Arts and Culture

48 hours in cosy Canberra

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Don’t let Canberra’s size deceive you – there’s a lot packed into Australia’s tiny capital. Despite Canberra being only the eighth largest city in Australia, you may struggle to fit everything in if spending just 48 short hours here.

Here are some of the must-sees and must-dos for your weekend in our lively and modern centre:

Stroll along Lake Burley Griffin

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What better way to start the day than enjoying a walking breakfast along the shores of the stunning Lake Burley Griffin? You can either work up your appetite by following the full 20 kilometre circuit or enjoy the best bits the artificial lake has to offer from the comfort of a kayak or cruise.

Swimming, fishing and other recreational activities are all supported in certain areas, so don’t forget your gear if you’re heading down to the water.

Learn about Australia’s history

As Australia’s capital, Canberra has deep roots in the country’s heritage and celebrates this fact with a number of exhibitions and permanent museums.

Explore the National Capital Exhibition, National Museum of Australia and the National Film & Sound Archive to find out more about the country’s colourful past. For a more sombre experience, visit the Australian War Memorial to remember and celebrate those who gave their lives to protect Canberra and the country.

Take a look through Parliament House

It just wouldn’t be a trip to the parliamentary capital of Australia without a visit to government. The Australian Parliament House provides an informative and interesting tour for visitors. If the workings of the country’s politicians aren’t your cup of tea, a trip to the house is still a great choice to enjoy the architectural character of both the old and new buildings standing stoic across from each other on the grounds.

The Old Parliament House is now a museum and meeting space and, on the right night, can be seen lit up in stunning colours to celebrate the latest national or local event.

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Enjoy the art of Australia

After spending some time with the government, it’s time to soak in the culture of our country at the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery of Australia. Wandering the halls of these exhibits will show a world of native and international art, sure to inspire a passion for painting and sculpting.

Once you are done soaking in the more passive art, head along to an evening show in Canberra’s Theatre Centre in Civic for a more lively cultural experience.

See the sights from on high

Enjoy the sights from Mount Ainslie.Enjoy the sights from Mount Ainslie.

On your second day in Canberra, it’s time to enjoy the view. Climb up to the famous Telstra Tower on the peak of Black Mountain or choose the more gentle stroll up Mount Ainslie.

The vistas seen from each of these heights is unrivalled, and the walk up to the top is not to be shrugged at either!

Get experimenting at Questacon

The National Science and Technology Centre, located on the southern shore of Lake Burley Griffin, is a great place to take the kids or even just indulge your inner child.

Offering more than 200 interactive exhibits relating to science and technology, this exciting and educational institution is just a 30 minute walk from the CBD and is open every day for a small fee.

Visit native and exotic animals

Canberra’s National Zoo and Aquarium is a great way to spend an afternoon, getting up close and personal with a range of local and international beasts, birds and fish.

Alternatively, a quick visit to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve can provide many of the same thrills. If visiting, try setting yourself the challenge of spotting all five of the famous residents that call the reserve their home: the koala, platypus, kangaroo, emu and wombat.

With all these fun and educational activities available in Canberra, you may be tempted to stay longer than a weekend when visiting Australia’s tiny but action-packed capital.

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