No trip to Canberra is complete without visiting the nation’s seat of power – Parliament House – where Australia’s elected lawmakers convene. Join a free guided tour and explore the House of Representatives and the Senate, and learn about the building’s history and Australia’s democratic process. If you’re lucky enough to visit when parliament is sitting you can watch sparring politicians in action during a feisty question time, or if parliament is in recess, take a paid behind-the-scenes tour for greater insight into the workings of one of Australia’s most recognisable institutions.
Canberra Space Centre
Ever dreamed of being an astronaut, blasting off into space and exploring far away galaxies? At the Canberra Space Centre, 45 minutes’ drive south-west of the CBD, you can indulge your inner child as you explore one of three stations in NASA’s Deep Space Network. See a piece of the moon up close, check out spacecraft models, learn about what astronauts eat in orbit, take a virtual tour of the solar system, and view the largest antenna complex in the Southern Hemisphere, where messages are sent and received from spaceships exploring planets and galaxies thousands of light years away.
Australian War Memorial
Pay tribute to Australia’s war dead during a visit to the Australian War Memorial. The memorial combines a shrine, museum and military archive, and commemorates the tens of thousands of servicemen and women who died on the battlefield. Pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier in the Hall of Memory, salute the 99 Victoria Cross recipients in the Hall of Valour, and remember the souls of more than 102,000 Australians killed in battle whose names are etched on the Roll of Honour. See vintage aircraft, dodge simulated sniper fire in a Word War I trench, peer through the periscope of a Cold War submarine, and observe the Last Post Ceremony, laying a floral tribute by the Pool of Reflection, before you leave.
Ever wondered what it would be like to have eight eyes? Find out at the Spiders exhibit at Questacon, the national science and technology centre where creepy crawlies, innovation and wonder collide. Questacon features more than 200 exhibits across eight interactive galleries. Launch a hydrogen rocket, play music using light beams, feel the power of an earthquake as you learn about the forces of nature, and battle a robot in a game of air hockey.
National Gallery of Australia
Art aficionados will be in their element at the National Gallery of Australia, and there’s plenty to captivate the amateur eye, too. The gallery boasts more than 160,000 works, comprising mostly Australian, Asian, European and American, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Admire the colourful impressionist works of Monet, marvel at intricate Polynesian sculptures, and see South-East Asian artwork dating as far back as the sixth century. Join a family-friendly tour, pick up a free collectable drawing sheet for the little ones, and keep an eye out for kids’ workshops and events.
Other Discover Australia Articles You May Like:
- Things to do in Sydney - Don't miss these top 10 things to do when you're in Sydney next
- Things to do in Melbourne - If you're travelling to the area this year, take a look at this list of the top 10 things to do in Melbourne
- Things to do in Brisbane - Head here for a holiday at any time of year and seek out the following top 10 attractions in the city
- Things to do at Phillip Island - While you're on this tranquil yet vibrant island, take the time to work your way through this list of the top 10 things to do there
- Things to do in Adelaide - Here are 10 of our favourite things to do in Adelaide
- Things to do in Perth - Enjoy some of the following attractions while you're in the stunning city
- Things to do in Canberra - Here's our pick of the top 10 things to do in Canberra
- Things to do in Darwin - If you're paying a visit, here are the things to do in Darwin you simply cannot miss
- Things to do in Townsville - Here are the top 10 things to do in Townsville
- Things to do on the Gold Coast - Queensland’s Gold Coast is a subtropical playground of sparkling white-sand beaches, lush rainforests, adrenaline-pumping theme parks and vibrant shopping and nightlife hubs