If you’re looking for a place that blends modern ideas with tradition, Canberra should be on your list. The capital city is a national treasure with plenty to see and do.
A good way to soak up some history is with a tour of Parliament House. It’s an iconic building that offers many insights into Australian politics and history.
1. National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia houses a collection of over 200,000 items which take visitors on a pilgrimage through Aussie heritage. The National Historical Collection covers three themes: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history, Australian history since European settlement in 1788, and interactions between people and the environment.
It also displays the largest collection of bark paintings in the world. The National Museum is a fascinating place for families to visit and it's free to get in!
The museum has a free app and audio tour options to help you make the most of your visit. You can also take a personalised tour with a museum curator or host a talk.
2. National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery has one of the world's largest collections of portraits. The gallery has a great variety of historical and cultural portraits in a wide range of styles.
The collection also has a large amount of modern portraits. Some of the latest exhibitions include "Portraits Now" and the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.
This gallery is a must-visit on your Canberra trip! It's a good place to learn about the history of Australia and is located right in the heart of the city.
The Australian War Memorial is a great place to visit and is a must for all visitors to the area! This museum is 600 meters from the Mercure and is a great local attraction to add to your list of things to do in Canberra.
3. Old Parliament House
The Old Parliament House is one of Australia's most iconic landmarks, the meeting place of the Federal Government and the Australian Parliament. Built before Canberra was a city, this former provisional parliament house served as the seat of the nation's legislature until 1988, when the new, state-of-the-art building opened to the public.
It's an impressive structure that features rooftop gardens, 360-degree views of the city and various exhibitions focusing on Australia's history and culture. Guests can also enjoy a guided tour of the complex.
The museum is also home to the treasure house of the nation's art collection, which reflects both modern and ancient Australia. Its 13 galleries feature paintings, sculptures and prints from a range of artists. You can also enjoy exhibitions about Australian aboriginal art and design.
4. Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is one of the country's most important national landmarks. It honours the men and women of Australia who have died in wars throughout history.
The museum's collection includes weapons, uniforms and other items from each war fought in Australia. It also features a number of exhibitions.
Children can enjoy a range of interactive exhibits that help them understand Australia's role in wars, including the First World War and the Second World War. They can also learn about peacekeeping operations and Australia's role in the United Nations.
The War Memorial is located at the head of ANZAC Parade, the northern end of Canberra's ceremonial land axis between Parliament House on Capital Hill and Mount Ainslie. The avenue is flanked by eucalyptus trees.
5. Lanyon Homestead
A short drive from the city, Lanyon Homestead is a peaceful retreat that combines history with beauty. The property consists of a restored 1850s homestead, Convict-era outbuildings and gardens that are among the best in Canberra.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the story of the property and its residents. They can walk around the superb gardens, enjoy a picnic, and admire the ancient trees, roses and vegetable patch.
The Homestead also has a collection of exhibitions and events that are suitable for all age groups. They include the history of the site, a gallery dedicated to Sidney Nolan and a museum. You can also go on guided tours of the property. This is a great way to experience Canberra’s rich rural heritage.