10 great ways to keep the kids, and adults, amused in Canberra
1. National Museum of Australia : Australia’s national museum housed in an innovative purpose-built building that profiles 50,000 years of indigenous heritage, settlement since 1788 and key events including Federation and the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Five permanent galleries and changing exhibitions. Lawson Crescent, Acton. Open daily 9am-5pm. Free entry. www.nma.gov.au
2. Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre: making science fun this interactive museum is a hit with both kids and adults. King Edward Terrace, Parkes. Open daily, 9am-5pm. Adults $20, kids $15. www.questacon.edu.au
3. Australian Institute of Sport: take a tour with an elite athlete and test your athletic skills in the Sportex exhibition. Leverrier Crescent, Bruce. Public tours operate daily at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm. Adults $16, kids $9. www.ausport.gov.au/ais
4. Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex: Canberra’s answer to the ‘Dish’. It’s one of only three active NASA tracking stations in the world. Includes the new Satellite Laser Ranging Observatory and Space Research Centre researching the problems caused by man-made space debris. Tidbinbilla, about 40km south-west of the city. Open daily, 9am-5pm (6pm Summer time). Free entry. www.cdscc.nasa.gov
5. Canberra’s lakes are a great place to spend a day messing about on the water. You can hire paddleboats, surf skis, canoes and windsurfers at Acton Park and take to the water of Lake Burley Griffin, the largest of Canberra's three artificial lakes.
6. Zoo Venture: the National Zoo and Aquarium runs behind the scenes tours each day in which you can get up close and personal with many of the animals at the zoo. The two-hour ZooVenture Tour lets you hand feed tigers, lions, bears and is one of the most hands-on animal adventure tours in the country. There are also ‘Meet a Cheetah’ programme that take you inside the cheetah’s enclosure and allows you to touch the fastest land animal in the world. General entry: adults $30, kids $18.50. www.nationalzoo.com.au
7. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve: wedged between the Tidbinbilla and Gibraltar Ranges, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is a 40-minute drive from the city centre along Tourist Drive 5. Tidbinbilla features walking trails, ranger-guided activities and prolific wildlife including koalas, the endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby and the northern corroboree frog.
8. Cockington Green: a miniature recreation of an English village and miniature buildings from around the world set in beautifully landscaped gardens, complete with miniature people. There’s also miniature train displays and a dolls house ‘Misrule’, a replica of the house depicted in the famous novel the Seven Little Australians. 15km north of the city on Gold Creek Road, at Gold Creek Village, off the Barton Highway, Nicholls. Open daily, 9.30am-5pm. Adults $17.50, kids $9.50. www.cockingtongreen.com.au
9. National Dinosaur Museum: the largest permanent display of dinosaur and other prehistoric fossil material in Australia with 23 complete skeletons, and more than 300 displays of individual fossils. Gold Creek Village, Gold Creek Road and Barton Highway, Nicholls. Open daily 10am-5pm. Adults $11, kids $8. www.nationaldinosaurmuseum.com.au
10. Royal Australian Mint: let the kids mint their own $1 coin on the public coining presses at the Royal Australian Mint, which has the capacity to produce two million coins a day. Denison Street, Deakin. Open Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm, weekends and public holidays, 10am-4pm. Free entry. www.ramint.gov.au
|Read more about Canberra's Highlights»|