1. Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial serves to commemorate those who died defending their country in war. It's not only a world-class museum but also a shrine and archive that helps visitors remember and understand the impact of war on Australian society. It's open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. every day apart from Christmas, and admission is free.

2. National Gallery of Australia

Art and history lovers should visit the National Gallery of Australia, which boasts a collection of more than 160,000 works of art. The works cover four broad areas, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, European and American Art, Asian art and Australian art.

3. Lake Burley Griffin

Get in touch with nature at Lake Burley Griffin, which acts as the centrepiece of Canberra. Take a picnic in one of the surrounding parks or swim, row, sail, kayak, fish, windsurf or paddleboat on its water. There are are also plenty of eateries nearby from which you can admire the view.

4. Australian National Botanic Gardens

The Australian National Botanic Gardens present the best flora in Australia. The gardens showcase plants purely for enjoyment and education, letting visitors roam through the grounds as they please. Living native plants from across the country are showcased here, along with a herbarium of preserved plants.

5. National Museum of Australia

Discover more about Australia's social history at the National Museum of Australia, where Indigenous history is explored along with European settlement. The building has been open since 2001 and showcases a collection of more than 200,000 objects.

6. Mount Ainslie

The Mount Ainslie lookout is a must-visit when you're in Canberra, offering a bird's eye view of the city. You can drive, cycle or walk up to the top of this mountain, which looks out over Lake Burley Griffin, Anzac Parade and Parliament House.

7. Big Splash

Take the kids to Big Splash, a waterpark that boasts nine thrilling water slides, a play pool, kiddies' pool and huge 50-metre pool. It's open all week long for playing and more serious lap swimming, with on-site food and beverage stands to help keep hunger at bay. 

8. National Film and Sound Archive

Visit Australia's living archive at the National Film and Sound Archive, which collects, shares and preserves the country's rich collection of audiovisual items. There are more than 2.16 million works contained in the Archive, including television and radio shows, films, audio tapes, videos, records, wire recordings and phonograph cylinders. Other artefacts such as photographs and posters are also housed here.

9. Commonwealth Park

Near the edge of Lake Burley Griffin you'll find Commonwealth Park, which hosts Australia's largest spring festival, Floriade, every year. It's filled with sculptures, ponds and plenty of hidden walks spanning 34.5 hectares, and is an excellent location for a picnic under the sun.

10. Reconciliation Place

Reconciliation Place links the High Court of Australia with the National Library and acts as a symbol of reconciliation in Australia. The area features 17 artworks, with the design of Reconciliation Place designed to reflect the process of reconciliation as something that times time.

Images above (from left to right):

- The view over Canberra from Mount Ainslie (courtesy of Clare Wilkinson via Flickr Creative Commons)

- Lake Burley Griffin (courtesy of neofito via Flickr Creative Commons)

- The Australian War Memorial (courtesy of Edward Dalmulder via Flickr Creative Commons)

- Commonwealth Park (courtesy of TC Photography via Flickr Creative Commons)


Banner image courtesy of xiquinhosilva via Flickr Creative Commons


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