Canberra: Main Sights

Australia's Bustling Capital

Canberra Main Sights

You’ll never struggle to find something to do in Canberra. There are a multitude of fantastic attractions and activities to suit every holidaymaker. Discover its award-winning museums, magnificent gardens and beautiful bushland as well as its stunning and sparkling cityscape. From the Botanic Gardens and Old Parliament House to the Space Centre, Canberra has a wealth of world class attractions and sights.

Canberra Deep Space Centre

The Canberra Space Centre contains a fantastic collection of space memorabilia, models, theatres and interactive exhibits covering the last 40 years of space flight and exploration. Visitors can weigh themselves on the moon and see Mars in 3-D, discover the foods that astronauts eat on the space shuttle and space station, watch a movie on the history and future of space exploration, take a hands-on trip around the Solar System or just sit back and relax in the Moon Rock Café. The Canberra Space Centre is located on the grounds of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla, about 35kms southwest of Canberra.

Michelago Tourist Railway

The Australian Railway Historical Society Inc operates regular Sunday steam train rides to Royalla on the first and third Sunday of each month, and on the second and fourth Sunday operates rail motor trains to Royalla. Ride the "Spirit of Tuggeranong" or the "Tin Hare Express" to Royalla, enjoy a picnic lunch and then hop back on for the return trip. Other trips available include evening railroad dinner and dancing trips. The trains operate from Queanbeyan Railway Station, Henderson Road.

Australian National Botanic Gardens

The Australian National Botanic Gardens, sited on the slopes of Black Mountain, is the world's finest living collection of Australian native plants. Set among natural eucalypts, they provide an ideal setting to display the nation's unique and beautiful floral heritage. The variety of eco-systems in the Gardens encourages a host of birds. The Australian National Botanic Garden is a renowned attraction in Canberra and regularly attracts tourists from all over the world. The particular favourites of visitors remain the rock gardens and rainforests as these truly capture the beauty of the gardens and the fascinating sights on offer. Other features of note include the Aboriginal Track, a Rock Garden, Rainforest Gully, the Mallee and the Tasmanian Garden.

Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House is situated between Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin. Although it was initially built as a temporary parliament house, government stayed there from 1927 right up until 1988. Old Parliament House is open everyday between 9.00am-5.00pm, and you can either join a guided tour or follow a self-tour, simply following the maps and information sheets along the way. The tour is definitely worth following, and tells you plenty of information about the history of Australia's Parliament. It is possible to visit nearly all areas of the Old Parliament House. As you wander along the guided tour, you will pass Kings Hall, the House of Representatives Chamber, the Corridors of Power, the Ministerial Party Room, the Prime Ministers Office, the Cabinet Room, the National Portrait Gallery, the Senate Chamber, the Suite of the President of the Senate, the Senate Club Room, the House Gallery and the Strangers Gallery. Old Parliament House is also home to The National Portrait Gallery which holds a variety of exhibitions. The exhibitions change throughout the year, so you should check with Old Parliament House to see what the current exhibition is.

National Museum of Australia

Judged Australia’s best major tourist attraction in 2005, the National Museum of Australia in Canberra celebrates the land, nation and people of Australia by exploring the key issues, events and people that have shaped the nation. The Museum has five permanent exhibitions that bring together Australia’s stories, each presented with state-of-the-art technology and hands-on interactive exhibitions. From the First Australians gallery, which features the histories and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through to Nation, an exhibition of all things uniquely Australian. Truly, a Museum has something for anyone interested in Australian culture.

National Aquarium and Wildlife Park

Visitors of the National Aquarium and Wildlife Park can view many species of animals and sea life while aboard a train as it makes its way through the amazing park. A must for animal lovers, the park is home to friendly kangaroos and emus, which can be touched, koalas, penguins and more. Take a walk through the underwater tunnel filled with tropical marine life including a Reef Shark and sting-rays.

Canberra Centre

Canberra's premier fashion centre is found at the Canberra Centre whose emphasis is almost completely on clothing. The mall features countless fashion and accessory stores and more than 180 specialty stores and restaurants for shoppers to peruse through. There is something for everyone here, especially those that are more fashion conscious.

The Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial was opened in 1941, and looks down upon Canberra and Parliament House. It is open everyday between 10.00am-5.00pm. The War Memorial is considered one of the nation's greatest. Standing at the top of Anzac Parade, the memorial is home to a large collection of pictures, media and information about the War, personal and public records and more. The collections held in the Australian War Memorial reflect a number of wars/armed conflicts with which Australia has contributed across the globe. These include WWI, WWII, Korean War, South African War, Gulf War and many others. The memorial hosts a range of activities, a vast collection of information and pays tribute to over 100,000 Australian men and women who died serving their country both here and overseas. Every year the Australian War Memorial hosts both Anzac Day and Remembrance Day commemorations that are attended by hundreds of people, both old and young. These commemorations are key to honouring the sacrifices made by the Australians who died at war.

Fyshwick Markets

Shopping has never been as pleasant or entertaining as it is at Fyshwick Markets. Shoppers can find the freshest fruits and vegetables, the highest quality meats and the finest seafood fish shops featuring seafood flown in fresh daily. Also to be found here is an organic stall offering produce straight from the farm, most of it locally grown, an Asian food outlet, pet shop, nursery and more.

Tuggeranong Hyperdome

Tuggeranong Hyperdome is one of the biggest and newest shopping centres offering shoppers over 160 shops. Stores come in all varieties and there is even a choice of three supermarkets to shop in. The mall also offers 20 restaurants, a cinema complex, several major department stores and a variety of specialty boutiques.