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No, The Capital of Australia is not Perth, Sydney, or Melbourne...

Discover Canberra the capital city of Australia

Many people, when they are asked what the capital city of Australia is, name Perth, Sydney, or Melbourne, but actually it is Canberra.

Australia best places to see Canberra the Capital City vacation destinations in Australia

Where is Canberra?

Canberra the capital city of Australia, is approximately 280 kilometers (174 miles) southwest of Sydney, the largest city in Australia, and about 660 kilometers (410 miles) northeast of Melbourne.

What is it known for?

Formally the city is home to the country’s political institutions, including Parliament House and the High Court. It is also renowned for its planned layout, beautiful gardens, national monuments, and cultural institutions.  But is it worth visiting as a vacation and travel destination?

Canberra as a vacation destination

As a vacation destination, Canberra offers a range of attractions and experiences.

  • Visitors can explore national institutions such as the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, and Questacon (National Science and Technology Centre).
  • The city boasts beautiful parks and gardens, including Lake Burley Griffin, Mount Ainslie, and the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
  • Canberra also offers a vibrant food and wine scene, with numerous restaurants, cafes, and wineries to explore.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities like hiking, biking, and boating in the surrounding natural landscapes.

Accommodation

You’ll have the option of some beautiful places to stay.  It all depends on what you love, but we have a few suggestions you might love as well:

great and best places to stay in Canberra Australia luxury
best places to stay in Canberra Australia capital city

Above:  Hyatt Hotel Canberra – A Park Hyatt Hotel

What you should know before you go

Travel Tip(s)

You CAN stretch your travel budget while getting the most out of your holiday. Between your city passes, your travel and rail passes, and hop-on-hop-off buses you will save and see plenty more.

Canberra Australia vacation ideas where to stay the best places to stay luxury historical landmarks travel guide

Top 6 things to see and do (history and culture)

Is it worth visiting?

  • The Australian War Memorial: A moving tribute to Australia’s military history, featuring exhibits, memorials, and a reflective atmosphere. Worth visiting to pay respects and gain insights into the nation’s past.

  • Parliament House: Iconic political landmark offering guided tours, exhibitions, and beautiful views. Only worth a visit if you’d like to witness Australia’s democracy in action and to appreciate its architectural significance.

  • National Gallery of Australia: Home to a vast collection of art, including indigenous and international works. Worth visiting for art enthusiasts and those seeking cultural enrichment.

  • National Museum of Australia: Showcasing the nation’s history through interactive exhibits and artifacts. Worth visiting this impressive building on an ‘island’,  to deepen understanding of Australia’s diverse heritage as well as the stunning architecture.

  • Australian National Botanic Gardens: Extensive botanical gardens featuring native flora, walking trails, and stunning landscapes. Worth visiting to appreciate Australia’s unique plant life and enjoy a peaceful escape.  A family-friendly activity to enjoy the outdoors on a sunny day.

  • Questacon (National Science and Technology Centre): Interactive science exhibits and educational activities for all ages. Worth visiting for families and those with a curiosity for science and innovation.

the capital of Australia Canberra as a vacation destination where to stay things to do family friendly

FAQ: What Travel Documents Do I Need?

Visa and related documents.

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Top 4 outdoor activities - Family Friendly

  • Mount Ainslie: Scenic lookout offering beautiful panoramic views of Canberra. Worth visiting for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts seeking breathtaking vistas of the city.

  • National Zoo and Aquarium: Home to a wide variety of animals, including endangered species. Worth visiting for animal lovers and families looking for an interactive wildlife experience.

  • Cockington Green Gardens: Miniature village with meticulously crafted buildings and landscaped gardens. Worth visiting for a unique and charming experience, especially for those with an appreciation for craftsmanship.  It is just a fun and pretty place to visit for the whole family.

  • Lake Burley Griffin: A central waterway for recreational activities, including boating, cycling, and picnicking. Worth visiting to enjoy outdoor pursuits and take in the beauty of Canberra’s surroundings.

explore Canberra Australia best sightseeing things to do and see where to stay
Travel Tip(s)
  • Take Advantage of Bike Paths and Walking Trails: Canberra is renowned for its well-planned network of bike paths and walking trails. Consider renting a bike or taking a leisurely stroll to explore the city’s many parks and scenic areas. The Lake Burley Griffin Loop is a popular route that takes you around the lake, offering stunning views and opportunities for outdoor activities.
  • Take Advantage of Free Attractions: Canberra offers a wealth of free attractions that allow you to experience the city without breaking the bank. Visit the National Museum of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, and Australian National Botanic Gardens, all of which offer free entry. The Australian War Memorial is also free to visit and provides a fascinating insight into the country’s military history.
  • Embrace the Food and Wine Scene: Canberra has a burgeoning food and wine scene, with an array of restaurants, cafes, and wineries to explore. Don’t miss the chance to savor local delicacies and wines. The Kingston Foreshore and Braddon areas are known for their vibrant dining scenes, while the nearby Canberra wine region offers vineyard tours and tastings.
  • Engage with Local Culture: Canberra is home to numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Check the local calendar to see if there are any events happening during your visit. The Enlighten Festival, Floriade (spring flower festival), and the National Multicultural Festival are just a few examples of exciting events that showcase the city’s culture and diversity.
  • Make use of the Ready-made options and save yourself some needless stress:

It you're not sure how to explore Canberra but don't want to miss anything:

Best Day Tours to Explore Canberra

Day Trips | Half Day Tours | Sightseeing | Bus Tours | Historical Tours | Walking Tours | Cultural Tours | Car Tours and more...