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Canberra
ACT overview

Introduction

1. Tourist Attractions

Canberra:
Tourist Attractions

Australian-American Memorial
'The Eagle'

Affectionately known as 'The Eagle', the memorial is located in Blamey Square, in the forecourt of the offices of the Australian Defence Force and Department of Defence, in Russell.

It was built in 1954 to honour the contribution made by the United States to the defence of Australia during World War II in the Pacific from 1941-1945.

The memorial stands 258 feet(approx 73 metres) high. At the top is a figure of the American Eagle on a bronze sphere. The eagle and sphere are together around 11m high.

Australian Institute of Sport

Australia's premier sporting facility. See world-class facilities for athletes in training.
Test your skills at Sportex, an interactive sports exhibit. Video highlights of great moments in sport.

AIS merchandise and souvenirs are available at the AIS Shop and
refreshments at the Time Out Cafe.

Open 9am-5pm.
Public Tours 10am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm daily (except Christmas Day).

10 minutes from the city centre. Ample parking
Leverrier Crescent, Bruce.
Tel 6214 1444

Australian National Botanic Gardens

With more than 6000 species of native plants.

Open daily 9am-5pm (except Christmas Day.) During January closing time extended to 6pm on weekdays and 8pm weekends.
Guided walks daily.
The Visitor Information Centre, the Botanical Bookshop and the Cafe are open daily from 9.30am-4.30pm (except Christmas Day).

Admission free but parking fees apply when using on-site parking.
Clunies Ross Street, Black Mountain.
Tel. 06 250 9540    ...more info

Australian National University
Both a teaching and research institution. Tours can be arranged, free of charge.
Open daily.
Tel 06 249 0742 (recorded message).

Australian War Memorial

"Lest we forget".
Australian War Memorial

A museum of Australia's war history.

Opened in 1941 it houses collections of photos, pictures, films, war relics and exhibitions of old aircraft.

There are also many miniature battle scenes.

The Hall of Memory is the focus of the memorial.

The Unknown Australian Soldier was returned from a World War I battlefield in 1993 and laid to rest in the Hall.

Leading to the Hall of Memory is the reflection pool, with the names of the 102,000 war dead inscribed on the Roll of Honour in its surrounding walls.

Admission and parking free.

Open:
Daily 10am-5pm (closed Christmas Day)
9am-5pm during ACT and NSW school holidays.

Anzac Parade, Campbell.
Tel 06 243 4211    ...more info

Blundell's Cottage
Blundell's Cottage

Cottage for farm worker pioneers, built in 1860.

Open Thurs & Sat (except public holidays)
Tours available.
Admission Free.

Wendouree Drive, Parkes,
off Constitution Avenue.
Tel 06 273 2667    ...more info

Calthorpes' House

Built in 1927, the house contains original furnishings, household appliances and photos, toys and clothing, that show domestic life in Canberra's early days.

Open Sat/Sun 1-4pm.
Admission charges apply.

24 Mugga Way, Forrest. Tel 6295 1945    ...more info

Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex
Canberra Space Centre

Explore the solar system and beyond and learn about the role that Australia plays in the exploration of space at the Canberra Space Centre located in the grounds of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Centre.

This NASA facility is one of three in the world tracking interplanetary spacecraft millions of kilometres away. Canberra Space Centre

See models, displays and exhibitions tracing the history of space exploration.

See the largest moon rock outside the United States.

Visit the Moon Rock Cafe and gift shop.

Open 7 days a week 9am-5pm.
Closed Christmas Day.

421 Discovery Drive, Tidbinbilla
(45 min drive from the city).    ...more info

Canberra Museum and Gallery

In the heart of the city, Canberra Museum and Gallery, visual arts, exhibitions and unique community programs and events.

Admission free.

Open
Summer: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
Sat/Sun 12-5pm.
Winter: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
Sat/Sun 12-4pm.

Cnr London Circuit and Civic Square, Canberra City.    ...more info

Canberra Space Dome and Observatory

A domed theatre that creates a simulated night sky. Experience interplanetary space flights and learn about the planets.

The Canberra Observatory features research-grade telescopes under domes.
Experienced astronomers conduct sessions.

Open Tues-Sat nights from 7pm.
Bookings essential.

Hawdon Place, Dickson, Canberra.
Tel.26249 7817

Captain Cook Memorial Captain Cook Memorial

The memorial was built to commemorate the bicentenary of Captain James Cook's first sighting of the east coast of Australia.

The memorial includes a water jet located in Lake Burley Griffin and a skeleton globe sculpture at Regatta Point of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, showing the paths of Cook's expeditions.

The water jet is one of Canberra's most well-known attractions.

Barrine Drive, Acton.

Carillon
National Carillon

The National Carillon was a gift from the British Government to the people of Australia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the national capital. It was accepted by Queen Elizabeth II on 26 April 1970.

It is located on Aspen Island, Lake Burley Griffin.

The tower is 50 metres high and is lit at night. It has 55 bronze bells.

The carillon is in regular use, chiming every quarter hour and playing a short tune on the hour. It is often used to celebrate national days. There are also recitals on many days.

Tours available. Fees apply.

Aspen Island, Wendouree Drive, Kings Park, Parkes.

   ...more info

Cockington Green Gardens

Miniature buildings set in landscaped gardens.

Visit the garden cafe. Ride on a miniature steam train.
Kiosk and picnic/playground area with free gas barbeques available.

Open every day (except Christmas and Boxing Days) 9.30am-5pm.

Gold Creek Road, Nicholls, off Barton Highway.    ...more info

CSIRO Discovery

An award-winning public attraction showcasing our science and technology achievements.

Admission charges apply.

Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.
Sat/Sun 11am-3pm.
(Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday.)

Clunies Ross Street, Black Mountain Laboratories ACT.    ...more info

Floriade Floriade

Australia's largest floral festival.

See a display of more than a million blooms, with a different theme every year.

Live entertainment, children's activities, horticultural displays and demonstrations, food, crafts and shopping.

Mid-Sept to mid-Oct.

In Commonwealth Park, Canberra.    ...more info

High Court of Australia
High Court of Australia

One of Canberra's prestige public buildings on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. It features a stunning waterfall.

There are portraits of the Chief Justices and impressive murals in the seven storey high public hall.

Australia's highest court of appeal, contains three courtrooms. When in session visitors can observe proceedings from the public gallery, if seating is available.

High Court sittings are open to the public. Attendants are on hand to give tours and explain proceedings and the building's features.

A licensed cafeteria on the first level overlooks the Lake.

Open Mon-Fri 9.45am-4.30pm, Sun 12-4pm.
Admission free.

Parkes Place, Parkes.
Tel 06 270 6811    ...more info

Lake Burley Griffin Lake Burley GriffinAn artificial lake in the centre of Canberra.

It was completed in 1963 after the Molonglo River was dammed.

It was named after the American architect, Walter Burley Griffin, who designed the city.

The Captain Cook Memorial Water Jet sends water to a maximum height of 147 metres, pumping it from and returning it to the lake, operating 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm, subject to wind conditions.

Its surrounds consist mainly of parklands.

Although swimming in the lake is not common, it is used for a wide variety of water activities such as rowing, fishing and sailing.

Lanyon Homestead
On an historic sheep station on Canberra's southern outskirts, about 30km south, with beautifully restored early stone cottage built by convicts in 1859, occupied until 1974. This National Trust homestead documents station life from early convict days in the region before Canberra existed and houses the Nolan Gallery, some of Sydney Nolan's paintings including his famous Ned Kelly works.
Gift shop and cafe available.
Open Tues-Sun 10am-4pm (and most public holidays).
Tharwa Road, Tharwa.
Tel 06 237 5136.

Mt Stromlo Observatory
Mt Stromlo

Australia's 'hands on' astronomy centre.

Whilst most of the facilities were destroyed in the January 2003 bushfires, the ongoing reconstruction program is ensuring that the scientific work can continue.

The Visitor Centre is closed indefinitely.
Cotter Road, Canberra. Tel 06 249 0232   ...more info

Scope Cafe is open and offers public viewing nights using telescopes.
Open Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat/Sun 8am-5pm
Tel 02 6162 2388    ...more info

National Capital Exhibition National Capital Exhibition

Exhibits tell the story of the national capital, including Aboriginal occupation, arrival of European settlers. It traces Canberra's growth as a planned city. Early maps, rare photographs and interactive displays, in six languages.

The restaurant and cafe look out over the lake.

Open daily 9am-5pm (except Christmas Day).
Admission free.

Barrine Drive, Commonwealth Park.

National Dinosaur Museum

Devoted entirely to palaeontology (study of fossils). See displays of fossilised plants, fish and mammals, full skeletons and complete reconstructions of dinosaurs.
Open daily 10am-5pm closed Christmas Day). Guided tours available.

Admission charges apply

Gold Creek Road & Barton Highway, Nicholls.
Tel 02 6230 2655.    ...more info

National Film & Sound Archives
National Film and Sound Archives

Australia's film and sound history. Sound recordings, ads, early radio soapies, Australia's first silent feature film, "The Story of the Kelly Gang" (1906).

Buy souvenirs in the Archive Shop, relax in the Talkies Cafe.
Open daily 9am-5pm
(closed Christmas Day).

McCoy Circuit, Acton.
Tel 06 209 3035

National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Australia

On the southern shore of Lake Burley Griffin, it has the best art collection in the country. Australian collections range from traditional Aboriginal art to works by Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan.

Guided tours are available.
There is a shop, brasserie and outdoor restaurant.

Admission to permanent collection free.
Admission charges may apply to special exhibitions.

Open daily 10am-5pm (closed Christmas Day and Good Friday).

Parkes Place, Parkes.
Tel 06 240 6502    ...more info

National Library of Australia
National Library of Australia

The country's largest library and one of its leading research and reference libraries. Custodian of the nation's recorded history. There is an active program of changing exhibitions, film screenings, education events and tours.
There is also a Bookshop, licensed restaurant, bistro and Internet cafe.
Admission free.
Open Mon-Thurs 9am-9pm,
Fri-Sun 9am-5pm.
Parkes Place, Parkes.
Tel 06 262 1111    ...more info

National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia is a social history museum.

Learn about Australia's history, events and characters. See famous and quirky Australian icons such as Phar Lap's heart, an early model Holden. Over 2000 objects from the indigenous collection.
Visit the cafe and shop.

Open daily 9am-5pm (except Christmas Day).
Admission free.    ...more info

Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Acton.

National Portrait Gallery
Presenting exhibitions on historical and contemporary issues through portraits.
Exhibitions change every four or five months.
Admission free. (Admission fee to Old Parliament House).
Open daily 9am-4pm (closed Christmas Day).
Old Parliament House,
18 King George Terrace, Parkes.
Tel 06 273 4723

National Zoo and Aquarium
Zoo & Aquarium

17 acre Wildlife Sanctuary, five minutes from the city, with koalas, wombats, dingoes and much more. With both fresh and saltwater tanks.

Picnic and BBQ facilities available.
Licensed bistro. Functions catered for.

Admission charges apply. Parking free.
Open daily 10am-5pm (except Christmas Day).
Tours operate. Bookings essential.

Lady Denman Drive, Scrivener Dam.
Tel 06 287 1211   ...more info

New Parliament House
New Parliament House

One of the most popular attractions. Opened in 1988, it is called the New Parliament House to distinguish it from the old Parliament House. Renowned for its impressive architecture and magnificent artwork. It is built into a hill, the roof covered with grass to make it blend in with the surroundings.

Visitors are welcome and encouraged. They can wander around the public areas, watch the proceedings of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
There are free guided tours when Parliament is not sitting, every half hour from 9am.
Visit the Parliament Shop, Queen's Terrace Cafe.

Open daily 9am-5pm on non-sitting days, 9am to House rise when Parliament is in session (closed Christmas Day).
Question time in both Houses is at 2pm.

Free parking is available in a large underground parking station.
Visit the Parliament Shop in the main foyer, open 7 days (except Christmas Day). The Queen's Terrace Cafe is on the first floor.

Admission free.

Capital Hill, Canberra.

Visitor Information, Tel 06 277 5399
Parliament Shop, Tel 6277 5050    ...more info

Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House
Today the Museum of Australian Democracy.
Old Parliament House was the seat of government from 1927 to 1988. There are tours of the building or exhibitions. Visitors can wander through its grounds. It also houses the National Portrait Gallery.

Admission charges apply.
Open daily 9am-5pm (closed Christmas Day).

Visit the Cafe and Shop. Tel 6273 4744
Free parking available.

18 King George Terrace, Parkes
Tel 06 270 8222    ...more info

Questacon
Questacon (National Science and Technology Centre), a 'hands on' science museum located near the National Gallery.

There are 200 devices, including an earthquake experience. It is designed for children, although adults can participate. It is not only educational but also fun.

Admission charges apply.
Open daily 10am-5pm (closed Christmas Day).

King Edward Terrace, Parkes.
Tel 06 270 2800

Royal Australian Mint Royal Australian Mint

Make your own $1 coin. View the minting process.
Shop at the Coin Shop or relax at the Mint Cafe.

Admission free.
Open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat/Sun & public holidays 10am-4pm.
Closed Christmas Day & Good Friday.

Denison Street, Deakin.
Tel 02 6202 6999.    ...more info

Shine Dome The Shine Dome

The Shine Dome is a well-known Canberra landmark, notable for its copper dome and unusual structure. Its weight is anchored by the surrounding water-filled moat. It was built during 195859 to house the Australian Academy of Science.

Originally named Becker House for the benefactor and Fellow of the Academy, Sir Jack Ellerton Becker, in 2000 it was renamed in honour of Fellow John Shine, who donated one million dollars to renovate the dome.

The Dome contains a central lecture theatre surrounded by meeting rooms on the ground floor, an upper level with gallery seating and specialised library, and a basement area.

This heritage listed and award winning building is open for inspection by appointment or during open days throughout the year.

Gordon Street, Canberra.    ...more info

Telstra Tower
Telstra Tower

Best views of Canberra.
195 metres above the summit of Black Mountain.

Has both open and enclosed viewing platforms.
Revolving restaurant, snack bar and coffee lounge available.

Admission charges apply.
Open daily 9am-10pm.

Black Mountain.
Tel 06 248 1911.