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Don’t miss out on a different kind of capital

Updated 26 Mar 2024

Looking for your next holiday destination? Look no further than Australia's capital city, Canberra.

With its stunning natural beauty, vibrant cultural offerings, and premium experiences, Canberra is the perfect destination for an unforgettable Australian adventure.

As the nation's capital city, Canberra hosts many of Australia's must-see attractions including the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, Australian War Memorial, Australian Parliament House and National Zoo & Aquarium, all while being  surrounded by extraordinary forests and mountains.

Being a smaller city, Canberra offers a chance to escape the busyness of big cities with plenty of space to breathe and explore. This city has something for everyone, whether you're interested in discovering the iconic attractions, or immersing yourself in its natural wonders. From family-friendly activities to wildlife encounters and exceptional dining experiences, this city promises to impress and inspire. 

A map illustrating the location of Canberra between Melbourne and Sydney.

How to get to Canberra

Canberra is Australia's largest inland city and is just a short drive or flight away from major international ports in Sydney and Melbourne.

Fly to Sydney (SYD) or Melbourne (MEL) with Singapore Airlines and onto Canberra with several domestic direct flights available from these major cities daily.

Make the journey part of the adventure and take a scenic drive from Sydney, making a stop at the Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral to learn about one of Australia's most beloved sports legends.

SYD to CBR - 1 hour flight, 3 hours' drive.

MEL to CBR - 1 hour flight, 7 hours' drive.

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A red car driving on the road with autumn leaves near it and the National Arboretum Canberra in the background.

Getting around Canberra 

Canberra is a modern and well-planned city with a range of efficient and convenient transportation options. 

Getting around is easy, whether you choose to rent a car, take a taxi, or use public transportation such as the bus or light rail. If you're feeling adventurous, bike and e-scooter hire are popular options.

Canberra is known for being a driveable city with the majority of its attractions and destinations reachable by car within just a 15-minute drive. Having access to your own vehicle allows you to explore the surrounding region of national parks and country towns as well as the city.

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What to see and do

Couple walking across bridge surrounded by large, green ferns.

Relaxing nature walks and wildlife spotting

Nestled between mountains and surrounded by bushland, Canberra is a nature lover's paradise, offering hiking trails, breathtaking views, and the opportunity to see Australia's unique flora and fauna up close. 

Be guided on Australian flora and fauna by the experts on the Best of Wildlife Tour by Canberra Guided Tours. You'll be led by a friendly guide who can help you to spot a variety of native wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, platypi, colourful parrots and emus.

One of Canberra's most leisurely walks, known as the Bridge to Bridge loop, is the perfect way to take in the inner city and visit major attractions dotted along the way including the National Gallery of Australia, International Flag Display, and National Library of Australia, as well as several waterfront dining options. 

Explore the home of many native Australian animals on a visit to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, located just 40 minutes from the city centre. Take a stroll along the easy walking paths, relax in the shade of the towering trees, and enjoy a delightful picnic in one of the many picturesque spots available. 

Just five minutes from the city centre you can be transported to another world at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Join a passionate and knowledgeable tour guide as you travel on the magical flora bus and take in over 4,500 species on display in Canberra's bushland setting. 

Top outdoor adventures

A hot air balloon taking flight.

Premium experiences

Canberra offers visitors unforgettable luxury experiences in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. One of the most premium experiences is hot air ballooning, where you can soar above the city and enjoy breathtaking views of natural landscapes and iconic landmarks. 

At Australian Parliament House, discover exclusive behind-the-scenes access to rarely seen private, official and ceremonial spaces, along with a traditional high tea with a contemporary twist on the signature experience tour

Mount Stromlo Observatory offers world-class private site tours and stargazing sessions. The stargazing tours are led by professional or experienced amateur astronomers from the Canberra Astronomical Society and include after-hours access to the observatory, use of Mount Stromlo’s outreach telescopes, and a guided experience in viewing some of the most interesting features of the Southern Hemisphere sky.

A wide view of Canberra from a mountain

Amazing views you can drive to

Canberra boasts a plethora of stunning natural landscapes, making it an ideal destination to appreciate the beauty of Australian bushland. As a result, the city is dotted with numerous picturesque lookouts that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery.

From the top of Mount Ainslie, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the city's skyline and the surrounding mountain ranges, while a drive up Red Hill offers stunning views of the city's picturesque suburbs and rolling hills. A visit to the National Arboretum Canberra is a must for nature lovers, where you can explore stunning gardens and forests while taking in panoramic views of the city below.

Three kids playing with autumn leaves

Family activities

You will be delighted to discover that there are endless activities perfect for the whole family to enjoy. 

Children will feel like giants as they explore hand-built miniature at Cockington Green Gardens in Gold Creek Village. The Canberra Reptile Zoo, National Dinosaur Museum, and  Canberra Walk-in Aviary are all within walking distance. 

Canberra hosts one of Australia's best playgrounds, Pod Playground. The playground is situated in the National Arboretum Canberra, an award-winning attraction with good reason. While children play amongst giant acorn cubbies and music-making instruments, adults will appreciate the sweeping views of the city and the Bonsai Collection, which hosts a world-class display of some of the finest miniature trees and forests in the world.

Families visiting Canberra during winter can play in the snow at Corin Forest, located just a 45-minute drive away from the city centre. In addition to the snowy wonderland, the 1.2km Alpine Slide is also a popular attraction that can be enjoyed all year round, providing a  fun way to explore the surrounding Mountain Ash forest.

Family activities

Interior of Inka's decorative and colourful restaurant

Exceptional dining

Canberra is known for its showcase of diverse cuisines, fine dining restaurants, wineries, and unique culinary experiences, including wine-tasting tours and, food festivals.

The city hosts an array of award-winning restaurants and local gems such as Rama's Fiji Indian Restaurant, as well as an exceptional vegetarian resturant, Monster Kitchen and Bar at Ovolo Nishi hotel, which uses rich aromas, vibrant colours and foods of flavour.

For a taste of Australia's mouth-watering burgers, head over to Brodburger in Kingston, where you'll try some of the best burgers in the country. Next door you will find the largest dedicated glass-making facility in the southern hemisphere, Canberra Glassworks.  

With stunning views of Lake Burley Griffin, Snapper and Co. offers fresh fish and chips with a relaxed family atmosphere.

Award-winning restaurants

Couple looking at a cheetah from their hotel room.
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Unique accommodation

With a range of luxury accommodations, including award-winning boutique hotels and spas, immerse yourself in comfort and style while enjoying breathtaking views of the city's natural surroundings.

Canberra is home to five-star rated Jamala Wildlife Lodge at the National Zoo and Aquarium, where you can spend the night only meters away from lions, bears, cheetahs or tigers in the jungle bungalows, or relax on the balcony of the giraffe tree house as you marvel at the size and beauty of your new giant friend. This incredible and immersive experience also treats guests to two exclusive zoo tours that encounter some of the zoo’s rarest, largest and most dangerous inhabitants.

Located just minutes from the airport, the newly opened Beltana Farm beckons with its expansive trufferie boasting over 800 trees. Immerse yourself in the seamless blend of nature's beauty and luxurious comfort as you choose from a range of charming and unique accommodations. The on-site restaurant caters to both truffle enthusiasts and non-truffle lovers with a menu designed to delight every palate.

If you're looking for accommodation  in the heart of the city at one of Australia's most sustainable buildings, Ovolo Nishi is a good option, where every angle of this captivating building provides the perfect photo opportunity. 

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A family is walking alongside picturesque Lake Burley Griffin
What's next?

Book your trip

Don't miss out on the opportunity to experience all that Canberra has to offer.

Book your trip to Canberra today with your travel agent and discover why it is a must-visit destination in Australia. You'll leave with memories that will last a lifetime.

A car is travelling through a forest with hot air balloons floating in the distance,

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Flower beds with pink tulips and purple pansies at Floriade Festival 2014 with the Ferris wheel in the background. | © Jo Bakas

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