The 7 Things You Have to Know Before Your Trip to Canberra

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The 7 Things You Have to Know Before Your Trip to Canberra

Are you planning to visit Australia’s capital any time soon? Here’s a list of things you must know before you pack your bags and hop on the plane to Canberra.

Many people consider Canberra as nothing more than the political center of Australia. But those in the know would beg to differ. It may be home to buildings of power and grandeur, such as the Parliament House, but its tourist appeals are often underestimated.

If you’d only explore the city in earnest, you’ll soon get blown away by the wide range of activities. Everyone can find their cup of tea with so many cultural sites, nature parks, and other popular attractions in Canberra.

Do you and your traveling companion have different interests? Not a problem when you’re in Canberra. You can literally do anything here – from snorkeling to learning about the military history of Australia.

Here are the seven things to help you get started.

1.   Canberra Has Amazing Cultural Offering

Canberra Technology institute Questacon

You can visit museums, scientific centers, and architectural gems at the Australian Capital Territory. The National Museum of Australia is the place to be to learn more about the country’s history and geography. But if you’re curious to experience augmented reality, you’d best pay a visit to the technology institute Questacon.

Here’s an idea for those into the art scene: the Tootsie Art and Design is located in an art deco building since 1937. While there, you can check out the amazing sculpture garden and exhibition spaces and snack on cakes and coffee. What’s remarkable is that the atmosphere is a replica of the 40s and 50s.

2.   You Can Enjoy Plenty of Sports Activities


Canberra offers visitors many opportunities to try their hands at sports, especially those that have to do with water. You can try diving, snorkeling, surfing, or any other beach activities if you plan to spend the day in one.

In place of the beaches, you can also go hiking at one of the city parks or cycle around the gorgeous Burley Griffin Lake in the city center. Having a picnic next to the lake is among the favorite things to do in Canberra of both tourists and locals alike.

For all the sports fans, the Australian Institute of Sports is a must. Take the 90-minute guided tour to learn more about Australia’s sports history. After that, move over to the equally dazzling interactive sports exhibit.

3.   You Can See Captain Cook’s Journal

Canberra National Library of Australia

British explorer James Cook is to Australia what Italian explorer Christopher Columbus is to the United States. And you can learn more about the Captain in Canberra.

In fact, it’s where Captain Cook’s journal resides – at the National Library of Australia, to be precise. The library opened its door to the public in 1968, perhaps to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the journal’s first entries (1768 to 1771).

The library itself is fascinating enough. It resembles an ancient Greek temple, complete with all the columns and marble decorations. This unique building becomes even more spectacular when the lights come on at night.

A word of caution though: you may have to book the library tour in advance.

4.   There’s Plenty of Nature to Enjoy

Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra

Nature lovers wouldn’t know where to start exploring the city. Maybe not even after the following rundown of the green places to visit in Canberra, Australia.

First up, there’s the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The gardens are home to numerous species of birds and butterflies, not to mention the often exotic Australian flora.

You may also want to check out the Black Mountain Nature Park while here. It serves up an excellent hiking trail and a panoramic view of the city.

If you don’t mind a short ride, there’s the Namadgi National Park a mere 40km away (25 miles). You’re likely to agree that the incredible fauna here is well worth your time. The Park is on the Australian National Heritage List.

5.   You Can Fly a Jet

Canberra’s Jet Flight Simulator

Not literally – at least not a real jet. But Canberra’s Jet Flight Simulator is a perfect place to take your children. Flying a virtual jet plane is going to be a hit with the young ones.

The kids (or even you, if you’ve ever dreamed of being a pilot) can enjoy flying a Boeing 737 with a professional pilot by their side. The pilot will be giving away tips and tricks for making your way through the clouds.

6.   You Can Go Shopping for Fresh Food

Capital Region Farmers Markets in Canberra

There are two fantastic markets for the souvenir hunters and those who prefer not to eat out every day. It’s where you’ll find farm-grown fruits and vegetables, homemade bread, and artisan goods.

You may want to visit both the Capital Region Farmers Markets and the Old Bus Depot Markets. They’re easily accessible from the city center, even if you’re to go on foot.

7.    You Can Relax on the Beach

Canberra Jervis Bay

If your stay is long enough, you should find out for yourself why beaches are among the favorite tourist spots in Canberra. Australia’s capital may not be a coastal city, but it’s worth renting a car for a two-hour ride to one of the bays.

Jervis Bay and Batemans Bay have more than a hundred glorious beaches altogether. The landscape is breathtaking and a dream come true for photographers. Also, the waters are calm enough for swimming, diving, surfing, and sunbathing all day long.

Sounds Like Heaven on Earth

See how Canberra really does have everything you may need for an ideal vacation?

You can get your daily dose of culture, sports, good food, beaches, and unspoiled nature in one city. And if you want to see all of these popular attractions in Canberra, just plan your itinerary with care. It’s ideal that you dedicate one day to each attraction.

But what if your vacation is too short to see all of Canberra’s hidden gems and landmarks? It’s a good reason to come back as soon as possible.

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The 7 Things You Have to Know Before Your Trip to Canberra