Tourist Attractions 10 great things to see and do in Canberra
1. National Gallery of Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, Asian art, Australian art, photography, sculpture garden and international art, including blockbuster exhibitions. Parkes Place. Open daily 10 am-5 pm. Free entry.
2. National Portrait Gallery: portraits of people who have had a significant impact on the country. Old Parliament House, King George Terrace, Parkes. Open daily 9am-5pm. Adults $2, kids $1.
3. Australian War Memorial: military relics and exhibitions, including the Hall of Memory and the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier. Top of ANZAC Parade, Campbell. Open daily 10am-5pm. 9am-5pm ACT and NSW school holidays. Free entry.
4. Parliament House: see parliament in action during Question Time at 2pm each sitting day. Capital Hill. Open daily 9am-5pm, later when Parliament sits. Free entry.
5. Old Parliament House: beautiful 1920s building and home of the Australian Parliament for 61 years, with much of the interior offices left just as they were when the tenants left to move up to the big house on the hill. King George Terrace, Parkes. Changing exhibitions and free guided tours every 45 minutes, 9.30am-3.15pm. Open daily 9am-5pm. Adults $2, kids $1.
6. National Library of Australia: collections of the personal papers of many famous Australians, rare books, maps, photographs, sheet music and other historic documents. Changing exhibitions, café and bookstore. Parkes Place, Parkes. Open daily, 9am-5pm. Free entry.
7. Screen Sound Australia: the national screen and sound archive holds 100 years of Australian film, radio and television history more than 1.3 million items. In addition to discs, films, videos, audio tapes, phonograph cylinders and wire recordings, the collection includes supporting documents and artifacts, such as photographic stills, transparencies, posters, lobby cards, publicity, scripts, costumes, props, memorabilia and sound, video and film equipment and features many changing exhibitions. McCoy Circuit, Acton. Open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm weekends and public holidays. Free entry.
8. National Archives of Australia: a treasure trove of fascinating records and documents. Changing exhibitions highlight various items from the collection. Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes. Open daily 9am-5pm.
9. Lanyon Homestead and Nolan Gallery: Lanyon is one of Australia's most historic grazing properties. The homestead dates from the 1850s and has been beautifully restored and furnished. It is set within superb gardens. The Nolan Gallery displays important works by renowned Australian artist, Sir Sidney Nolan. Lanyon, Tharwa Drive, Tharwa. Open Tues-Sun and most public holidays: 10am-4pm. Adults $8, kids $6.
10. Ballooning: each March, Canberra hosts the Canberra Balloon Fiesta when some 50 novelty balloons from around Australia and overseas take off from the lawns in front of Old Parliament House. During the rest of the year you can take to the skies on most mornings, weather permitting, with one of several commercial one-hour balloon flight operators. Flights leave at dawn, drifting over the slumbering city, usually waking dogs in almost every backyard you glide over. It’s a great way to get a birds-eye view of the radiating lines of Walter Burley Griffin's original city plan. Visit www.dawndrifters.com.au or www.balloonaloft.com.
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