Welcome to Canberra

While every other Australian city was settled before Federation in 1901, the youthful capital was first called Canberra in 1913 making it the only Australian city founded when the nation existed. It’s not your colonial capital; it’s an Australian invention conceived of by visionary American architect Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin. Before the constructed capital, the Ngambri and Ngunnawal were the among the indigenous peoples who owned the land with ties stretching back over 20,000 years. The name Canberra is based on the Ngunnawal word for meeting.

Today, the city boasts expansive open spaces, broad boulevards, aesthetics influenced by the 19th-century Arts and Crafts Movement, and a seamless alignment of built and natural elements. Recent designer precincts around the lake – New Acton, Kingston Foreshore and a work in progress boardwalk around to the Acton Peninsula – have added a cosmopolitan atmosphere at the city’s heart. During parliamentary sitting weeks, the city buzzes with national politics. When not talking policy, the city’s developing a reputation for its festivals – the legendary Floriade, National Folk Festival and the freshly minted Canberra Writers Festival.

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Canberra activities

$139.23 Day Trips & Excursions

Canberra Day Trip from Sydney

Your full-day tour starts with morning pickup from your Sydney hotel. Set out for Canberra aboard your comfortable air-conditioned coach, listening to your guide’s informative commentary about the sights you pass. On the way to Canberra you’ll stop in Southern Highlands at Sutton Forest. Here you can stretch your legs or treat yourself to morning tea (own expense). Continuing on, your coach climbs to the summit of Mt Ainslie where you get panoramic views over Canberra. Look for the large red-brick boulevard named ANZAC Parade, in honor of ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) troops. It forms the main axis between Parliament House and Mount Ainslie. As you drive through central Canberra, your guide points out important civic monuments such as National Library of Australia, National Carillon bell tower, the High Court of Australia and the Captain Cook Memorial Jet (fountain). Your day trip includes private guided tours of the Australian War Memorial, and the National Museum of Australia. Your guide provides fascinating insight into the museum, which present top-notch exhibits that explore Australian culture and history. You also get a guided tour of the stunning Parliament House, which reopened in 1988 after extensive renovations. The innovative buildings include rooftop gardens with 360-degree views of the city. Later, drive past The Lodge, which is the official residence of the Prime Minister. As Australia’s political and administrative center, Canberra houses various foreign embassies and other key national institutions. After taking in the many highlights of Canberra, head back to Sydney in the late afternoon, with a stop en route where you can purchase dinner. Your tour ends in the evening when you are returned to your original pick-up points. NB: As 01 April 2018 we will no longer visit the National Art Gallery

$139.23 Day Trips & Excursions

Canberra Explorer: Australia's Capital City Tour from Sydney

This guided Canberra tour has been carefully designed to ensure you take in all of the main sights of this modern and well planned city of imposing architecture set amongst many beautifully kept gardens and parks to help you gain an insight into the workings of the capital and of Australia Your tour of Canberra includes the following highlights: Stretch your legs during a morning break near quaint Berrima Join a guided tour of the National Museum of Australia Discover Canberra's salute to all that is Australian, from our diverse cultural mix to current icons such as the famous Hills Hoist Enjoy a private guided tour of Parliament House Have the opportunity to view the upper or lower Houses of Parliament (when in session) See 'The Lodge', the Prime Minister's residence when in Canberra Travel the pretty tree lined streets and view diplomatic homes and embassies of many foreign ambassadors See Captain Cook Memorial Fountain, the National Library and the High Court View Carillon's beautiful bell tower and the gardens of Commonwealth Park Hear the history of the ANZACs as we travel along the boulevard dedicated to the participants of two world wars Visit the Australian War Memorial, home to an interesting display of war relics Travel to the summit of Mt Ainslie for a terrific view of Canberra and surrounds Your return journey to Sydney will include a short dinner break (own expense).

$139.23 Day Trips & Excursions

Canberra Tour from Sydney: Parliament House, War Memorial

After meeting your guide at your designated hotel, travel approximately 1.5-hours the Southern Highlands.Here you’ll stop for morning tea (own expense). Before arriving in Canberra, you’ll make one final stop at the summit of Mt Ainslie; located within Canberra’s National Park. Here you’ll have a short 15-minute break for an opportunity to view the unique city of Canberra surrounded by mountain ranges. Make sure to bring your camera as the picturesque view is the perfect photo opportunity! Your first stop in Canberra is the Australian War Memorial where you'll take a guided tour. Travel back in time as you pay tribute to those Australian’s who lost their lives in the wars of the Commonwealth. Here you’ll discover the sacrifice of the Australian soldiers and be deeply moved as you come to realize the impact that war has had on our society. Enjoy lunch at the cafe (own expense) before heading to the National Museum or the National Art Gallery. Arrive at the National Art Gallery (or National Museum of Australia subject to current exhibits) to view some of Australia’s best art collections. The gallery boasts stunning artworks from an array of influences such as Australian, Asian, Pacific, Contemporary, European+American and Indigenous. A visit to Canberra isn’t complete without a visit to the Parliament House. Take a guided tour of Australia’s parliament house, the meeting point of the nation for an extensive tour of the Chambers and many of its 4,700 rooms. Learn about the incredible architecture, history, artwork and Australian democratic processes as you wander through the Parliament House. If you’re lucky, you may even witness the Houses of Parliament in session. Next, take a tour of Canberra city viewing the Prime Minister’s official residence, the Lodge as well as the National Library dating back to 1901. If that’s not enough, located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, see the largest reference library in Australia holding up to 10-million different types of material held on their bookshelves. As you drive around the man-made Lake Burley Griffin, also view the High Court of Australia and the iconic Carillon Bell Tower, received as a gift from the British Government to mark 50-years as the nation’s capital. Standing 50-metres tall and home to 55 bronze bells, it is truly stunning. On your way back to Sydney, stop off in Goulburn for dinner (own expense) before arriving back in Sydney at approximately 9pm.

$14.73 Cultural & Theme Tours

Australian Institute of Sport: The AIS Tour

Your tour starts at the AIS Visitor Centre, where you'll meet your guide for your immersion into athletics in Australia. Learn about sports in a hands-on way with Sportex, an educational and engaging sports experience where you can try wheelchair basketball, virtual downhill skiing, rock climbing, football penalty shootouts, and more. Sportex is included as part of every AIS tour. Try out a selection of interactive activities such as testing your accuracy, speed, and strength with the ball-skills tester or reaction timer, plus explore educational exhibits such as the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Heroes and Legends, and Sports Science.

$114.18 Day Trips & Excursions

Canberra Day Trip from Sydney Including Parliament House and Australian War Memorial

Your day trip starts with departure from a designated location in central Sydney, heading out of the city, over the mountains, and into the Australian bush and sheep country on your way to Canberra. Canberra is unlike any other capital city in the world, and you have to visit yourself to truly understand why. World-class attractions, interesting architecture, and futuristic planning all play their part in making Canberra one of the most modern and progressive cities in history. When you arrive, your first stop is Parliament House, where you can feel the might and privilege of Australian democracy as your guide takes you through this architectural masterpiece, from the inner halls of power to the roof. Head to the Australian War Memorial for time to reflect and ponder the legends of Gallipoli, ANZAC, and the sacrifices and losses suffered by Australians in wars fought around the world, and then continue to Mt. Ainslie to take in the 360-degree view over Canberra and the surrounding mountain ranges. Watch for wild kangaroos along the way. You'll also visit Yarralumla for a look at many national embassies, each one unique and designed to reflect aspects of the country's culture. After this, you have nearly two hours of free time to check out the National Museum of Australia, controversial and popular, you can explore an interactive mix of exhibits and displays highlighting Australia's diverse history and culture.  Your day trip ends with the drive back to Sydney.

$243.10 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Canberra Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise

Your flight experience begins early in the morning at the Hyatt Hotel, centrally located on Commonwealth Ave, a two minute walk from Parliament House.You'll meet just before dawn as this is the best time to fly. From the Hyatt you are taken to the launch site. It takes around 20-25 minutes for the balloon to be inflated and standing upright ready for boarding. You are welcome to help with the setup of the balloon or simply stand back and take photos as your aircraft takes shape and comes to life.Dawn lift-off! As the new day dawns, you will ascend into the sky in your colourful balloon. Your balloon will float gently along the breeze, whilst in your basket you will feel completely secure with very little sensation of movement. During your flight you may find yourself drifting just above the treetops then moments later effortlessly ascending to heights of 2000-feet or more.Photography from the balloon is encouraged and you will be rewarded with stunning shots of Canberra, providing you with years of fond memories.After approximately one hour you will be greeted by your ground crew as you touch back down to earth. The balloon is packed away with lots of laughs, then you hop back into one of the vehicles and return to the Canberra Hyatt. Enjoy a glass of Australian sparkling wine as you are presented with a commemorative flight certificate as part of our traditional ballooning celebration.