Experience one good thing after another when visiting Canberra, Australia’s national capital.
Whether it’s unearthing iconic national treasures, going on breathtaking adventures in pristine wilderness, or refuelling at Canberra’s hottest new foodie precincts, everything is just moments away. Canberra’s jam-packed calendar of events also offers an eclectic mix of activities year round.
With the majority of attractions offering free entry, Canberra is a fantastic value for money destination that won’t break the budget. Canberra is also the perfect base to explore the beautiful South Coast and Snowy Mountains regions, home to the whitest sand beach in the world, and the tallest mountain in Australia respectively.
Best known for its world class museums and galleries, Canberra’s many attractions offer an insight into the Australian way of life, history and culture.
Adjoining the national attractions lie the centrepiece of Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin, an ideal destination for a range of active pursuits to get the heart racing including stand-up paddle boarding, segway rides, cycling and kayaking.
At over 100,000 hectares, 46 per cent of the Australian Capital Territory lies within Namadgi National Park making Canberra the closest major city to alpine wilderness in Australia. Recreation in Namadgi includes walking and hiking, mountain biking and horse riding.
Re-energise after an active day at one of Canberra’s hottest new precincts, Braddon, NewActon and Kingston Foreshore featuring a plethora of funky pubs and cafes.
- Take a selfie in front of one of the largest Australian flags (size of a double decker bus) on top of Parliament House.
- Be a Zoo Keeper for the day and go on a behind the scenes tour at the National Zoo and Aquarium.
- Explore native wildlife in their natural habitat with a spotlight tour of Tidbinbilla National Reserve with a ranger guide.
Canberra offers a great range of accommodation options, from caravan sites, cabins and camping grounds, to motels and backpacker hostels, to suit all budgets and needs.
With a wide variety properties all located within close proximity to the city, exploring Australia’s capital is a breeze.
- Alivio Tourist Park: nestled in a quiet bushland setting less than five minutes from the city with a huge choice of modern and spacious villas, cabins, motel rooms and drive through powered sites.
- Canberra City YHA: features a variety of room types, indoor pool, spa, sauna, fully-equipped kitchen, bbq, on-site café, bar and 24-hour reception. Just a short walk from the interstate coach terminal.
- Dickson Central: offers share dorm accommodation as well as Canberra's most affordable single or twin rooms with free wi-fi and free daily continental breakfast.
Live like a local. Here are just a few insider secrets and the best places to find them.
Stay perky at one of these excellent coffee spots: The Cupping Room, whose owner was awarded World’s Best Barrister recently; Londsdale Street Roasters, who source and roast their own beans; or Mocan and Green Grout, a retro style café serving fair trade coffee.
Wineries and Beer trails
Canberra has a number of craft breweries including Bentspoke Brewing Co., Capital Brewing Co., and Zierholz Premium Brewery, as well as the Canberra District Wine Region just a short 35-minute drive from the city centre.
Canberra boasts a range of weekend markets including the largest regional markets in the Southern Highlands, the Canberra and Region Farmers markets. Don’t miss the multi-award winning Old Bus Depot Markets for fresh local produce and hand crafted souvenirs.
Get a bird’s eye view of the city from each of these locations: Mt Ainslie, National Arboretum of Canberra and Red Hill.
- New Acton: in this renovated western corner of Canberra, discover how architecture, cuisine, art and a new way of city living combine.
- Braddon: rating high on the style factor, this inner-city suburb continues its transformation into the city’s hottest dining strip, with most of the action happening on Lonsdale, Elouera and Mort streets.
- Kingston Foreshore: is closer to the lake and combines residential and business properties with a growing strip of cafes, restaurants and bars with views across Lake Burley Griffin.
Discover the local hot spots. Hippo Co serves more than 220 types of whiskies; Honkytonks is serious about tequila; Playground Bar does an excellent martini, and just around the corner is King O’Malley’s for beer lovers. For well-crafted cocktails, head to the Melbourne building on West Row, Canberra City, which is home to two of the capital’s newest bars – The Highball Express and Bar Rochford and the 1920s-style Muddle Bar. Feel like dancing to DJ music? Try Tongue & Groove, Treehouse Dolce Lounge & Bar or Mr Wolf. For music with a Latin American twist, MonkeyBAR is the place to be.
- Arguably Canberra’s most intriguing bar is Molly. With just GPS coordinates as a guide to its location, discover expertly mixed drinks, secret rooms, a cheese and charcuterie station and live jazz.
- For something a little more playful, White Rabbit Cocktail Room is an Alice in Wonderland inspired venue where the drinks and food are served in tea party style.
- Lucky’s Speakeasy is an intimate bar nestled within QT Canberra. Carefully curated lists of DJ sets and classic cocktails means this is the Goldilocks of bars - not too hot and not too cold. Just right.
- Lake Burley Griffin
- Namadgi National Park
- Parliament House
- National Zoo and Aquarium
- Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve