Things to do in Canberra
Set on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the Nation’s Capital will captivate instantly. Wide streets, expansive greenery, impressive architecture, and vibrant precincts are among the many striking features of this thriving city.
Dig a little deeper and discover that this cultural hotspot blends some of Australia’s most significant national treasures with a wealth of first-rate family-friendly attractions, easy-to-reach nature experiences, and action-packed events.
While BIG4 doesn’t have any caravan parks in Canberra, we thoroughly recommend visiting the city when staying at nearby BIG4 parks in NSW.
Goulburn to Canberra, Batemans Bay to Canberra, and Canberra to Wagga Wagga are all popular paths.
Australian War Memorial
A visit to the Australian War Memorial is an essential experience when in Canberra. This grand structure is a tribute to Australians who died in war, and a series of permanent galleries brings to life the gripping stories of these conflicts and the courageous individuals within them.
The memorial is not overdone, nor does it gloss over the horrors of war. Rather, it’s a fitting and moving ode to those who have fought for our country. Don’t miss the emotive Last Post Ceremony, held daily at 4.55pm.
When it comes to things to do in Canberra, touring Parliament House should be high on the itinerary. Start by photographing the iconic façade and soaking up the beautiful views from Capital Hill.
Inside, tours introduce you to many captivating elements: Watch Parliament in action (when in session), admire stunning works within the Parliament House Art Collection, and learn about the history of the Magna Carta.
Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre
Questacon continues Canberra’s reputation for housing eye-catching structures, both new and old. Better still, it’s the perfect family-friendly attraction in Canberra. Explore a series of galleries that are jam-packed with engaging and enthralling displays that genuinely deliver on the cliché ‘something for all ages’. Highlights include experiencing an earthquake, playing air hockey against a robot, and marvelling at the Spectacular Science Show.
National Gallery of Australia/National Portrait Gallery
Looking for a Canberra art gallery? There are a couple of gems in the must-visit category. The National Gallery of Australia has a mammoth collection of works that includes an incredible selection of Australian and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, as well as international pieces. Works by some of the country’s most prominent artists are on display, including Sidney Nolan’s famous paintings of notorious bushranger Ned Kelly.
Next door is the National Portrait Gallery, which boasts a vast assortment of portraits of famous Australians covering a diverse range of fields.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
You can’t visit Canberra without exploring the great outdoors, and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve should be top of your list. It’s a 40-minute drive from Canberra’s centre, but you’ll feel a world away from city life.
Various walking trails reliably reveal myriad native wildlife and changing landscapes. Or immerse yourself in ancient Aboriginal culture at Birrigai Rock Shelter. For more rewarding outdoor adventures, neighbouring Namadgi National Park is full of treasure, too.
Australian National Botanic Garden
A stroll through the Australian National Botanic Garden reveals a plethora of vibrant native plants. In fact, you won’t find such an extensive collection of Australian flora anywhere else in the world. Among the finds are rare and endangered varieties, all of which can be spotted along designated paths. The rainforest gully walk is among the highlights.
When you are looking for things to do in Canberra, these excellent attractions warrant attention, too.
If you’re feeling active, walk or cycle around Lake Burley Griffin or head to Mt Ainslie Lookout where sublime views are gifted. Hot-air ballooning in Canberra is also highly regarded.
Canberra city has an impressive line-up of annual events. These are just some of the many thrilling finds:
• Floriade: A crowd-pulling flower festival bursting with events (September-October).
• Summernats: This automotive extravaganza is a petrol-head’s dream (January).
• Enlighten Festival: An Instagram essential with its vivid architectural projections. Incorporates the prized Canberra Balloon Spectacular (March).
• National Folk Festival: A celebration of all things folk with a stream of versatile events (April).
• National Multicultural Festival: This massive multicultural celebration is led by live music, dancing, performance art, street parties, and much more (February).
There is a diverse selection of great places to eat in Canberra, from award-winning restaurants to food trucks.
The cool-climate Canberra District Wine Region is home to upwards of 30 cellar doors, which can be reached within 30min of the CBD. A cluster of highly rated microbreweries can also be spotted in Canberra.
Check out caravan parks near Canberra below.