Although Sydney is the most visited and famous Australian city, we must not leave aside the beautiful Canberra, to the southeast of the country. It differs from the other national metropolises because it was planned from scratch a little over a century ago, and you can see that at every step. Will you accompany us to visit it? You will be amazed!
What to see and do in Canberra
In Aboriginal language, Kamberra means “meeting place” and it seems that they have taken that meaning to the letter, since Canberra was chosen as the capital of Australia forming a kind of road with Sydney (300 km north) and Melbourne (650 km south).
Canberra is a little known city in terms of tourism, but it also has interesting attractions. The main places that can be visited and activities that can be done here are these:
1. War MemorialWar Memorial - Sam Ilic / Flickr.com
It is a recommended visit for those who want to learn something about the country's history. This monument recalls the participation of Australian troops in the war from the time of the colonies until today. In addition, there are new exhibitions related to the army combined with New Zealand.
The main hall contains the tomb of the unknown soldier and the liveliest allows you to become snipers, fly in a helicopter simulator and look through the telescope of a submarine.
2. House of ParliamentParliament - FiledIMAGE
It is an amazing building built in 1988 to replace the old Parliament. It is located in the center of Canberra and can only be visited by tourists during the month of August, when parliamentarians have vacations. What impresses most is the lobby with its 48 columns and, once inside, the ceremonial hall, which houses a 20-meter tapestry.
If you go at another time of the year or if you want to continue learning about parliamentary activities you can go to the old building, which was in operation between 1927 and 1988. The guided tours last 45 minutes and allow us to see original furniture and accessories. Outside the building is the “Aboriginal Tent Embassy”, which recognizes property titles to the natives.
3. Old Bus Depot Markets
Canberra also has its modern side, as is the case with Old Bus Depot markets, every Sunday between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. They offer all kinds of items: clothes, furniture, souvenirs, ornaments, agricultural products, food, crafts, etc.
4. National Gallery of AustraliaNational Gallery of Australia - Jim Bowen / Flickr.com
It is one of the most visited places in the capital, which it houses around 166,000 works of art. The building is brutalist style of the late twentieth century and is surrounded by gardens with sculptures and native flora. The National Gallery collection includes Australian, Aboriginal, European, Western, Eastern, Modern and Pacific art.
5. National Museum of AustraliaNational Museum of Australia - Sam Ilic / Flickr.com
It is one of the most complete museums that we can find in the city. It contains traces of more than 50 000 years, including the different aboriginal cultures, the arrival of the white man and the colonial settlements. It can be visited by free or by guided tour twice a day.
6. Space Communications Complex
This information center is a must if we travel to Canberra with children or if we are lovers of the universe and space. Show from spacesuits to moon landing videos, going through audiovisual recordings to space rocket models and representations of astronaut food. Best of all, admission is free.
7. Lake Burley GriffinLake Burley Griffin - Leni Murphy / Flickr.com
Although artificial, this lake is one of the favorite places of the inhabitants of Canberra to spend their leisure time. Here you can do all kinds of activities, such as kayaking, yacht navigation and windsurfing. Another way to get to know the lake is by bike along its entire contour (35 kilometers in length).
8. Telstra Tower
It is also known as the Black Mountain tower. It is located on the top of the Black Mountain and was placed for telecommunications. It has a height of almost 200 meters and it is a milestone of Canberra. In addition, from there you will have stunning views of the city and you can enjoy its revolving restaurant.
By last, if you move away a few kilometers from the city center you can know some of the national parks close like Namadgi's, Deua's or Morton's.