With our federal election looming on the horizon, it seems fit to pay tribute to our parliamentary capital, Canberra. Although the perception is often that Canberra is a purely bureaucratic city, there are certainly many activities that will keep the kids amused. From cycling around Lake Burley Griffin to taking a tour of Old Parliament House, this architecturally designed city has a variety of family friendly attractions.
Here are our top five activities for the whole family.
The Australian War Memorial
One of Canberra’s most visited attractions, the Australian War Memorial is a prestigious archive of Australia’s involvement in the war. The museum aims to commemorate the service and sacrifice of all who served and allows visitors to learn more about the historic events that shaped our country. Receive free entry and join an informative guided tour of the galleries. The Discovery Zone is especially designed for kids, with five interactive environments. Kids can peer through the periscope of a Cold War submarine or take control of an Iroquois helicopter.
Canberra’s National Science and Technology Centre, Questacon takes guests on an exciting journey into the wonderful world of science. There are six different galleries to explore including the Awesome Earth exhibit where you can discover the power of lightning and earthquakes. Excite @ Q is where you will find energy pumping activities like the Free Fall slide and the 360 Swing. There’s also a Mini Q for toddlers and children up to the age of six. This is where little scientists can learn to explore their environments and nurture their imagination.
Lake Burley Griffin
Situated in the centre of Canberra is the beautiful Lake Burley Griffin. This artificial lake is a hub of activity every day as many gather to enjoy the great outdoors. Lake Burley Griffin is the perfect spot for a family picnic, with barbecue facilities and picnic tables scattered in the parks surrounding the shores. Take a bicycle ride around the lake, catch a ferry to enjoy the view or feed the local birds. This is also the perfect spot for a range of water activities including sailing, fishing, canoeing or paddle boating.
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
A visit to Canberra is not complete without exploring Old Parliament House. One of Australia’s most prominent heritage attractions, this landmark opened in 1927 and served as the home of Federal Parliament until 1988. Now housing the Museum of Australian Democracy, guests can enjoy a guided tour and delve into our country’s history. Revisit dramatic events, admire 1920’s architecture and learn more about Australian democracy. Even the kids can join in the fun with a MoADventure Trail tour, specially designed for little ones.
National Zoo and Aquarium
Set on seven hectares of land, Canberra’s National Zoo and Aquarium hosts a wide range of native and exotic animals. Expect to see all your favourites including zebras, lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, monkeys and reptiles. For a wild adventure, join a Family Tour and go behind the scenes to meet and even feed some of the zoo’s most playful animals. Home to the largest saltwater tank in Australia, visitors can marvel at colourful marine animals from tropical fish to tiny seahorses.