If you are still one if those who believe that Sydney is Australia’s capital city, then here is some news for you. Sydney no longer remains the capital city of Australia as the position has been long taken over by Canberra; a city that demands a visit due to the fact that it’s a perfect blend of a modern, metropolitan city and abundant natural beauty that automatically creates a lively environ for all to enjoy.
You may have already given a thought to making Sydney your next vacation destination, but before you actually decide on it, why not give a thought to the new capital city of Australia! It is, in no way, less interesting than cities like Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney and you are sure to get a totally different feel that you will cherish throughout your life.
Whether you are coming to Australia from abroad or you are an Australian yourself and want to visit Canberra, then its best that you make a list of the places that you would ‘really’ want to see while in Canberra. A proper planning is quite necessary as you may not always have enough time to see or do everything worth doing or seeing in Canberra and without a proper planning, you may actually miss out on certain attractions that would interest you the most. To help make your travel more efficient and the vacation more pleasurable, here will provide you with a list of ten attractions that you should never miss if you are travelling to Canberra for a vacation:
Australian War Memorial
Irrespective of your nationality, when you are in Canberra, make sure that you pay a visit to the Australian War Memorial. You may have seen several such memorials before, but that shouldn’t be the reason to give this one a miss. Each country has its own sad story when it comes to war and war heroes and even if they look and feel sobering. It gives an insight into the history of the country as well as the life and sacrifices of the people.
The Australian War Memorial is a tribute as well as a museum that house various artifacts of interest, including cannons, light aircrafts, charts, maps and much more and also offers painstakingly created, elaborate photos or stories that tell a tale of the trials and conflicts faced by the country over a long period of time.
The war memorial is at short distance from the Airport as well as important hotels like the Hyatt. The cab fare will range somewhere between $15-$25 and take around 8-12 minutes when the traffic is normal or light.
National Portrait Gallery
If you are an Australian, enthusiastic about the history of your country or a foreign traveler looking to learn more about the country that you are visiting, a trip to the Gallery is surely a must. You just don’t get to see the portraits, but also busts, sculptures and photography that will tell the whole story. They are elaborately curated and you will hardly find any person of national importance missing. And the portraits come in a variety of styles and are classified into different periods, according to various historical time periods. From sports to pop to politics, you are sure to find your favorite icon/s being featured here.
The Gallery is within the easy reach of the visitors being located centrally in Canberra. You can hire a cab from the airport or the hotel you are staying at and the drive will cost around $20.
You have seen natural beauty and man-made beauties, but have you ever witnessed a man-made natural beauty? Well, if you are wondering what that is exactly, then make sure that you visit the National Arboretum while you are in Canberra. Although it is built on a sad history, yet the arboretum is one of the best scenes that you can treat your eyes to. Stretching over an expanse of 250 hectares, this garden is organized to form a vast expanse of trees, rare and significant, collected from various parts of the world. One gaze and your eyes will be soothed!
Driving to the Arboretum is really easy and costs only a few dollars. You may even take your car as the Arboretum has its own paid parking area.
Floriade at the Commonwealth Park
If you are lucky enough to be in Canberra during the Floriade festival, you can have the greatest pleasure of your life. A look at more than 1 million tulips and a variety of other flowers that are arranged methodically to form a distinct pattern which can be noted from atop the Ferris wheel! Flowers, flowers and more flowers everywhere. What can be more beautiful than this?
You can easily get a taxi or can from your hotel or the airport and it will cost you around $15-$30 for a one way ride.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
The clear skies of Canberra and the tranquility of the mornings, make it the perfect time to enjoy a sky ride in a hot air balloon. Enjoy the freedom of life drifting slowly across the vast skies with your friends, family or your dear one. Also, if you are in Canberra during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular fiesta then you have something more to enjoy. Thousands of hot air balloons in a variety of colors and shapes cover the skies with a splash of color.
With a large number of exhibits and interactive sessions to interest visitors of all ages and interests, the National Science and Technology Center is really a place not to be missed. Whether you are keen on knowing more about the human body or the latest developments in the domain of solar panels and solar energy, Questacon has a dose of interest for everyone. You will hardly find yourself burdened with the science-y stuff as Questacon aims to make it all a fun learning process.
The Questacon is located at the heart of the city and a very close distance from the National Portrait Gallery or the National Museum of Australia and can be covered in a day. If you are travelling directly from the hotel or the airport, it’s best to hire a cab and that will cost around $15-$20.
Lake Burley Griffin
You may have enjoyed numerous lakes in various cities across the world but this differs. The Lake Burley Griffin is a man made lake and is one of the best of its kind. It is a prominent landmark in Canberra and is the ideal location if you are looking to enjoy some water sports like wind surfing, kayaking or yachting.
This beautiful attraction is about 9 kilometers from the Canberra Airport and the taxi fare would come to be around $25 for a one way ride.
The Railway Museum
Although not a very common tourist attraction, yet the museum is a great throwback into the history of the development of the railways in Canberra. From kids who love a train ride to adults who love to watch the various engines and locos from the past, the Railway museum deserves a visit if you are enthusiastic about it.
Within an easy reach from the center of the city, a visit to the Railway Museum would cost you around $25 as a cab or taxi fare.
The Vineyard at Mount Majura
Have you always heard of the fantastic Aussie wine and want to taste some? Make sure that you put the Vineyard at Mount Majura on the list of your top ten and it is guaranteed that you will not be disappointed. The vineyard goes back several decades and at present ranks as one of the best in the region. With a wide variety of both white and red wines to taste along with a nice ambience to enjoy, the Mt. Majura Vineyard will be a good way to relax and enjoy yourself if wine tasting is your thing.
The access to the vineyard is very easy and just 15 minutes of driving can take you to the vast ‘land of wines’. If you are hiring a cab, the fares would be around $25 each way.
The Zoo and Aquarium
A fun visit for the kids and a wonderful experience for all adults, the Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra is a facility that stands unparalleled in Australia due to its compact creation and huge collection of terrestrial, avian and marine life. Even though the zoo is a private property, yet is has been maintained to its full glory and is always being updated with new specimens being added from time to time.
The facility is located at just a 10 minute driving distance from the center of the city and is in close proximity of the Lake Burley Griffin. The taxi fare would be around $50 from the airport and around $ 30 from areas of the city’s center.