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Image of the fern rainforest boardwalk at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, a couple smiling and holding hands, while walking and looking up. | © Pew Pew Studio

Attractions in Canberra

Discover museums, galleries, arboretums, zoos, and more

Canberra is famous for its national museums and galleries, but those in the know also head to local treasures and attractions. Discover a garden that houses one-fifth of Australia's native plant species, a zoo where you can help save endangered animals, and a popular market housed in an old bus depot.

Many attractions are free to enter or offer family prices for an afforadble getaway. Keep an eye out for tours, programs, hands-on activiites, and things to do at each of these attractions. 

Couple walking along path surrounded by large, green ferns.

Visit a rainforest five minutes from the city

A world all its own, the Australian National Botanic Gardens gives you a chance to explore around one fifth of Australia's diverse and spectacular flora in Canberra's bushland setting. 

With over 4,300 plant species set on 35 hectares, it's the only place in the world you can see all this plant diversity in one location. Enjoy a free guided walk, a ride on the Flora Explorer (weekends and public holidays), or treat yourself at the cafe, bookshop, or day spa.

Botanic Gardens
A family looking out over Lake Burley Griffin and the National Arboretum.
Children playing on the Pod Playground at the National Arboretum.
An aerial view of the National Arboretum and its surrounds during either sunrise or sunset.

Take in the view at the National Arboretum Canberra

Breathtaking views of the Canberra skyline across the Brindabellas can be seen from the top of the National Arboretum Canberra

With over 44,000 rare and endangered trees across a 250-hectare site, the Arboretum is a place of beauty, conservation, scientific research, education, tourism and recreation.

Learn from expert guides with Ngala Tours, which combines the cultural and scenic sites within the National Arboretum Canberra to provide insight into Indigenous interpretation of the landscape.

National Arboretum Canberra
Two women feeding a tree kangaroo
Kid feeding an animal at the zoo

Feed the animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium

Get up close and personal with some of the world's most amazing creatures at the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra. Guided tours through the zoo allow you to pat a cheetah, feed a bear, or get friendly with a meerkat during some of the best hands-on animal experiences in Australia.

From lions, tigers, and bears to giraffes, penguins, and monkeys, the Zoo features a variety of native and exotic animals you can interact with, as well as the largest inland saltwater tank in Australia.

National Zoo & Aquarium
Woman buying a necklace from a market stall outside.
woman buying oranges from stall with grower
woman holding up jewellry in a mirror

Find some treasures at the Old Bus Depot Markets

You're sure to find something new with each visit to the Old Bus Depot Markets, held every Sunday in Kingston. Fine handcrafted wares, clothing, local and international food, live music, and fresh coffee are just some of the usual suspects that visitors and locals flock for.

Each week you can browse over 200 stalls of exceptional wares created by local and regional makers. Afterwards head next door to visit the Canberra Glassworks where you can see glass artists creating masterpieces in the hot shop, exhibitions, and a beautifully curated gift store.

Old Bus Depot Markets
A family inside Parliament House viewing the chamber.
A view of Parliament House through a canopy of trees and bush.
Young female tour guide shows a young woman in a mobility chair through portraits hung on the walls inside Australian Parliament House.

See democracy in action at Parliament House

High on Capital Hill sits Australia's iconic Australian Parliament House, where you can book a tour for Question Time to see the country's elected politicians make decisions on behalf of the nation in real time. 

Choose between tours of the building's impressive architecture, a visit to the popular Queen's Terrace Cafe, and the chance to see an impressive collection of Australian art that grace the hallways of this historic site.

Parliament House

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Three kids playing with autumn leaves

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Mum and daughter looking at portrait of Hugh Jackman.

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Two women sit outside and a man stands and high fives a young boy at the National Museum of Australia.

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Young couple dances in the coloured lights of a live music performance at Smith's Alternative.

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Hotshop

Canberra Glassworks

A tour guide and a family in front of a framed artwork in a gallery

National Gallery of Australia

View inside the Canberra Walk in Aviary

Canberra Walk In Aviary

Family walks in front of a Tudor style architecture buidling

Cockington Green Gardens

Corin Forest as seen by a drone. There are 3 large patches of snow & a small dam surrounded by trees

Corin Forest

Government House

Government House

Aerial view of the National Arboretum Canberra

National Arboretum Canberra

The hustle and bustle of visitors of stallholders at the Old Bus Depot Markets

Old Bus Depot Markets

20 metre long T-rex

National Dinosaur Museum

Two rhinos

National Zoo & Aquarium

Quizzic Alley's entrance, flanked by impressive timber castle doors.

Quizzic Alley

Visitors entering the Mint building

Royal Australian Mint

National Library of Australia building

National Library of Australia

Gallery building at night

National Portrait Gallery

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Large, colourful paintings by Kubbitji Kngwarreye on exhibition at Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery

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blacksmith striking hot metal on an anvil with sparks flying

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An aerial view of the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.

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