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Things to do in Canberra

What to do and see in Canberra, capital of Australia, with family during school holidays? Explore the National Arboretum, hot air balloon & more experiences.

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View Canberra school holidays, ACT public holidays and school terms Canberra

Activity Canberra

PhotoAccess Kids School Holiday Workshops

Looking for photography classes for your 10-17-year-old during the school holidays? Check out these animation and photography workshops in Canberra!

Jet Flight Simulation Challenge Canberra Education Science Technology Adventure 4 Montford Cr Lyneham ACT 2602
Experience

Jet Flight Simulation Challenge Canberra

This Canberra jet flight simulator experience will let you become a pilot for a day in one of the most advanced simulators available in Australia!

Canberra Hot Air Balloon Flight Commonwealth Avenue Yarralumla ACT 2606
Experience

Canberra Hot Air Balloon Flight

Book an early morning hot air ballooning ride over Canberra for an unforgettable experience that's not to be missed! This option does not include breakfast.

Activity Canberra

National Arboretum Canberra

National Arboretum is one of the best Canberra attractions for families. Discover Arboretum Canberra playground, cafe, gardens, walking trails & more!

Entertainment Canberra

What's On: Questacon In Canberra

Looking for family fun these July holidays? Don't miss Questacon Mid-Winter Nights in Canberra! Returning for four nights only, 6 to 9 July 2022.

Entertainment Canberra

IPlay Belconnen (Arcade | Bowling |Drift Dodgem | Laser Tag | Party Venue)

Looking for the best place to celebrate your birthday? Look no further than iPlay Belconnen! Our fun filled venue hosts several exciting attractions!

Activity Canberra

Warehouse Circus Kids Classes

Warehouse Circus kids classes & school holiday programs in Canberra for all ages and abilities. Have fun, make new friends and get active & creative!

Top things to do in Canberra

Canberra is a perfect destination for your family holiday. There are plenty of things to do and see in the city all year round!

Some of the top things to do in Canberra with your family:

  • Visit the Australian War Memorial
  • Discover Cockington Green Gardens
  • Explore the National Museum of Australia
  • Enjoy art at the National Gallery of Australia
  • See animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium
  • Enjoy exploring the National Arboretum Canberra
  • Enjoy Namadgi hikes and walking trails
  • Spend a day at the National Dinosaur Museum Canberra
  • Spend a day at Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre
  • Discover a pink pond in Canberra
  • Enjoy panoramic views of Canberra from Mount Ainslie
  • Discover Black Mountain

Visit the Australian War Memorial

  • Address: Treloar Cres, Campbell ACT 2612
  • Opening hours: Daily, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Entry fee: Free

The Australian War Memorial is one of the best free things to do in Canberra. So book your free tickets to view the Australian War Memorial galleries and attend the daily Last Post Ceremony at 4:55 pm. We recommend taking a 90-minute tour there.

The Australian War Memorial commemorates Australia's war fatalities. During your visit, make sure you go upstairs to pay your respects at the monument for all those soldiers who have served our nation in wars and are no longer with us.

The Australian War Memorial also offers a world-class museum, shrine and archives that provide information about Australia's war history. It also houses a library where visitors can read war facts and the Australian War Memorial art gallery with exhibitions, artworks and large military objects. So, it is surely one of the top attractions in Canberra!

Discover Cockington Green Gardens

  • Address: 11 Gold Creek Rd, Nicholls ACT 2913
  • Opening hours: Daily, 9:30 am - 5 pm. Last Entry: 4:15pm
  • Entry fee: Adult $21.00; Child $12.50; Concession $15.50

Visit Cockington Green Gardens, a miniature English garden near Canberra.

What's not to love about a place that has everything? Cockington Green Gardens includes mini versions of world-renowned landmarks and buildings from dozens of countries. You can find these beautiful sights at the Cockington Green Gardens.

Located just 15 minutes north of Canberra, it’s one of the best Canberra attractions for the whole family! For your little ones, there is a steam train, plus some life-size dinosaurs hiding in bushes.

Explore the National Museum of Australia

  • Address: Lawson Cres, Acton ACT 2601
  • Opening hours: Daily, 9 am - 5 pm
  • Entry fee: Free

The National Museum of Australia is one place you should add to your itinerary when visiting Canberra. Sitting on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra and with its stunning modern architecture that provides an extraordinary experience in exploring the rich and diverse stories from all over Australia, there are exhibits for every age group!

The kids will love exploring the National Museum rooms which are full of information and surprising, inspirational and treasured objects from Australian history. It’s one of the best things to do in Canberra and a great school holiday activity for kids.

The Host Talk in the galleries of The National Museum of Australia is held 10 am - 4 pm daily.

Enjoy art at the National Gallery of Australia

  • Address: Parkes Pl E, Parkes ACT 2600
  • Opening hours: Daily, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Entry fee: Free

The National Gallery of Australia is a must-see for art lovers! It offers free entry. Sitting on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the National Gallery of Australia displays Australia's largest collection of art, including the world's largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, a large Sculpture Garden and a Fern Garden.

The 11 main galleries on three levels are home to some truly amazing art pieces by many famous artists from the Chapman Brothers to Warhol to Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles. There are also many special exhibitions as well as oil paintings, watercolours, sculptures, drawings, book illustrations, decorative art, and more!

There's something here that will appeal to anyone who loves visual arts! The National Gallery of Australia is an art lover's paradise and one of the top Canberra activities for the whole family.

See animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium

  • Address: 999 Lady Denman Dr, Yarralumla ACT 2611
  • Opening hours: Daily, 9:30 am - 5 pm
  • Entry fee: Adult $47.00; Child $26.00; Concession $40.00

The National Zoo & Aquarium is a must-see for anyone who loves animals. From red pandas to rhinos, you're sure to find all sorts of important species of Australian fauna and exotic animals at this combined zoo and aquarium in Canberra!

The animal enclosures at the National Zoo are very popular and a must-see for any nature lover. This is because they allow zoo visitors to go behind the scenes and as it's set like a trail so you can interact with a range of exotic animals and can see it all.

Meet meerkats and get up close with cheetahs, giraffes or rhinos among other animals here at the National Zoo Canberra! It's easy to navigate with kids, prams and wheelchairs there too.

So, if you're looking to spend a fantastic day out with the kids and family when you visit Canberra, the National Zoo is definitely one of the top attractions everyone will enjoy.

Enjoy exploring the National Arboretum Canberra

  • Address: Forest Dr, Molonglo Valley ACT 2611
  • Opening hours: Daily, 7am - 5.30pm (AEST); 6am - 8.30pm (Daylight Saving Time)
  • Entry fee: Free

There are many things to see and do in the Australian Capital Territory, but if you're looking for excellent free outdoor activities then try out the National Arboretum.

With the 250-hectare nature area filled with rare native and exotic trees and over 20km of walking trails, there are heaps to explore.

The National Bonsai and Penjing collection are definitely worth seeing. Kids will learn about plants in the Discovery Garden and have fun at the fantastic POD playground. There are picnic areas with panoramic viewpoints and plenty of open space to run and let off steam.

Entry to the gardens is free, but you'll need to pay a small parking fee at the carpark. So why not pack a picnic lunch and spend an afternoon enjoying nature at its finest? National Arboretum is one of the best things to do in Canberra.

Enjoy Namadgi hikes and walking trails

  • Namadgi National Park Address: Naas Rd, Tharwa ACT 2620
  • Gibraltar Falls Address: Corin Rd, Paddys River ACT 2620
  • Booroomba Rocks Carpark Address: Booroomba Rocks Walk, Tennent ACT 2620
  • Opening hours: 9 am - 4 pm daily
  • Entry fee: Free

There are many beautiful hiking spots to explore in Australia's capital city, Canberra. One that should be on your bucket list if you're looking for something different from the hustle and bustles outside the city is Namadgi National Park - about a 1-1.5-hour drive from Canberra city centre.

On your way to Namadgi National Park, you can visit gorgeous Gibraltar Falls and take a lovely hike that takes around 1-hour return.

A bit further down from Gibraltar Falls, there is another popular hiking spot at Booroomba Rocks which is at Canberra Namadgi National Park. The 1.5-hour bushwalk will take you through the tall trees before ending at stunning views over them towards the capital city.

If you visit Namadgi National Park in late July, you'll be lucky to see some snow. There are a few walks in Namadgi National Park. So grab one of the Namadgi walking tracks and enjoy the stunning views at the National Park, with no distractions whatsoever.

Spend a day at the National Dinosaur Museum Canberra

  • Address: 6 Gold Creek Rd, Nicholls ACT 2913
  • Opening hours: Daily, 10 am - 5 pm. The last admission is at 4 pm
  • Entry fee: Adult $18; Child A$11; Concession A$13

On your next Canberra trip, visit The National Dinosaur Museum. The National Dinosaur Museum is one of the top attractions for families with kids in the area. This Canberra museum was opened to the public in 1993 and since then has become home to 12 life-like animatronic dinosaurs and plenty of realistic replicas and dinosaur models, a nice kids' play area and a lovely gift shop.

This National Museum offers a fun way for kids to discover about different geological Eras and prehistoric times. This cool Dinosaur Museum has the kids' play area in the garden with dinosaur replicas and is safe for the children with the safety fencing installed.

The whole family will love exploring at The National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra, either during the weekend or school holidays because this is one of the fun things to do in Canberra for families.

Spend a day at Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre

  • Address: King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600
  • Opening hours: Daily, 9 am - 5 pm
  • Entry fee: Adult $24.50; Child 4-16 years $18.90; Child under 4 is free; Concession $18.90; Companion card - free

Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre - is one of the top Canberra attractions for families with kids. Located between the High Court and the National Library on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, the National Science Centre offers over 200 hands-on exhibits, heaps of hands-on science displays and do-it-yourself experiments the kids will love!

The Technology Learning Centre at Questacon is the perfect place for kids who are eager to learn about science and technology. The Technology Centre is ideal for middle and high school kids but equally good for all ages due to its informative displays and exhibits. In addition, there are some workshops where kids can learn how to innovate with technology.

So if you kids like experiments and love science, you're likely to spend the whole day here at the National Science and Technology Centre!

Discover a pink pond in Canberra

  • Address: Eardley Street, Bruce ACT 2617
  • Opening hours: Always open
  • Entry fee: Free

Bruce Pink Lake is a hidden gem and one of the most beautiful attractions and free things to do in Canberra. You can find it during your city walk as it's hiding among trees across the road from the University of Canberra. The naturally pink waters make this place perfect not only with its gorgeous view but also makes it the ideal background for a selfie or an Instagram photo.

Enjoy panoramic views of Canberra from Mount Ainslie

  • Address: 20 Mount Ainslie Dr, Australian Capital Territory 2609
  • Opening hours: Always open
  • Entry fee: Free

The stunning views at Mount Ainslie Lookout are not to be missed during one of your day trips to Canberra! This panoramic spot offers a bird's eye view of the capital city, set against its breathtaking backdrop - Lake Burley Griffin and Mt Stromlo.

To get to Mount Ainslie is easy: either drive or walk up from the bottom using the Mount Ainslie walking trail. It's located near the War Memorial.

So pack your camera if you're headed out on the outdoor adventures with family because once we got to Mount Ainslie there are picnic tables ready waiting where everyone can sit down together and enjoy your picnic lunch while enjoying the iconic Canberra views.

Discover Black Mountain

  • Telstra Tower Address: 100 Black Mountain Dr, Acton ACT 2601
  • Opening hours: Temporary closed
  • Australian National Botanic Gardens Address: Clunies Ross St, Acton ACT 2601
  • Opening hours: 8:30 am–5 pm daily
  • Gardens Entry fee: Free

Visit Black Mountain, a beautiful National Park, that offers heaps of amazing things to do in Canberra for families all year round.

If you want to enjoy the best 360-degree panoramic views of Canberra then Black Mountain National Park is the place to go. Leave the city behind and visit this beautiful park that offers amazing things to do in the capital city, including a fantastic play area for toddlers and young children in Canberra - Black Mountain Peninsula Playground.

Telstra Tower is another iconic building in Canberra as it can be seen on the horizon from most locations and provides great photo opportunities. The Telstra Tower has been closed due to maintenance but will reopen in 2022. There are car parks available at the top and bottom of the road as well as a few walks around the Black Mountain area.

Black Mountain provides an opportunity to let off steam, take some spectacular photos or videos as well as visit the Australian National Botanic Gardens which are nestled in the foothills of Black Mountain. The gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life while experiencing nature at its best.

Canberra Things To Do With Family (walks, parks, gardens & playgrounds)

Looking for what to do in Canberra for a day or a long weekend? Here are the best kids and family activities, must-visit places and things to do for free with your family.

Easy And Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

Here are some delicious, easy and healthy lunchbox recipes for school that Aussie mamas love. No more hassle packing a yummy and healthy lunchbox.

Fun Indoor Activities For Kids At Home

Here's a list of fun online activities for kids and families. From crafts and stories to virtual tours and educational games, there is something for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canberra which state?
Canberra is the capital city of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Canberra what state?
Canberra is the capital of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Canberra what to do?
There are plenty of things to do in Canberra ACT: visit the Australian War Memorial, discover Cockington Green Gardens, explore the National Museum of Australia, enjoy art at the National Gallery of Australia, see animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium, enjoy exploring the National Arboretum Canberra, spend a day at the National Dinosaur Museum Canberra, enjoy Namadgi hikes and walking trails, spend a day at Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, discover a pink pond in Canberra, enjoy panoramic views of Canberra from Mount Ainslie, discover Black Mountain and more!
Canberra what to see?
Here are some of the places to see in Canberra ACT: the Australian War Memorial, Cockington Green Gardens, the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Zoo & Aquarium, the National Arboretum Canberra, the National Dinosaur Museum Canberra, Namadgi hikes and walking trails, Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, Canberra's pink pond, Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain and more!
Who designed Canberra?
Walter Burley Griffin was an American landscape architect who designed Canberra. He is known for designing such Australian cities as Canberra ACT, Griffith NSW and Leeton NSW.
Where Canberra is located?
Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), is located in the southeast part of Australia and about 240 km (150 miles) southwest of Sydney. Canberra lies astride Molonglo River, with the Australian Capital Territory bordering New South Wales.
Canberra where to go?
Places to go in Canberra ACT: Lake Burley Griffin, the Australian War Memorial, Cockington Green Gardens, the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Zoo & Aquarium, the National Arboretum Canberra, the National Dinosaur Museum Canberra, Namadgi hikes and walking trails, Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, Jerrabomberra Wetland, Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and more!
Canberra how far from Sydney?
Canberra is about 240-280 km southwest of Sydney.
What Canberra time zone?
Canberra time zone is Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT+10)
Are Canberra and Melbourne on the same time?
Yes, Canberra, ACT, and Melbourne, Vic, are in the same time zone (AEST, GMT+10)
Canberra what to do this weekend?
Here are some things to do in Canberra ACT this weekend: visit the Australian War Memorial, discover Cockington Green Gardens, explore the National Museum of Australia, enjoy art at the National Gallery of Australia, see animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium, enjoy exploring the National Arboretum Canberra, spend a day at the National Dinosaur Museum Canberra, enjoy Namadgi hikes and walking trails, spend a day at Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, discover a pink pond in Canberra, enjoy panoramic views of Canberra from Mount Ainslie, discover Black Mountain and more!
Canberra which part of Australia?
Canberra is located in the southeast part of Australia
Canberra which country?
Canberra is the federal capital of Australia
Which state is Canberra Australia in?
Canberra is the capital city of the Australian Capital Territory
Canberra what to visit?
Here are some places to visit in Canberra ACT: Lake Burley Griffin, the Australian War Memorial, Cockington Green Gardens, the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Zoo & Aquarium, the National Arboretum Canberra, the National Dinosaur Museum Canberra, Namadgi hikes and walking trails, Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, Jerrabomberra Wetland, Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and more!
Does Canberra have a beach?
There are designated swimming areas in Canberra at Lake Burley Griffin: Yarralumla Beach (West Lake), Weston Park East (Tarcoola Reach) and Black Mountain Beach (Tarcoola Reach). However, you can visit many beautiful beaches near Canberra like McKenzies Beach (NSW, about a 2-hour drive from Canberra), Corrigans Beach (NSW, about a 2-hour drive from Canberra), Barlings Beach (NSW, about a 2-hour drive from Canberra), Kioloa Beach (NSW, about a 2.5-hour drive from Canberra), Bawley Beach (NSW, about a 2.5-hour drive from Canberra), Murramarang Beach (NSW, about a 2.5-hour drive from Canberra), Broulee Beach (NSW, about a 2.5-hour drive from Canberra), Pretty Beach (NSW, about a 3-hour drive from Canberra).
How much is it to stay at Canberra Zoo?
Canberra Zoo - National Zoo & Aquarium Entry fee: Adult $47.00; Child $26.00; Concession $40.00 To start overnight at Canberra Zoo, prices vary. For example, the GIRAFFE TREEHOUSE is $1,975/Night (4 guests); JUNGLE BUNGALOW is $2,650/Night (4 guests); SHARK GRAND SUITE is $1,595/Night (6 guests); CAPUCHIN ROOM is about $1,475 / Night (2 guests); the REEF ROOM is about $1,475/Night (3 guests).
How much is Canberra Zoo?
Canberra Zoo - National Zoo & Aquarium Entry fee: Adult $47.00; Child $26.00; Concession $40.00.
What to do in Canberra?
There are heaps of things to do in Canberra: explore the National Arboretum Canberra, enjoy Namadgi hikes and walking trails, visit the Australian War Memorial, discover Cockington Green Gardens, explore the National Museum of Australia, enjoy art at the National Gallery of Australia, see animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium, spend a day at the National Dinosaur Museum Canberra, spend a day at Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, discover a pink lake in Canberra, enjoy views from Mount Ainslie, discover Black Mountain and more!
What is Questacon Canberra?
Questacon, The National Science and Technology Centre, is one of the top Canberra attractions for families with kids. It offers over 200 hands-on exhibits, heaps of hands-on science displays and DIY experiments the kids will love!
Is Canberra a state?
No, Canberra is the capital city of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Is Canberra in Victoria?
No, Canberra is in the Australian Capital Territory. It is located about 240 km (150 miles) southwest of Sydney, in the southeast part of Australia.