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Attractions In Canberra ACT

There are many world-class tourist attractions in Canberra. Our Capital City is home not only to our nation's political heart, but to many of Australia's National Treasures.

Major Tourist Attractions in Canberra

Click on one of the links below to find out more about our nation's past, present and future.

Be Inspired By National Treasure:

Australian Institute of Sport
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Australian War Memorial
High Court of Australia
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
National Archives of Australia
National Film and Sound Archive
National Gallery of Australia
National Library of Australia
National Museum of Australia
National Portrait Gallery
Parliament House
Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
Royal Australian Mint

Or, for tourist information on lots more attractions in Canberra click here.


Australian Institute of Sport

The AIS provides world-class training facilities for Australia's elite athletes. Led by an athlete,a 90 minute guided tour will give visitors a chance to see athletes in action as well as an insight into the life of an elite athlete.

See how you measure up and test your own sporting skills in the interactive 'Sportex' exhibition.

There's a range of sporting memorabilia on display in the Sports Visitors Centre.

Open: Daily (Closed Christmas Day)
Guided Tours: Departs 10am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm Admission: $18 Adult, $10 Child, $13 Students & Seniors, $49 Family
Leverrier Crescent, Bruce
Phone: 02) 6214 1010
Web: www.ausport.gov.au

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Australian National Botanic Gardens

At the base of Black Mountain and set on 90 hectares of which 40 hectares are developed these beautiful gardens have the largest collection of Australian native flora in the world.

Walk among the 73,000 native plants, including many endangered species - and you would have seen over a third of all plant species found in Australia.

You can experience Australia's various climatic zones and ecosystems as the gardens are organized into different sections. Or go on the self-guided Aboriginal Plant Use Walk and discover how the Indigenous People have utilized plants over thousands of years.

Watch native birds and water dragons while enjoying a picnic lunch on the manicured lawn, or have a coffee at the popular 'Hudson's' Cafe.

Open: Daily 8.30am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Bookshop and Visitor Centre open: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Admission: Free
Clunies Ross Street, Acton
Phone: 02) 6250 9540
Web: www.anbg.gov.au

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Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial is one of the great military museums in the world. The Memorial commemorates and honours the Australian men and women who have served in war.

Explore over 20 exhibition galleries and experience stunning sound and light shows.

Pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier and place a poppy on the Roll of Honour which lists the names of over 102,000 Australian Servicemen and Servicewomen who died whilst serving our country.

Free 90 minute highlight tours of the galleries daily.

Australian War Memorial
Attractions Canberra - Australian War Memorial

Open: Daily 10am - 5.00pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: Free
Treloar Crescent, top of Anzac Parade, Campbell
Phone: 02) 6243 4211
Web: www.awm.gov.au

Café: 'The Terrace' located at the Memorial is open 8.30 am – 4.30 pm daily.

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High Court of Australia

Opened by the Queen in 1980, this beautiful lakeside building features a seven-storey high glass public hall.

Sittings are open to the public and visitors can observe the proceedings from the public gallery.

You can go on a guided tour which explains the court procedures, the building's architecture and unique design features.

High Court of Australia
Attractions Canberra - High Court of Australia

Open: Mon - Fri 9.45am - 4.30pm, Sun 12pm - 4pm (Closed Public Holidays)
Normal Court sitting hours are from: 10.15 am to 12.45 pm and 2.15 pm to 4.15 pm
Admission: Free
Parkes Place, Parkes
Phone: 02) 6270 6811
Web: www.hcourt.gov.au

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Museum of Australian Democracy
at Old Parliament House

Completed in 1927, this Heritage-Listed building was home to Australia's Federal Parliament for over 60 years.

Now, the Museum of Australian Democracy it's open to the public. The Museum represents Australia's democratic past, present and possible futures. Wander through the corridors of power or go on a guided tour.

See innovative & vibrant exhibitions and enjoy interactive experiences including special activities and spaces for children to explore.

Outside, stroll through the beautiful National Rose Gardens.

Across the road from Old Parliament House is the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, established to protest against the lack of Indigenous land rights.

Open: Daily 9am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: $2 Adults, $1 Child/Concession, $5 Family
King George Tce, Parkes
Phone: 02) 6270 8222
Web: www.moadoph.gov.au

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National Archives of Australia

If you've ever wanted to research your family history, the National Archives of Australia is a great place to start.

Discover our national history through an array of documents, photographs, objects and multimedia.

In the 'Memory of a Nation' Exhibition, you can see a draft of the Australian Constitution complete with Australia's First Prime Minister Edmund Barton's edits dating back to 1897.

Australia's 'birth-certificate' can be seen in the 'Federation Gallery'.

Open: Daily 9am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: Free
Queen Victoria Tce, Parkes
Phone: 02) 6212 3600
Web: www.naa.gov.au

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National Film and Sound Archive

The National Film and Sound Archive holds more than 100 years of Australian film, radio and television history.

The display includes special exhibitions and interactive activities where you can make the sound effects for a radio serial or your own animation.

For a fee you can watch a classic film in Arc cinema or have lunch at the cafe.

Open: Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat-Sun & public holidays 10am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: Free
McCoy Circuit, Acton
Phone: 02) 6248 2000
Web: www.nfsa.gov.au

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National Gallery of Australia

Visit the home of Australia's national collection of art with over 100,000 works including 11 specially designed Indigenous galleries showcasing the world's largest collection of Aboriginal art.

Australia's diverse, multi cultural and vibrant society is reflected in the national collection, while the international collection is equally impressive.

Outside, set in a series of native gardens the Sculpture Garden contains over 50 sculptures between the Gallery and Lake Burley Griffin.

National Gallery of Australia
Attractions Canberra - National Gallery of Australia

Open: Daily 10am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: Free to permanent collections
Parkes Place, Parkes
Phone: 02) 6240 6502
Web: www.nga.gov.au

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National Library of Australia

This five-storey building is home to a collection of over 10 million items including books, newspapers, magazines, tapes, manuscripts, maps, music and old photographs.

Historical items are on a rotating display such as Captain Cook's original journal from his Endeavour voyages.

There are free guided tours every hour and on Thursdays you can go on the free weekly behind the scenes tour.

The Library offers spaces to relax, Wi-Fi access, a bookstore and two cafe's - 'Bookplate' and 'Ex Libris' both with views of Lake Burley Griffin.

Throughout the year, the Library features engaging and diverse events and exhibitions.

Open: Daily 9am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: Free
Parkes Place, Parkes
Phone: 02) 6262 1111
Web: www.nla.gov.au

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National Museum of Australia

Modern, stylish and sophisticated, the National Museum of Australia features state-of-the-art technology and hands-on interactive displays reflecting Australia's past, present and future.

The Museum has three main themes- land, nation and people. For an overview of the displays, begin your experience in the rotating cinema 'Circa'.

The permanent galleries includes:

  • 'First Australians' representing the Indigenous Australians with displays of traditional culture, dance and music.
  • 'Old New Land' reflecting a 20,000 year journey through Australia's environmental history.
  • 'Australian Journeys' tracing and reflecting Australia's interconnections with the world.
  • 'Eternity' a gallery based on 10 emotional themes from loneliness to joy, while examining the lives of 50 Australians famous & not famous, dead & alive.
  • 'Landmarks' is the National Museum of Australia's newest gallery and explores the broad history of Australia through stories of places and their peoples.

'K-Space' is a 3D virtual reality experience that kids of all ages will love.

Outside, experience Central Australia in the Garden of Australian Dreams, where you can travel equivalent to 100km with every step you take.

The Museum features fascinating temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year as well as numerous events and workshops.

Enjoy lunch at the Cuiseum Cafe with unrivalled views of Lake Burley Griffin.

Open: Daily 9am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: Free. Fees apply to guided tours and some exhibitions.
Acton Peninsula, Acton
Phone: 02) 6208 5000 or 1800 026 132
Web: www.nma.gov.au

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National Portrait Gallery

Opened in December 2008, the National Portrait Gallery has a permanent display of over 450 portraits representing the famous and infamous people that have shaped Australian history.

Marvel at the beautiful paintings, sculptures, photographs and multimedia works of bush rangers, judges, prime ministers, pop stars, explorers, war heroes and sporting legends.

Open: Daily 10am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: Free
King Edward Tce, Parkes
Phone: 02) 6102 7000
Web: www.portrait.gov.au

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Parliament House

Sitting atop Capital Hill, Parliament House is the meeting place of Australia's Parliament and the focal point of Australian democracy.

Officially opened in 1988 by the Queen, the grand billion-dollar building is one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Much of the building is open to the public. While a guided tour is recommended, visitors can explore the building on a self-guided tour.

See democracy in action from the public galleries if your visit coincides with the sitting of Parliament.

Enjoy the panoramic views of Canberra City from the roof and in the shadow of the iconic 81 metre flagpole on top of the building.

Outside the entrance to Parliament House is an Aboriginal mosaic called 'Meeting Place'. Take a stroll through the 32 hectares (80 acres) of beautifully landscaped gardens.

Parliament House Canberra
Attractions Canberra - Parliament House

Open: Daily 9am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: Free
Tours: Confirm times with the Information Desk on the day of your visit Question Time: 2pm on sitting days Capital Hill, Canberra
Phone: 02) 6277 5399
Web: www.aph.gov.au

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Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre

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Discover the mysteries of science in eight themed galleries including the newest addition - Q Lab.

You can experience an earthquake, cyclone, see lightning created, make water twist and free-fall 6 metres on the vertical slide.

With over 200 hands-on exhibits - there is something for everyone. If you have young children - they will love 'Mini Q' fun for 0-6 year olds that encourages kids to explore and splash in areas created especially for young scientist.

Open: Daily 9am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Admission: $20 Adults, $15 Child (4-16), $15 Concession, $60 Family (2 Adults, 3 Children, extra child $7)
King Edward Tce, Parkes
Phone: 02) 6270 2800
Web: www.questacon.edu.au

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Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint has the capacity to produce two million coins per day. On your visit you can learn how coins are made in a theatrette presentation. See the coin production in action from an elevated gallery, or make your own coin.

You can also see early, rare and historically significant coins on display or check out the latest collector coin issues.

Open: Mon-Fri 9am - 4pm, Sat-Sun and public holidays 10am - 4pm (Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day)
Admission: Free
Denison Street, Deakin
Phone: 02) 6202 6999
Web: www.ramint.gov.au

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To see lots more attractions in Canberra such as Commonwealth Place or the Australian of the Year Walk click here.

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