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10 Things to Do When Visiting Canberra From Interstate

There is more to Canberra than politics and politicians. Discover the vibrant food and shopping scene, explore the bike and walking trails, and see some of the top attractions in the country. Visit Canberra for your next getaway, and see for yourself.

Getting to and around Canberra

Biking in Canberra

Photo Credit: Damian Breach VisitCanberra

It’s easy to get around Canberra, whether it’s on public transport, biking, walking or driving.


With everything close by, one of the easiest ways to get around Canberra is by car. If you’re driving to Canberra, then you’re set, otherwise, there are plenty of rental options. Parking isn’t an issue in Canberra, however, fees may apply (Avenue Hotel has secure underground parking available at a fee).

Public Transport

You can travel to most attractions by light rail, busses or both. Ride the light rail to Braddon and Dickson and the bus to Gungahlin, parts of Dickson and the city. To see all the main attractions, complete the tourist loop on the Red Explorer Bus. Use Transport Canberra’s Journey Planner to plan your days.


Flat routes to ride, designated bike lanes, and an extensive network of bike paths make Canberra one of the best cities to explore by bike. For an easier commute, you can even take your bike on some bus routes. You can BYO your bike to Canberra, or rent from stores like Cycle Canberra who deliver to Avenue Hotel. Keep an eye out for the automated bike rental stations, Share a Bike.


Walking is an easy way to get around, and the perfect way to get some fresh air. With a network of walking trails and self-guided tourist walks, you can leave the car behind and head out on foot.


Must see and do

1. National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

The National Gallery of Australia has almost 150,000 works of art that are constantly evolving. Pieces include the world’s largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, European & American Art, Asian Art and Pacific Arts. Check out any future exhibitions or events before your Canberra holiday.

Opening Hours: Daily from 10am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)

Entry Fee: General entry is free. Reserve your time online. Some exhibitions charge admission

Location: Parkes Place, Parkes, Canberra 2600

2. National Zoo & Aquarium

Visit the animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

You can’t do this in too many other places in Australia. Visit two attractions in one at the National Zoo & Aquarium on your Canberra family vacation. Discover native and exotic animals and if you’re up for an adventure, get up close with animal encounters.

Opening Hours: Daily from 9:30am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day)

Entry Fee: Adult: $49.00, Child (3-15): $28.00 Children under 3 years are a gold coin donation (maximum two children per accompanying adult).

Location: 999 Lady Denman Dr, Yarralumla ACT 2611

3. GoBoat

Group on a GoBoat Tour

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

Skipper a boat with a group of friends and rent from GoBoat. Spend 1 to 3 hours cruising the famous Lake Burley Griffin and gain a different perspective of Canberra. For a dream day out on the water, don't forget to pack a picnic!

Opening Hours: 9am - 4pm

Fee: From $109.00

Location:  8 Trevillian Quay, Kingston ACT 2604

4. Australian National Botanic Gardens

Australia National Botanical Gardens

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

Visit the Australian National Botanic Gardens for the perfect day out. Be inspired by and learn about the different flora and fauna from all over Australia. If you’re travelling with your family, pack a picnic lunch and let the kids play and run through the beautifully manicured lawns.

Opening Hours: Daily 8:30am - 5pm (except Christmas day)

Entry Fee: Entry is free, but parking fees apply.

Location: Clunies Ross St, Acton ACT 2601

5. Questacon

Group of children and host at Questacon - National Science and Technology Centre

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

Whether or not you are interested in science and technology, visit the National Science and Technology Centre on your next Canberra holiday. You and the family might leave with a newfound love of science and technology as a result of the fun, interactive and relevant exhibits.

Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm.

Entry Fee: Adult: $24.50, Concessions: $18.90, Children (4-16): $18.90. Children under 4 are free. Family Pass (up to 2 adults and 3 children: $73.40

Location: King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600

6. Telstra Tower

Telstra Tower & Black Mountain

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

From the observation deck of Telstra Tower, enjoy 360-degree views over the city and the surrounding mountain ranges. For those from out of state, make sure you visit at night and take in the city lights down below.

Opening Hours: Daily 9am - 10pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday)

Entry Fee: Adult $7.50, Aged Pensioners: $3.00, Children (4-16) $3 Children under 4 are free

Location: 100 Black Mountain Dr, Acton ACT 2601

7.National Arboretum Canberra

National Arboretum Canberra

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

With 250 hectares, this impressive mosaic of living forests and gardens is the world’s largest living collection of rare, endangered or significant trees. This is a must-do for out of towners to visit and explore the multi-purpose walking and cycling tracks, and the POD playground.

Opening Hours: Open daily from 7am - 5:30pm (EST) and 6am - 8:30pm (EDST)

Entry Fee: Free entry, there are costs for some parking spaces

Location: Forest Dr, Molonglo Valley ACT 2611

8.Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Ballooning a favourite activtity available in Canberra

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

For some family fun or romantic bliss on your next Canberra adventure, float over Canberra and see how this planned city comes together. Wake early and board your basket before sunrise, and take a peaceful moment as the sun rises with you.

Operating Hours: Sunrise flights

Fee: From $310 for adults

Location: Different locations for pick up.

9.Parliament House

A picture of parliament house near Pavilion on Northbourne

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

Although Parliament House is known for its politics, there is more to it, and it is a must-visit for those coming from out of state. With guided tours, delve into the symbolic aspects and the vision behind the architecture on the building, see commissioned art pieces, or hear stories of First Nations Parliamentarians and see artworks by celebrated indigenous artists.

Operating Hours: 9am - 5pm

Fee: Entry is free, guided tours range from $20 - $250

Location: Parliament Drive, Canberra

10. Find your Favourite Flavour

BentSpoke Brewing Co.

Photo Credit: VisitCanberra

Are you a fan of craft beer or wine? Spend part of your getaway exploring the craft beer scene and wineries around Canberra. Capital Brewing and BentSpoke are two local breweries offering unique flavours that even non-beer drinkers might take a liking to. If wine is more your style then take a visit to top wineries such as Helm Wines or Shaw Wines.

Operating Hours: Operating hours vary depending on the venue

Fee: Most venues don't charge entry and only for their goods

Location: Varied locations