Northeast of the city, 843m-high Mt Ainslie has excellent views day and night. At the top, plaques explain what the Canberra basin looked like before the city was built. You can drive to the summit, or take the walking track that starts behind the Australian War Memorial (4.5km return, 1½ hours).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Canberra attractions

1. Australian War Memorial


Canberra's glorious art-deco war memorial is a highlight in a city filled with interesting architecture. Built to commemorate 'the war to end all wars',…

2. Glebe Park

1.47 MILES

This spacious green park is filled with leafy elm trees that turn a lovely golden yellow in autumn. There's a playground for kids and lots of paved paths…

3. Canberra Museum & Art Gallery


This local museum is worth it for the Sidney Nolan paintings alone – 141 works, including canvases from his Ned Kelly series and Burke and Wills…

4. Blundell's Cottage

1.81 MILES

This small workers cottage was built in 1860 from local stone and is the oldest surviving building of its kind in Canberra. When it was built, the cottage…

5. Nerang Pool

1.89 MILES

This lovely pool is a serene spot in Commonwealth Park, with an abundance of bird life and some beautiful landscaped gardens.

6. Drill Hall Gallery

1.98 MILES

The Australian National University's main gallery displays specials exhibitions and items from the ANU's art collection. On permanent display is the…

7. Lake Burley Griffin

2.06 MILES

Every morning you'll see politicians running off the night before around this majestic lake and perhaps a few journos hot on their trail. This constructed…

8. National Capital Exhibition

2.06 MILES

This small but fascinating museum tells the story of how Canberra came to be Australia's capital. Displays include reproductions of the drawings entered…