There’s always something new and exciting for all the family to enjoy in Australia’s capital city. The kids can see the treasures of our nation and it may come as a surprise to some parents to find that the National Gallery of Australia, Australian War Memorial and even Old Parliament House all have something to entertain the littlies.
About The Australian Capital Territory
Canberra holiday ideas
Explore Australia's fascinating capital with a stay at Novotel Canberra and its...Read More
The kids can see the treasures of our nation and it may come as a surprise to some parents to find that the National Gallery of Australia, Australian War Memorial and even Old Parliament House all have something to entertain the littlies.
Many of the major attractions that parents find interesting also offer children’s activities and discovery trails, such as the Aboriginal food trail at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, the ‘Portrait Detective’ at the National Portrait Gallery and ‘Super Sleuth’ at Old Parliament House.
There are many places where the whole family can explore Australia’s great stories, such as the National Museum of Australia which celebrates the land, nation and people by exploring the key issues, events and characters that have shaped and influenced this country.
Cockington Green Gardens
Cockington Green Gardens is a scale-model miniature English village, based on actual buildings from the UK made us nostalgic for the real thing! We loved the interactive elements – we could make the windmill’s sails turn and the Intercity125 run through the village – as well as the delightful and whimsical details that have been painstakingly created. There are also fascinating scale models of some of the world’s most famous buildings that will really ignite a passion for travel. It was a delight and a pleasure to wander the immaculately kept gardens, play favourites with the mini castles and palaces and take a steam train ride – a miniature one of course!
Best time to go to Canberra
Autumn is one of the best times to visit Canberra and the capital region. Not only is the sky clear and blue nearly every day, but you can marvel as nature turns millions of Canberra’s leaves brilliant reds and golds
20 degrees Celsius is the average temperature and there is an average of 27 milimetres of rainfall
13 degrees Celsius is the average temperature and there is an average of 50 milimetres of rainfall
6 degrees Celsius is the average temperature and there is an average of 46 milimetres of rainfall
13 degrees Celsius is the average temperature and there is an average of 62 milimetres of rainfall
Canberra Airport is a 13-minute drive from the CBD. It is quickest to get a taxi from the airport to your accommodation although buses that take route 11 and 11A run seven days a week to and from the city centre.
Taxis are frequent and will take you take the CBD in around 13 minutes.
Buses that take route 11 and 11A will go to the CBD. Shuttle buses can also be pre-booked.
Food and drinks that kids will love
Canberra is filled with child-friendly cafes that will get the whole family smiling!
Brodburger is the best in all things burger with baby size options that are still sure to fill you up while Little Oink has the kids covered with all-day brekky options.
With ice-cream, a wall of cakes and pizzas and outdor tables for sunny days, Docle & Salato Pasticceria is a great stop to fill rumbling tummies. And for those more health conscious families, or those craving a little balance to their holiday indulgence’s Double Shot in Deakin serves up toasties, paleo breakies, smoothies and plenty of coffee for Mum and Dad.
For kids eat free deals, be sure to visit the Mawson Club or other leagues clubs where often the deals apply!
Canberra has a popular shopping and market scene with boutiques, markets, homeware stores, and big department stores all nearby, with plenty of cafe surrounding to keep the kids energised on your shopping adventure.
Popular shopping attractions include Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, Canberra Glassworks, and for those after a bargain Canberra Outlet Centre.
Tipping is appreciated but not expected in Australia.
What to wear
Be sure to bring warm clothes to rug up at nighttime as the temperature is known to drop quite low in Canberra.
Mains voltage in Australia is 230V AC, 50Hz. Use a two-pin (shaped like a “V”) or three-pin adaptor (different to British three-pin adaptors).
No special immunisations or vaccinations are required to visit Australia unless you have come from, or have visited, a yellow fever infected country within six days of your arrival. However, regulations and medical advice can change at short notice, so check with your doctor and the Australian Department of Health before you leave home.
Tap water is generally safe to drink in Australian cities.
By and large, ACT is considered a safe destination, although still exercise regular safety precautions as you would at home.
Most photographed places
The nation’s capital has plenty of places to snap the perfect holiday shot whether it be from the inside of a trendy café or next to one of many unique landmarks.
The Australian National Botanic Gardens is a must-visit for the perfect family photo opportunity. With the world’s most comprehensive display of living Australian native plants, you’ll be spoilt for choice with vibrant flowers and towering trees. Why not make a day of it and pack a picnic to enjoy on the lawns? There are also a range of walking trails, educational activities, a café and a bookshop to make for a fun day among the flora and fauna.
If you’re in Canberra from mid-September to October, Floriade should be top of your to-do list. With displays totalling over one million flowers, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest floral display completes any spring ‘gram spread. Beyond the blooms, Floriade also hosts a wide range of music programs, cultural celebrations, horticultural workshops, food and wine, market traders, artistic displays, entertainment and recreational activities.
Take in Canberra from the heights atop of Mount Ainslie. The 1.5 hour hike reveals views over Lake Burley Griffin out to the surrounding mountain ranges and provides a particularly picture-perfect view at sunrise and sunset. For little legs, you can access the lookout by car, but for those ready to get the blood pumping there are also a lot of photo opportunities on the way up with an abundance of native birds and wildlife.
Get your art on with a visit to James Turrell’s Within without exhibition. The installation is located in the Australian Gardens at the National Gallery of Australia and features a long sloping walkway leading into a large viewing chamber that opens to the sky. Head to the National Gallery’s website to see optimum daily viewing times.
The words of Dorothea Mackellar have been immortalised in corten steel and rod at the National Arboretum’s Himalayan cedar forest where the phrase ‘wide brown land’ stands 35 metres long and three metres high. This towering ode to Mackellar’s famous poem ‘My Country’ is based on her own handwriting and makes for the perfect foreground to the iconic Telstra Tower.
Canberra is renowned for their trendy café scene, and if you’re looking for an insta-worthy eat then the capital is the place to be. SPACE Kitchen will wow with their out-of-this-world dishes that almost look too good to eat. For coffee addicts, The Cupping Room will treat you with a rustic-chic flat lay and an accompanying caffeine hit. The kids will love Patissez Manuka where OTT freakshakes and inventive dishes bursting with both colour and flavour are a speciality. In the evening, Hippo Co’s ambient lighting and vintage prints make for a retro background to a Regent Martini.