Explore Canberra's iconic buildings from day to night during Enlighten Festival
Updated 31 Jul 2023
A visit to Canberra's iconic buildings are a must-do on your trip to the capital
Canberra is well-known for its world-class national attractions and visiting during 3 - 13 March will allow you to see them come to life at night for Illuminations @ Enlighten Festival.
Start your day experiencing all there is to do at Australian Parliament House, National Portrait Gallery, National Library of Australia, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, National Gallery of Australia and Questacon. Come evening, marvel at the iconic buildings in a stunning display of light, sound and movement.
Illuminations @ Enlighten Festival programming will start from 6pm, with the architectural projections lighting up from 8-11 pm each night.
You won't want to miss Pride Weekend @ Enlighten Festival (10-12 March) where you will see the buildings become canvases for specially designed pride themed projections.
Australian Parliament House
Set out to Australian Parliament House where you'll find some of Australia’s finest historical treasures, symbolic architecture, and contemporary art on display throughout the building.
Embark on an Unconformity Geology Tour (4 - 18 March) with an expert geologist to understand the earth in the Canberra region.
Discover the birdlife, insects and trees featured in the Australian Parliament House Illumination in a Dusk Artist talk (8 March) with designers Camila De Gregorio and Christopher Macaluso.
National Portrait Gallery
Gain a greater understanding of Australia's identity, history, creativity, culture, and diversity through portraiture, stories, and a myriad of programs in the award-winning building of the National Portrait Gallery.
We recommend starting with the Highlights Collection Tour for a free 30-minute guided tour of the collection and building.
National Library of Australia
The National Library of Australia is much more than an impressive collection of books. Find remarkable items from the Library’s collections in their Treasures Gallery, or explore the latest blockbuster displays in the Exhibition Gallery.
The Library's foyer will be transformed after-hours into a fabulous jazz lounge (3 - 11 March) and the entrance will provide entertainment for all ages including giant lawn games, hula-hooping, face painting and a Jazzy Jumpers skipping rope demonstration.
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
From the red heels Julie Bishop wore when she announced her resignation from Parliament to interactive exhibitions for the kids, this museum housed in Old Parliament House is rich in history and political intrigue. The collection of political cartoons is a crowd favourite.
The imaginative family space PLAYUP has hands-on activities to educate, excite and challenge young minds.
National Gallery of Australia
With an evolving collection of over 155,000 works of art including the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, the National Gallery of Australia is sure to impress.
See if you can find all 26 masterpieces in the National Gallery of Australia’s sculpture garden.
Questacon will inspire minds with the world of science and technology.
Watch enthralling live science demonstrations and visit Questacon’s galleries where you can free fall smoothly down a tall vertical slide, feel the force of an earthquake, watch lightning strike twice, and see a hive with 10,000 bees.
Don't miss Atomic Carnival (3 - 11 March) to see Questacon's deck transform into a carnival playground with flashing fairy floss, cronuts, glowing slushies, an Atomics Glow Bar and more.
See Enlighten Festival fans' favourite moments from past years. Where will your perfect picture moment be? Share your snaps using #VisitCanberra and #EnlightenFestival.