gain a new perspective aboard one of Canberra's lake cruise operators. Canberra is also home to one of Australia’s best mountain bike venues, Stromlo Forest Park, which is the site of many of Australia's most popular mountain bike events.
Capital Country regional food and wine
You’ll find more than 30 boutique cellar doors within 35 minutes drive of the city. Small enough to have an intimate cellar door experience and meet the winemaker, yet large enough to find all the varieties of a premium wine growing region, Canberra District wineries have much to offer. While the District produces outstanding Shiraz and Riesling, many other varieties also thrive. The renowned Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, made by Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine’s Winemaker of the Year Tim Kirk, is a true icon of the district, receiving countless accolades and setting a benchmark for the blend around the country. While exploring the region’s wineries you can also enjoy delicious regional dining experiences along Poachers Way including Grazing at Gundaroo restaurant, Poachers Pantry and robyn rowe chocolates.
Enjoy the views of Canberra
View the layout of Canberra from up high and take in many of the attractions and mountain ranges surrounding the city. The National Arboretum Canberra offers great views across Lake Burley Griffin and west towards Mount Stromlo. At Red Hill, look out over many of our national icons south of the city centre. Only minutes from the CBD, drive, cycle, walk or even run up Mount Ainslie to get a magnificent perspective of how architect Walter Burley Griffin’s plan for Canberra has come to life through its buildings and monuments. Follow one of the walking tracks on Black Mountain for picture perfect views or head up to the 195-metre Telstra Tower for spectacular 360 degree views. There’s no better way to fully appreciate the capital’s charm than from the air in a hot air balloon as the early morning sun fills the valley and lakes with soft morning light. One of the newest views can be seen from the National Arboretum, a national collection of 94 rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world.
Why not explore Canberra’s hot new dining precincts like Braddon, NewActon and the Kingston Foreshore on your next visit to the national capital? The NewActon dining precinct is one of the most exciting places to eat in the national capital with Parlour Wine Room, A. Baker, Močan & Green Grout and a Prosecco Bar at the Palace Electric Cinema. The newest addition to Canberra’s dining scene is the Kingston foreshore with restaurants and cafes like C Dine Bar and Morks.
Canberra coffee scene and cafes
Canberra now lays claim to the 2015 World Barista Champion. Sasa Sestic, founder of ONA Coffee is the leading light in an emerging coffee culture that rivals roasting, blending, cupping and cafe culture anywhere in Australia. Locals are raising both standards and cups to enjoy coffee across the city. Start here with a quick guide to Canberra's cafes.
Shopping in Australia's capital city
Explore some of Canberra’s popular markets for everything from fresh produce to designer pieces. The multi award-winning Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston is a weekend institution for Canberrans and visitors alike. Held each Sunday, the markets are renowned for handcrafted jewellery, art, clothing, furniture, toys as well as regional food and wine. You will be tantalised by the array of fruit, vegetables, plants, flowers, seafood, pastries, meats, cheese and more at the popular Saturday morning Capital Region Farmers Market at Exhibition Park. While Canberra’s award-winning Handmade Market are held quarterly you can explore their storefront, Shop Handmade on City Walk six days a week.
Australian first zoo accommodation experience
The National Zoo and Aquarium now offers overnight luxury accommodation in Jamala Lodge. Choose from three precincts: uShaka Lodge, Giraffe Treehouses and Jungle Bungalows, each with unique wildlife experiences. Stay with a shark tank in your lounge room and monkeys on your terrace, feed giraffe from your balcony, or be within inches of lions or a brown bear!