As the capital city of Australia, there is so much to see and do, which is why we’ve come up with the top 9 reasons why you should visit Canberra. From world-class museums to the arboretum, Canberra is a city with great culture and plenty to see.
In this 2021 guide to Canberra, we’ll outline some of the top must-see attractions, giving you the ability to plan the perfect trip. From admiring the thousands of pieces of priceless Aboriginal art at the National Gallery of Australia, to enjoying 360 views at the Telstra Tower, millions of visitors come to Canberra each year (nearly 5.5 million visitors in 2019) to see all it has to offer.
If you’re able to head to Canberra soon, it’s smart to go now when there’s less crowds and more space to enjoy its magnificent sights. On the other hand, if you’re not able to travel yet, save Canberra on your list! Keep reading to find out more about what you can do and see in our country’s capital…
Photo by Bernie Pinnola on Unsplash.
9 Reasons to Visit Canberra in 2021
1. Stroll through Cockington Green Gardens.
- Adult: $21
- Child: $12.50
- Senior/Concession: $15.5
- Family of 4 or 5: $59
- Extra child: $5
- Infant (under 4 years): free
Unlike other gardens, Cockington Green Gardens dawns beautiful flora along with miniature replica icons of buildings or icons from 30 different countries. Each model has been made with details to replicate the real thing, from soccer stadiums to castles. Travel the world by walking through this Canberra garden and guess where each replica model is from!
After you’ve immersed yourself in the Cockington Green Gardens, you can relax at the café and sip on tea with a scone in-hand.
2. Enjoy 360 views from the Telstra Tower.
- Adult: $7.50
- Child (4 – 16): $13
- Infant (under 4 years): free
- Senior: $3.00
- Family Pass (2 adults & 2 children) $17
If you’re not afraid of heights, then we recommend heading to the Telstra Tower. Standing at 195 metres with a 360 degree view, the tower offers some of the best views of Canberra. With indoor and outdoor viewing platforms, this is a must when going to Australia’s capital city. The tower offers incredible panoramic views, which can be made better while sipping on a coffee at the tower’s café.
This landmark offers free parking for visitors, however you will have to pay for admission.
3. Explore The National Arboretum Canberra.
The National Arboretum Canberra has more than 250 hectares of rare, endangered and significant trees. As a botanical garden with the purpose to grow and conserve trees for scientific research and educational purposes, arboreta are essential to help preserve and protect trees. This arboretum is the largest monocultural (single species forests) arboretum in the world.
The forests are surrounded by entertainment, restaurants and event hubs, which offer incredible views of the arboretum. Furthermore, The National Arboretum Canberra is one of the best things to do in Australia’s capital city, teaching us the importance of our nature and how we need to promote a more sustainable future.
4. Indulge at Canberra’s eateries.
Of course, always pick where you go based on the food. From Japanese to Mediterranean, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to satisfy any craving. From local pubs to restaurants with views, there are so many great restaurants to choose from.
5. Peruse the National Gallery of Australia.
*Admission is free, but some exhibitions may not be.
The National Gallery of Australia is another reason why you should visit Canberra. As the country’s leading national visual arts institution, the gallery offers many activities for visitors, from exhibitions to educational programs.
With more than 7,500 works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, the National Gallery of Australia has the world’s largest collection. You can visit the gallery and see priceless collections of Aboriginal art and learn about their history through their historical art. Additionally, the gallery holds more than 166,000 pieces of art spread across 13 different galleries, making it one of the largest art museums in Australia.
The National Gallery of Australia is open daily, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
If you’re unable to make it to Canberra, the gallery offers virtual tours, allowing you to explore the gallery through your own screen.
6. Learn about Australian culture at the National Museum of Australia.
The National Museum of Australia gives insights to Australia’s rich history, diving into key issues, events and people that led to modern day Australia. If you visit this museum, you can learn about the history of our land’s Indigenous peoples and histories, European settlement and environmental impacts. This is done through exhibitions, educational resources, events, collections, ideas and compelling objects.
7. Remember our fallen soldiers at the Australian War Memorial.
The Australian War Memorial is a national memorial honouring those who have died or participated in wars or on operational service involving Australia. Whether they were part of Australia’s armed forces or died or participated in wars involving the Commonwealth of Australia, this memorial will recognise them and the sacrifices they made.
This memorial aims to recognise and remember those who have served Australia when the country needed them most. Visit the Australian War Memorial to remember those who fought for our nation and learn about Australia’s war history through its impressive archive and world-class museum.
8. Enjoy Canberra’s nature sights.
At Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, you can enjoy nearly 55 square kilometres of beautiful land, just 40 minutes away from Canberra’s city centre. Choose from day trips to staying multiple nights to enjoy the beautiful traditional country of the Ngunnawal people.
With plenty of activities, choose from walking across a boardwalk through the wetlands sanctuary, exploring The Eucalypt Forest and a variety of self-guided groups or ranger-guided activities. You can see a variety of native flora and fauna, giving you the chance to learn more about Australian nature.
Just 20 minutes away from the city centre, Uriarra Crossing and Swamp Creek can be found covering a 2 kilometre area. You can picnic or swim, canoe and enjoy other water-based activities here, where Canberrans flock to each summer. There are also barbeques you can use for the perfect day out.
*A great bonus is dogs are allowed here, just not on the nearby walking trails.
9. Admire the blooming Floriade.
Floriade is Canberra’s annual flower festival, where you can admire a considerable amount of flower designs and sculptures in addition to great entertainment. This festival is held for one month every spring in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park, celebrating the bloom of fresh flowers and Canberra’s lively culture.
With 8 thousand square metres of land, there are over 1 million bulbs arranged to bloom in intricate and large displays, attracting garden gurus and flower lovers alike.
Moreover, there is plenty of free online content, from gardening tips to nature journaling, keeping you entertained all 365 days.