09 July 2014
Canberra First XI: Tourist Highlights
There is an endless choice of great things to see and do in Canberra. This week we have selected 11 must do activities while you are in Australia’s capital.
How athletes are made
Visit the Australian Institute of Sport to see where some of the Australia’s best athletes train, or take an inspiring 90 minute tour with an elite athlete. Test your own sporting skills in the interactive Sportex exhibition and see how you stack up compared to Australia’s elite athletes. Visit website.
Lest we forget
In 2015 the Australian War Memorial commemorates the centenary of the First World War. See some of the world’s most significant military relics and experience Over the front: the great war in the air, a film by renowned director Peter Jackson. The Memorial remembers the ultimate sacrifice made by Australian servicemen and women. Visit website.
The National Arboretum features 100 forests and 100 gardens, including different types of threatened and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world. Set on 250 hectares of parkland, six kilometres from the city centre, the Arboretum also houses an impressive nature-themed children’s playground, visitor centre, cafe and restaurant with stunning views. Visit website.
Getting arty with it
The National Gallery of Australia is home to the national art collection including Australia’s largest collection of Indigenous Australian artwork, and hosts annual international blockbuster exhibitions. Among the collection’s highlights include Monet’s Nympheas (Waterlillies), Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series and Jackson Pollack’s Blue poles. Visit website.
Discover 50,000 years of history
Discover the place where Australia’s stories live, and take a highlights tour at the National Museum of Australia. See the nation’s most popular and important objects including ochre used by Aboriginal artists over 50,000 years ago in the Gallery of First Australians. View website.
Fancy waking up with a lion or bear just metres from your bed with just a glass panel between you? It’s possible at the National Zoo and Aquarium, with luxury accommodation on offer, combined with opportunities to interact closely with the animals. Alternatively, take a tour that allows you to pat a cheetah, hand-feed a bear or pat sharks. View website.
Home to the Parliament of Australia and also known as the meeting place of the nation, Parliament House is one of Australia's most iconic buildings. Take in the impressive architecture, stunning art and beautiful landscape or see the working Parliament in action. View website.
Get your thinking cap on
Discover the fascination of scientific inquiry and watch live science demonstrations at Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre. Here, you can explore how people perceive the same thing in different ways in Perception deception. View website.
Make some furry friends
Forty-five minutes’ drive from the city, Tidbinbilla offers outstanding wildlife and natural experiences set within a beautiful valley framed by rocky-topped mountains. Spot Australian native wildlife including emus, kangaroos, koalas, possums, wallaroos and wombats. The sanctuary at Tidbinbilla offers fabulous nature-based experiences such as searching for a platypus, observing bird life and getting up close to reptiles. View website.
The grape escape
The Canberra wine district is small enough to have an intimate cellar door experience and meet the winemaker, yet large enough to find all the varieties of a premium wine growing region. This growing region is producing distinctive award-winning cool climate wines. The Canberra District’s 140 vineyards, including 30 boutique cellar doors, are all within 35 minutes’ drive of the city, and include the three main regions of Murrumbateman, Hall and Lake George. View website.
Shop, shop, shop
The small 1920s Manuka shopping centre is just a few minutes’ walk from Manuka Oval. Explore the lovely arcades and discover boutique shops offering Australian and international designer labels, exquisite jewellery, antiques, high-end homewares and plenty of cool cafes, restaurants and bars to rest your tired shopping feet. View website.
For a full list of sights and activities in the city and around the region, please visit www.visitcanberra.com.au
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