Canberra Travel Guide
As Australia’s Capital Territory and largest inland city, Canberra is the only completely planned city in the country. It was designed by a team of Chicago architects following an international competition when a compromise had to be reached between Sydney and Melbourne’s claims to the ACT title. Its lack of history may seem off-putting to the purists, but in fact Canberra is a fascinating city which documents the home of the Australia story and has a great deal to offer its visitors. And let’s face it; no visit to any country should ignore its capital city.
Just a few of the things Canberra tourism offers are: a visit to Australia’s War Memorial. This stunning architectural achievement offers a poignant glimpse into the lives of all those personally affected by the conflict of war. There are displays, exhibitions, research and function facilities, a vast array of artefacts memorialising the theatre of warfare from the Boer War to the present day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Memorial also includes some fascinating sculpture gardens in its grounds.
Parliament House, with its impressive art collection and cutting edge architecture contrasting with retro features like colonial style pillars offers guided tours of its historic artworks as well as beautiful landscaped lawns and gardens. And if gardens are your interest, the National Botanic Gardens is a tranquil oasis of eucalyptus lawns and rock gardens, offering a horticultural haven for lovers of plants and flowers – and includes its own tropical rainforest.
Lake Burley Griffin is a popular lakeside destination abounding in leafy walks and water activities such as kayaks, canoes and paddle boats. For those who prefer their land legs, there are pleasant leafy walks in all directions. The National Gallery sits on its shores and exhibits some of the finest Australian and international art and sculptures both indoors and out.
The revolving restaurant on top of Black Mountain Tower will ensure you are never at a loss for conversation as you wine and dine. With 360° views of Canberra and its surrounds, this has to be one of the most spectacular vantage points of the city. Another way to get a great view of Australia’s capital is by hot air balloon and a dawn flight to spy on the city from aloft as the sun rises and bathes it in colour is one sure way to remember your visit to the nation’s proud capital.