Watch as the sun rises above Lake Burley Griffin, and Australia’s political heartland begins to move. Then tuck into an all day breakfast at Space Kitchen. Delve into the nation's history at the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum of Australia, which has exhibits and artefacts spanning more than 50,000 years. Then head to Parliament House for a free 40 minute guided tour (daily at 9.30am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm and 3.30pm) and see how the country is governed, or take a behind the scenes tour, which runs every non-sitting day for a small fee. Hire bikes to weave throughout the city and around the lake. Cycle Canberra can deliver bikes to your hotel or to the lake.
Visit Patissez, home of the Instagram-famous Freakshake, or try a scoop of gelato at the Frugii Dessert Laboratory, which offers rotating flavours such as lemon myrtle, cardamom, aniseed, raspberry pavlova and salted butter caramel. Work it off in the National Arboretum, where you can take part in a guided walk learning about the five Bs – bees, bugs, beetles, butterflies and birds – in the forest, or download an augmented reality app for holograms, soundscapes and information snippets about the arboretum. If you're visiting over a weekend, don’t miss the Old Bus Depot Markets (Sundays 10am to 4pm) in Kingston, where you can pick up handmade goods and a great range of clothing and accessories. Stay overnight at Jamala Wildlife Lodge, sleeping in a Giraffe Treehouse and waking up to five metre (16 foot) tall neighbours.