Things to see & do

For your Canberra getaway, VisitCanberra has put together a list of the top 10 things everyone has to see, do and taste to truly experience Australia’s capital. But let's face it, there are far too many fabulous things to tackle in just one trip, so start planning your return trip now!

Visit the icons

Make sure you visit all the world-class national attractions that call Canberra home at least once, including the National Museum of Australia, Australia's Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. Entry to most of the city’s major attractions is free.

Soar above the capital

For the best view of Canberra, take a scenic hot air balloon flight over the nation’s capital. Take off at sunrise and drift gently with the wind as you experience breathtaking views and see the nation's capital come to life beneath you. 

Conquer the Freakshake

Tempt your tastebuds with the Freakshakes creating world-wide intrigue and envy at Patissez Cafe in Manuka and Civic. These monster milkshakes will make you want to share them with everyone on social media before you indulge.

Make it to the markets

Spend your Saturday morning shopping up a storm at the Capital Region Farmers Markets, where you can buy fresh produce direct from the growers and enjoy a delicious local breakfast or brunch. Then take part in a Sunday tradition in Canberra by visiting the Old Bus Depot Markets. Pick up some tasty treats, a bunch of flowers, some fashion gems and local artwork. 

Explore the lake

At the heart of Canberra is Lake Burley Griffin, surrounded by galleries and museums that house Australia’s art and historical collections interspersed with parks and open spaces as well as walking and cycling paths. Do as the locals do and spend an hour walking the ‘bridge to bridge’ path around the lake, stopping off for a coffee along the way.

Wander through wineries

Canberra’s three cool-climate wine regions offer a spectacular range of experiences, from wine-tasting and fine dining to truffle hunting. Traditionally, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Shiraz varieties have thrived here at the 140 vineyards and 33 winery cellar doors, most within 30 minutes’ drive of the capital.

Take the ultimate selfie

In the centre of Parliament House’s roof flies an Australian flag roughly the size of a double-decker bus. Visitors can take the lift to the roof, walk beneath the massive flag mast and pose for the perfect holiday selfie.

Wine and dine

Indulge at some of the capital’s top-rated restaurants for incredible culinary experiences. Wander through foodie precincts like BraddonNewActon and the Kingston Foreshore for an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants, bars, pop-up stores, galleries and people watching. 

Catch up over coffee

Explore Canberra's thriving cafe culture and hit up some of the city's many hot spots, which are perfect for catching up with friends, enjoying a weekend brunch or relaxing over a long lunch. Be sure to drop into The Cupping RoomONA Manukaor ONA Coffee House, where you might run into Ona Coffee founder and 2015 World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic or perhaps the reigning Australian Barista Champion, Hugh Kelly.

Discover your wild side

Set yourself the challenge on a visit to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to spot five famous native Australian animals that call the area home: the koala, platypus, kangaroo, emu and wombat. Then embark on the ultimate animal encounter at the National Zoo & Aquarium’s luxury accommodation, Jamala Wildlife Lodge, where you can take part in behind-the-scenes tours and share a jungle bungalow with lions, tigers and bears for neighbours.

We’ve given you just a taste of what you can try to pack into your trip to Canberra. For more suggestions, check out the Visitor Guide, available here.