DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

Things to do in Canberra

Canberra has vast appeal. Credit: VisitCanberra.

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.

Whether sticking to the CBD or getting out to explore, there's plenty to entertain visitors. Credit: Damian Breach/VisitCanberra.

Closest BIG4 caravan parks to Canberra

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.

Best things to do when visiting Canberra

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.

The Australian War Memorial brilliantly and poignantly retraces the nation's involvement in conflict. 

Parliament House

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.

Parliament House is among Canberra's premier attractions. Credit: VisitCanberra.

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.

Questacon has vast appeal both inside and out. Credit: VisitCanberra.

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.

The National Gallery of Australia is not your average gallery. Credit: VisitCanberra.

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.

Tidbinbilla feels a million miles from city life. Credit: VisitCanberra.

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.

Get among the beauty of the Australian National Botanic Garden. Credit: VisitCanberra.

Other places to visit in Canberra

When you are looking for things to do in Canberra, these excellent attractions warrant attention, too.

  • Australian Institute of Sport (AIS): Fascinating guided tours explore this famous elite sports precinct.
  • The National Zoo and Aquarium: Features a huge range of native and exotic animals and some seriously enthralling up-close encounters.
  • Cockington Green Gardens: Gorgeous landscaped gardens home to miniature buildings from around the world among other attractions.
  • The National Arboretum: This 250ha site houses dozens of forests with rare and iconic trees from across the planet.
  • Telstra Tower: Reveals breathtaking panoramas of Canberra and its surrounds day and night from a 195m-high vantage point.

Sweeping views are on offer at the top of Telstra Tower. Credit: VisitCanberra.

Canberra attractions for the active and adventurous

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.

Hot-air ballooning is a signature Canberra activity. Credit: Hcreations Photograph/VisitCanberra.

Leading events in Canberra

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).

Canberra's rich events calendar includes Enlighten Festival. Credit: Paul Chapman/VisitCanberra.

Feast in Canberra

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.

Capital Brewing Co is a prized find in Canberra's craft-beer scene. Credit: Kara Rosenlund/VisitCanberra.

Check out caravan parks near Canberra below.

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