As the capital city of Australia, Canberra not only holds the political action for the country but also a diverse range of experiences for all who live and visit there. From museums and galleries to shopping, food and wine, Canberra is sure to surprise. There’s also something for the nature lovers with lakes, nature reserves and forests nearby.
Top things to do in Canberra
1. Australian War Memorial
No matter if you’re a visitor to Canberra or a local, the Australian War Memorial is a place you can visit time and time again.
With several permanent exhibitions covering Australia’s involvement in each major conflict and seasonal exhibitions on display, the memorial is suitable for all ages.
2. Mulligan’s Flat Woodland Sanctuary
A protected woodland sanctuary where healthy box-gum woodland thrives, this is home to a multitude of wildlife and woodland plants. Guided walking tours are available close to sunset where you’ll learn about the sanctuary and endangered woodlands, and search for nocturnal animals. These tours need to be pre-booked.
Mulligan’s Flat Woodland Sanctuary also runs special events throughout the year such as kids walks during school holidays.
3. Royal Australian Mint
For a low-cost alternative, try visiting the Royal Australian Mint. With free entry and open every day of the week, the mint is the perfect place to spend a cold winter’s day in Canberra. Free guided tours are held each weekday at 10am and 2pm and at 11am, 1pm, and 2pm on weekends and public holidays. Hear about the history of coins in Australian and look out over the factory while learning about how coins are made.
4. Parliament House
The heart of our nation and its political activity all centre here. Take a guided tour, view historic documents or watch the House of Representatives and the Senate from the galleries. You can see history in the making and learn what has come before.
5. Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre
Just a short walk from Canberra City Centre, Questacon takes science and makes it fun, interactive and relevant for people of all ages. There is even a section for 0-6 year olds, Mini-Q, delivering age-appropriate experiences so no one misses out. With more than 200 hands-on activities and experiences, Questacon is one place you could come back to again and again.
6. Australian National Botanic Gardens
Located just 1.5 kilometres from the city centre, the Australian National Botanic Gardens offer an array of native plants in a bushland setting.
This many Australian natives just aren’t found in one location anywhere else. With a café, guided walks and talks and even a day spa, these gardens offer you the ultimate back to nature experience without leaving the city.
- Postcode– 2601
- Vacancy rate– 1.5%
- Median house value– $1,375,693
- Median unit value– $540,754
- Price growth – Unit prices in Canberra City have grown by 5.30 per cent in the past three years.
- Rental returns– The average unit in Canberra City has a weekly median rent of $610 and average rental returns of 6.42 per cent
- Average listing duration– 147 days for units
- Average weekly income– $1,668
- Dwelling type– The majority of properties are units(78 per cent)
- Occupation– The majority of residents are professionals
- Birthplace– 45 per cent of Canberra City residents are born elsewhere , 39 percent were born in Australia
- Age – The majority of residents are 20-29 years (52 percent), followed by those in the 30-39 age group (15 per cent).
Places to eat in Canberra
Canberra has a burgeoning food scene and there’s always some new and exciting eatery popping up. From early morning coffee to late night bar snacks, you could spend a whole weekend sampling our capital’s offerings (and it still wouldn’t be enough). There are a handful of must try establishments in Canberra City.
This high energy eatery offers contemporary Asian cuisine. Centrally located on Bunda Street, it was voted Australia’s favourite restaurant in 2016 and is well worth a few visits to work your way through the creative dishes on offer. Its fresh flavours perfectly compliment the exotic cocktail and drinks list.
This relatively new venue is worth a visit for the décor alone. If its jungle vibes and lush, tropical prints don’t cheer you up, the pineapple disco ball that emerges from the ceiling every Friday and Saturday night to spin along to the Beach Boys’ hit ‘Kokomo’ sure will.
In the heart of the city, Kokomo’s has a fun, trans-pacific inspired menu. With the kitchen open until late, it’s the perfect place for a chilled lunch or an evening out with some food, drinks and dancing. The bar upstairs has a range of inventive cocktails too.
The Cupping Room
The Cupping Room is a concept café and a must visit for coffee lovers. These guys know their coffee and can take you on a “flavour journey” of different blends or origins. They’re also happy to share their passion and knowledge about coffee with their customers. The food is pretty good too, with the thoughtful menu changing seasonally.
Transport in Canberra
If you’re driving, Canberra city is quite easy and functional to navigate, and there are parking stations in the CBD. The suburb is serviced by buses and there is a railway station in the nearby suburb of Kingston.
Hospitals and healthcare in Canberra
There are a number of medical centres in Canberra City including City Health Centre and City Family Practice. You will also find pharmacies, GPs and services for psychology, physio, chiro, optical, podiatry and a wellness centre. While there is no hospital in Canberra CBD, there are public and private hospitals in neighbouring suburbs.
Education and childcare in Canberra
In Canberra City you fill find services for childcare as well The Australian National University and the ANU School of Art and Design. While there are no schools in the CBD, there are several options in nearby suburbs. Similarly, the University of Canberra is located nearby in Bruce.
Shopping in Canberra
Your best option for shopping in Canberra is the Canberra Centre, which has a large selection of well-known shops as well as some eateries. For your groceries, there is a Coles, IGA, ALDI and an Asian supermarket all in the city.
Sports and recreation in Canberra
Canberra City and its surrounds offer some nice options for keeping active in the great outdoors. You could hike up to the Mount Ainslee Lookout for uninterrupted views across Canberra, go for a stroll around the picturesque Glebe Park and the Australian National Botanic Gardens, or try out one of the walking trails in Canberra Nature Park.
Canberra’s iconic Lake Burley Griffin has some great options for water sports including rowing, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and fishing, or you could enjoy a run along its shoreline.
There are of course other options for keeping active including an Olympic pool, health clubs and gyms, yoga, F45, pilates and martial arts, among others.
But if sports and keeping active isn’t your thing, there are plenty of museums and galleries to keep you busy.
Entertainment in Canberra
Canberra has a great nightlife and an exciting range of acclaimed bars. Popular choices include Lucky’s Speakeasy, King O’Malleys, Shorty’s Bar and Bacaro Wine Bar.
Situated in the Melbourne Building, one of Canberra’s oldest buildings, Bar Rochford is a stand out and was named Gourmet Traveller’s 2018 Bar of The Year. It’s all about fine food, exciting wine producers and good jams and is a great choice for those cold winter days when you can cosy up by the roaring open fire with some drinks and nibbles.
Hippo & Co is a popular lodge style whisky and cocktail bar in the heart of Canberra complete with wooden detailing, exposed brick, moody lighting and taxidermy. They also have live jazz on Wednesday nights.
There are several options for cinemas too including Dandy Cinemas and Arc Cinema.
Casino Canberra is also located in the CBD with options for entertainment, gaming and dining.
Or if you’re after something a bit different you could try out Riddle Room; Canberra’s own escape room experience.
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