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17 Famous Landmarks in Canberra – how many you know?

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    There are great many landmarks in Australia, and so are in Canberra

    Canberra, the proud capital of Australia, is a city brimming with beauty, grace and imbued with rich architectural and cultural heritage.

    From the soaring heights of Parliament House to the lush green expanses of the National Botanic Gardens, Canberra boasts a diverse array of landmarks that stand as testaments to the nation’s past, present and future triumphs.

    Whether it’s iconic monuments that pay homage to the country’s heroic figures or sprawling national parks that offer a glimpse into Australia’s natural wonder, Canberra is truly a land of wonder, discovery and endless possibilities.

    Without further ado listed below are some of the most famous landmarks in Canberra:

    1. Australian Parliament House

    Australian Parliament House. pic by Christopher Chan. by-nc-nd 2.0

    Australian Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia, located in Canberra, the capital of Australia.

    Where is it: Canberra, Australia

    What to see or do: Visitors can take a guided tour of the building to learn about Australian democracy and the history and architecture of the Parliament House. There are also exhibitions, including an art collection featuring works by Australian artists, and the House of Representatives and Senate chambers are open for public viewing when not in session.

    Don’t miss: The flag mast on top of the building which stands at 81 meters tall and holds the Australian national flag, one of the largest in the world.

    Insider Travel tips: Visiting on a sitting day of the parliament is a must as you can see live debates and question time. There is also located below the Parliament House, a cafe and a souvenir shop.

    Getting there: The Parliament House is a 10-minute drive from the Canberra airport or 15 minutes from the city center. You can also take a bus from either the city or the airport, and there is free parking available for visitors.

    2. National Library Bookshop

    National Library Bookshop

    A bookshop located within the National Library of Australia.

    Where is it: Parkes Pl W, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia.

    What to see or do: Browse and purchase from a wide selection of books and publications related to Australian history, literature, and culture.

    Don’t miss: The section dedicated to Indigenous Australian books and artwork.

    Insider Travel tips: The bookshop hosts a number of author events and book launches throughout the year, so check the National Library’s website for a schedule.

    Getting there: The bookshop is within walking distance of the central business district of Canberra and is easily accessible by bus or car. Parking is available nearby.

    3. National Dinosaur Museum

    National Dinosaur Museum. pic by smjbk. by 2.0

    The National Dinosaur Museum is a fascinating museum housing a huge collection of dinosaur fossils, skeletons and models.

    Where is it: The museum is located in Gold Creek Village, a prominent landmark of Canberra.

    What to see or do: The museum boasts of an extensive display of animatronic dinosaurs that bring these magnificent creatures to life, as well as interactive exhibits, videos and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

    Don’t miss: Do not miss the opportunity to view the lifelike models of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and Brachiosaurus, among others. The thrilling display of dinosaur skeletons in recreated prehistoric scenes is also a must-see.

    Insider Travel tips: Visit the museum during the week for a quieter and calmer experience. For an extra special treat, book a sleepover party at the museum for a close encounter with the prehistoric creatures.

    Getting there: The National Dinosaur Museum is about a 20-minute drive from Canberra’s city centre. Alternatively, you can take a bus or join a guided tour to the museum. Parking is available at the museum.

    4. Canberra Glassworks

    Canberra Glassworks. pic by Adelaide Archivist. by-nc 2.0

    A contemporary glass art facility that showcases glassmaking techniques and promotes artists.

    Where is it: Located in Kingston, Canberra, Australia.

    What to see or do: Visitors can witness live glassblowing demonstrations, explore the gallery showcasing a range of glass art pieces or participate in workshops to learn the art of glassmaking themselves.

    Don’t miss: The opportunity to purchase unique glass pieces created by local artists in the gift shop.

    Insider Travel tips: Check the Canberra Glassworks website for upcoming events and exhibitions, as there are often limited edition glass pieces for sale during these times. Book workshops and tours in advance, as spots fill up quickly.

    Getting there: Canberra Glassworks is easily accessible by car, bicycle or public transportation. There is ample parking available on-site, as well as a bike rack. The Kingston bus station is just a short walk away.

    5. Questacon Mini Q

    Questacon Mini Q

    An interactive science museum for kids aged 0-6 years old, located inside Questacon in Canberra.

    Where is it: Inside Questacon, which is located at King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia.

    What to see or do: The museum has a range of activities and exhibits designed for young children, including a water play area, sensory play activities, building blocks, puzzles, and more. Kids can learn about science concepts in a fun and engaging way.

    Don’t miss: The Mini Q is specifically designed for young children, so don’t miss the chance to give them a hands-on experience with science.

    Insider Travel tips: Visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds. There are also cafes on site in case you need a snack or a break.

    Getting there: Questacon is located in the heart of Canberra, close to many other attractions. Visitors can take public transport, drive, or walk to the museum from various parts of the city.

    6. Cockington Green Gardens

    Cockington Green Gardens. pic by JAQ’S PhotoStorage. by-nc-nd 2.0

    Cockington Green Gardens is a miniature village and garden attraction in Canberra, Australia.

    Where is it: It is located in the northern Canberra suburb of Nicholls, just a 20-minute drive from the city center.

    What to see or do: Visitors can explore the miniature village, which features more than 30 different scenes from around the world, with meticulously crafted buildings, landscapes, and people. In addition, there are beautifully maintained gardens that surround the miniatures, featuring a variety of exotic plants and flowers.

    Don’t miss: Be sure not to miss the English and Scottish villages, the miniature steam train, and the interactive display of the Wonders of the World.

    Insider Travel tips: To avoid the crowds and have the garden more to yourself, it’s best to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Also, don’t forget to take your camera as the miniature displays make great photo opportunities.

    Getting there: Cockington Green Gardens is easily accessible by car or public transport. For those driving, free parking is available on site. Alternatively, take the number 57 bus from the City Interchange or Gungahlin Marketplace and get off at the nearest stop, which is a short walk from the Gardens.

    7. Australian National University

    Australian National University. pic by UN Women Gallery. by-nc-nd 2.0

    The Australian National University (ANU) is a world-renowned research institution located in Canberra, Australia.

    Where is it: The campus of ANU is situated in the heart of Canberra, the capital city of Australia.

    What to see or do: ANU is a hub of academic activity and offers visitors a chance to explore some of the country’s premier research facilities. Visitors can also check out world-class art galleries, museums, and libraries on campus.

    Don’t miss: The ANU Botanic Gardens is a beautiful and serene attraction that features over 6,000 plant species from around the world. A must-visit for nature lovers.

    Insider Travel tips: If you’re interested in attending a public lecture or event at ANU, check out the university’s calendar of events ahead of time. ANU also offers guided tours of the campus which can be booked in advance.

    Getting there: ANU is located in the city center and is easily accessible by public transport or car. Parking is available on campus for a fee.

    8. National Library of Australia

    National Library of Australia. pic by aussiejeff. by-nc-sa 2.0

    The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library in Australia and serves as the hub for all library services and collections.

    Where is it: The library is situated in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. It occupies the whole block on Parkes Place.

    What to see or do: The library offers daily guided tours that allow visitors to experience its world-class collections and exhibitions. It also serves as a cultural hub with regular events, exhibitions, and programs showcasing the diversity of Australian culture and history.

    Don’t miss: The Trove, a digital library that offers free access to millions of books, photographs, and other resources. It is one of the most popular services provided by the library.

    Insider Travel tips: – Visitors can bring along their own laptops or use the computers in the reading rooms for research or work purposes.

    Getting there: The library is located in the heart of Canberra, easily accessible by car, bus, or light rail. It is a short walk from the city center and major landmarks.

    9. High Court of Australia

    High Court of Australia. pic by denisbin. by-nd 2.0

    The High Court of Australia is the highest court in Australia and the final court of appeal.

    Where is it: The court is located in Canberra, the capital city of Australia, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

    What to see or do: Visitors can attend court sessions or take a guided tour of the building and its impressive architecture.

    Don’t miss: Don’t miss the opportunity to witness a real court session and see the court’s seven justices in action.

    Insider Travel tips: Check the court’s website for information on upcoming cases that are open to the public. Remember that this is a working court and proper decorum should be observed.

    Getting there: The High Court is easily accessible by car or public transport. It’s a short walk from the bus stops on University Avenue or the Russell bus interchange. Parking is available on site for a fee.

    10. Old Parliament House

    Old Parliament House

    Former home of Australian Parliament from 1927-1988, now a museum and heritage building.

    Where is it: Located on King George Terrace in Parkes, Canberra.

    What to see or do: Explore the history and significance of Australian parliamentary democracy through interactive exhibits and guided tours. Admire the elegant 1920s architecture and authentic period furnishings.

    Don’t miss: The Prime Ministers’ Suite, where many of Australia’s former leaders have stayed and worked.

    Insider Travel tips: Check the museum’s calendar for special events, such as outdoor movie nights in the courtyard. Visit during the spring time to see the surrounding gardens in full bloom.

    Getting there: Old Parliament House is easily accessible by public transport, bike or car. Buses and taxis are frequent, and bike racks are available on-site. There is also plenty of parking available nearby.

    11. Telstra Tower

    Telstra Tower

    Telstra Tower, one of the iconic landmarks of Canberra, is a telecommunications tower that offers panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.

    Where is it: Located on Black Mountain, just a 10-minute drive from the city center, Telstra Tower is easily accessible by car or public transport.

    What to see or do: From the observation deck, visitors can enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of Canberra and its surrounding areas. There are also informative displays, a gift shop, and a cafe serving light refreshments.

    Don’t miss: The Telstra Tower is particularly stunning at sunset, when the city lights start to twinkle and the sky turns vibrant shades of red, orange and pink.

    Insider Travel tips: ● To avoid crowds and long queues, visit during off-peak times or book your tickets online in advance.

    Getting there: A convenient way to get there is by car. It’s just a 10-minute drive from the city center. Alternatively, you can catch a bus or take a taxi.

    12. National Zoo and Aquarium

    National Zoo and Aquarium. pic by BeauGiles. by 2.0

    A large zoo and aquarium featuring a variety of animals and marine life

    Where is it: 999 Lady Denman Drive, Canberra, ACT, Australia

    What to see or do: Visitors can see a range of animals including lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, reptiles, birds, and more. The aquarium houses various species of fish, sharks, stingrays, and coral reefs. There are also interactive animal experiences, such as hands-on encounters with meerkats, lemurs, and even sharks.

    Don’t miss: The daily feeding sessions and animal presentations, as well as the popular night tours where visitors can see the animals in a different light.

    Insider Travel tips: Pack sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, and a hat as most of the exhibits are outdoors. Also, make sure to bring a camera to capture the beautiful scenery and animals.

    Getting there: The National Zoo and Aquarium is only a 15-minute drive from Canberra city centre. Alternatively, take a bus or catch a taxi from the city.

    13. Australian National Botanic Gardens

    The Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra is a stunning 40-hectare oasis of over 74,000 plants, showcasing the diversity of Australia’s flora.

    Where is it: Clunies Ross Street, Acton ACT 2601, Australia

    What to see or do: Explore the diverse landscapes of Australia, from rainforests to deserts in one location. Take a walk along the boardwalk through the Tasmanian Fernery, visit the Rainforest Gully, and see the Red Centre Garden’s iconic red sand dunes.

    Don’t miss: The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia, which includes over 80 different types of miniature trees, and the Red Centre Garden’s ‘Inland Sea,’ which is a mesmerizing oceanscape made entirely of red desert sands.

    Insider Travel tips: Visit in spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom, or during summer when many events, including outdoor concerts and guided walks, are held in the Gardens.

    Getting there: The Gardens are just a short distance from the centre of Canberra, and can be reached on foot, bike, bus, or car. Parking is available on-site for a small fee.

    14. Mount Ainslie Lookout

    Mount Ainslie Lookout. pic by Kelly Hunter. by 2.0

    Mount Ainslie Lookout is a scenic viewpoint located in Canberra, Australia.

    Where is it: The lookout is situated on a hill in the northeastern part of the city, about 4 km away from the city center.

    What to see or do: From the lookout, one can enjoy panoramic views of Canberra and its surroundings. Visitors can spot many of Canberra’s famous landmarks such as the Australian War Memorial, Parliament House, and Lake Burley Griffin. A visit to Mount Ainslie Lookout is perfect for those who love nature and breathtaking vistas.

    Don’t miss: Don’t miss the opportunity to take in the stunning 360-degree views of Canberra and the surrounding areas from the top of Mount Ainslie.

    Insider Travel tips: It is recommended to visit the lookout during sunrise or sunset to enjoy the best views of the city. Additionally, you can take a walk or a bike ride along the Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve trails for a closer look at the region’s lush flora and fauna.

    Getting there: One can access the Mount Ainslie Lookout by car. There is ample parking available at the base of the lookout. Alternatively, one can walk or bike up the hill via Limestone Avenue.

    15. Lake Burley Griffin

    Lake Burley Griffin

    A man-made lake located in the heart of Canberra, one of the most famous Canberra landmarks.

    Where is it: Lake Burley Griffin is situated in the city center of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. It spans across 664 hectares and is surrounded by numerous iconic landmarks and tourist attractions.

    What to see or do: Visitors can enjoy a wide range of water-based activities, including kayaking, sailing, and stand-up paddleboarding. The lake also offers a picturesque backdrop for a stroll or bike ride, with multiple paths and trails around its shore. For those interested in history and culture, there are several historical sites, monuments, and museums located nearby, including the National Gallery of Australia and the National Library of Australia.

    Don’t miss: Catch the sunset over the lake, a stunning view that never gets old.

    Insider Travel tips: Bring a picnic and watch the hot air balloons launch from the park next to the lake early in the morning. Don’t forget to also check out the Captain Cook Memorial Jet, located in the center of the lake, which shoots water up to 152 meters in the air.

    Getting there: The lake is easily accessible by car or public transport, with several bus stops located nearby. Visitors can also access the lake via various walking and bike paths, which connect to the city’s overall trail network. Parking is available at several points around the lake, but be sure to check signage for time limits and fees.

    16. Black Mountain Nature Reserve

    Black Mountain Nature Reserve. pic by njcull. by-nc-nd 2.0

    A nature reserve located on the edge of the city, around 10 minutes drive from Canberra’s city center.

    Where is it: The reserve is situated in the Australian Capital Territory, specifically in the city of Canberra.

    What to see or do: Visitors can enjoy the natural surroundings and hike up Black Mountain for an incredible view of the city. There are several hiking trails of different lengths and difficulties, making it suitable for all fitness levels. The reserve is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, so keep an eye out for the native wildlife.

    Don’t miss: The lookout at the summit of Black Mountain offers a panoramic view of Canberra, as well as a cafe and gift shop. Make sure to check out the Telstra Tower, which is Canberra’s tallest building and an iconic landmark.

    Insider Travel tips: The reserve is a great place to visit year-round, but the best time is during autumn when the trees change color. Pack plenty of water and snacks, wear sturdy hiking shoes, and bring a hat and sunscreen for sunny days.

    Getting there: Black Mountain Nature Reserve is easily accessible via public transport or car. There are several parking options available on site, including free parking at the summit.

    17. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

    Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. pic by sbittinger. by 2.0

    A stunning nature reserve that covers over 54 square kilometers and features an abundance of Australian wildlife and plants.

    Where is it: Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is located 40 minutes south-west of Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory.

    What to see or do: Explore the reserve’s walking trails, discover ancient landscapes and wildlife, go on guided tours, and learn about Australia’s natural history at the visitors’ center.

    Don’t miss: The Tidbinbilla Deep Space Communication Complex, a NASA tracking station that helped broadcast the first television images of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.

    Insider Travel tips: -Bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water, as it can get hot and dry on the trails.

    Getting there: The nature reserve is accessible via car or bus from Canberra. From the city center, take the Tuggeranong Parkway and exit at the Cotter Road intersection, then follow the signs to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

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