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Destination guides > Australia > Australian Capital Territory > Canberra > Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

Canberra

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

NORTH OF LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN

The area north of Lake Burley Griffin is home to the city centre, the War Memorial and the city’s main lookouts.

Australian War Memorial

This is the most impressive of Australia’s many war memorials. The memorial is home to a small museum with exhibits on Australia’s military involvement.

Anzac Parade, Reid
Bus 33, 40
Tel (02) 6243 4211
Website www.awm.gov.au
Admission free
Open 10am-5pm daily

Canberra Museum & Gallery

This museum has displays on the city’s history and cultural diversity.

Corner Civic Square & London Circuit, Canberra
Bus all buses
Tel (02) 6207 3968
Website www.museumsandgalleries.act.gov.au/cmag/
Admission free
Open Jan-May Tue-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun noon-5pm; Jun-Aug Tue-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun noon-4pm; Sep-Dec Tue-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun noon-5pm

CSIRO Discovery

CSIRO Discovery is a science museum showcasing the CSIRO’s achievements in science and technology. The complex includes working science laboratories where visitors can view research in progress.

North Science Road at CSIRO Black Mountain laboratories, Clunies Ross Street, Canberra
Bus 34
Tel (02) 6243 4646

Website www.csiro.au/places/Discovery.html
Admission $6
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pmn, Sun 11am-3pm

Mt Ainslie

This hill behind the War Memorial offers great views of the city. It is accessible via walking tracks from the War Memorial.

National Capital Exhibition

The National Capital Exhibition is a small museum showing the planning, construction and growth of the city. This should be the first thing you see in Canberra as it gives you a good understanding of how the city is laid out.

Regatta Point, Commonwealth Park
Bus any Intertown route
Tel (02) 6257 1068

Website www.nationalcapital.gov.au
Admission free
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm

National Film & Sound Archive

The National Film and Sound Archive is located on the campus of the Australian National University. Set in a beautiful Art Deco building, it includes much of the nation’s film, radio and television history, including recordings of many early programmes.

McCoy Circuit, Acton
Bus 34
Tel (02) 6248 2000
Website www.nfsa.afc.gov.au
Admission free
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

National Museum of Australia

The new National Museum of Australia features a variety of exhibits on Australian culture with a significant part of the Museum devoted to the history, culture and contemporary issues of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Museum is located on Acton Peninsula with views across Lake Burley Griffin.

Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Acton

Bus 34
Tel (02) 6208 5000
Website www.nma.gov.au
Admission free, charge for special exhibits
Open 9am-5pm daily

National Zoo & Aquarium

Canberra’s small zoo has a good selection of Australian and African wildlife including the world’s only walk-through puma cave and Australia’s only tigons (a cross between a lion and tiger).

Lady Denham Drive, Scrivener Dam
Bus 81
Tel (02) 6287 1211
Website www.zooquarium.com.au
Admission $26.50 ($21.50 students)
Open 10am-5pm daily

Telstra Tower (Black Mountain)

The tower at the summit of Black Mountain offers fantastic views of the city.

Black Mountain
Bus 81
Tel 1800 806 718
Admission $6
Open 9am-10pm daily

SOUTH OF LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN

The area immediately south of Lake Burley Griffin is an area known as the Parliamentary Triangle. This area contains many of Canberra’s most important buildings including the new and old Parliament Houses as well as the High Court, National Gallery and National Library. Heading further south takes you through Yarralumba, where many of the embassies are located.

High Court of Australia

The High Court of Australia is the pinnacle of Australia’s legal system. The building is modern architecture at its most daring. It has been branded an architectural monstrosity, and Gar's Mahal after former Chief Justice Sir Garfield Barwick who presided over its opening. A dramatic interior features a public hall that’s seven stories high.

King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Bus 34
Tel (02) 6270 6811
Website www.hcourt.gov.au
Admission free
Open Mon-Fri 9.45am-4.30pm

National Gallery of Australia

Canberra's National Gallery houses Australia’s most extensive art collection. The collection is eclectic enough to span Aboriginal masterpieces, Monet's Water Lilies and Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles.

King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Bus 30, 34
Tel (02) 6240 6411
Website www.nga.gov.au
Admission free
Open 10am-5pm daily

National Library of Australia

The National Library aims to hold copies of everything published either in or about Australia. The library is adding to its collection at the rate of 500 items every day.

King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Bus 31, 34, 36, 39
Tel (02) 6262 1156

Website www.nla.gov.au
Admission free
Open Mon-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sun 9am-5pm

Old Parliament House & the National Portrait Gallery

Situated in front of the new Parliament House, is a more traditional building that was originally built as a temporary structure and served as Australia’s seat of government from 1927 until 1988. The building now houses the National Portrait Gallery, the Australian Archives Gallery and a museum chronicling Australia’s political history.

King George Terrace, Parkes
Bus 31, 36, 39
Tel (02) 6270 8222
Website www.oph.gov.au & www.portrait.gov.au
Admission $2
Open 9am-5pm daily; tours 9.30am, 10.15am, 11am, 11.45am, 12.45pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.15pm

Parliament House

An 81m flag mast that has become the city’s major landmark crowns Parliament House. Visitors can join a guided tour, stroll through its public galleries, walk around its striking exterior – or roll down the grassy slopes that are part of its design. You can watch a session of parliament, if it is sitting. This enormous building took half a century to conceive and a decade to build.

Capital Hill, Parkes
Bus 31, 34, 39
Tel (02) 6277 5399
Website www.aph.gov.au
Admission free
Open 9am-5pm daily; tours every 30 minutes

Questacon

This excellent hands-on science museum has a lot of exhibits geared towards kids.

King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Bus 34
Tel (02) 6270 2800
Website www.questacon.edu.au
Admission $18 ($13 students)
Open 9am-5pm daily

Royal Australian Mint

This is where most coins are minted and offers fascinating tours where you can see money being made.

Denison Street, Deakin
Bus 30, 31, 32
Tel (02) 6202 6999
Website www.ramint.gov.au
Admission free
Open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm but you can only see coins being produced on weekday afternoons

 

 


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