The capital city of Australia, Canberra – is the best place to learn about their political development and history. The city exists as a compromised agreement between Sydney and Melbourne about getting the Capital status. The layout of the capital is a result of an architectural competition won by The American Walter Burley Griffin and his wife, Marion, and it is built in one of Australias best wine districts. There is nothing not to love about this place.
1. Capitol Hill – parliament building
The political scene is presented in a straight line from the capitol hill where the parliament is situated, to the war memorial on the other side of the Griffin basin. The parliament house has free guided tours every day at 09:30am, 11:00am, 13:00pm, 14:00pm and 15:30pm. You get to visit the house of representatives as well as the Senate, and you can take pictures. You are also allowed to sit in the public galleries during the parliamentary sitting days. The rooftop of the Parliament has an excellent view of Canberra, and you can log on and work from the on-site café overlooking the parliament grounds with a view over to the war memorial on the other side of the lake if you wish to spend the day there. In the heart of the building, the member’s hall is a mingling area for the members of parliament. The architecture is worth a visit, and this is also where the prime minister’s portraits are, and you might bump into a familiar face. Learn more about the parliament here.
2. Old parliament building
Just down the hill from Capitol Hill, you will find the old parliament housing the museum of Australian democracy. Enjoy the architecture of the house that was the federal government from 1927 until 1988 and learn the political history of Australia.
3. Aboriginal tent Embassy
In front of the old parliament house, you will see the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. It was established here in January 1972 as a response to the prime minister’s refusal to recognize Aboriginal rights to the land, minerals, and forests.
People visit the national capital because it is the seat of federal government, and also because it is home to important cultural landmarks like the Australian War Memorial.
4. The Australian War Memorial
The memorial is a shrine to commemorate the sacrifice of the young men and women who died at war. It is also a museum of artifacts and stories, and it houses an extensive war archive. The boulevard leading from the lake to the museum is lined with memorials of all the wars Australians were sent to battle, so renting a bicycle going up and down the avenue will give you the best overview of the history of war.
5. The National Gallery
The National Gallery of Australia is a work of art in itself. The architecture is worth a trip alone. The permanent exhibitions are free and display the history of Australian art, as well as contemporary art. A must see when visiting Canberra if you are interested in art, design, and architecture. Remember to check out the gardens as well as the inside of this art piece.
6. The High Court
The High Court is situated next door and is a 40-meter high glass and concrete building. The High court’s public hall and three courtrooms are open to the public. There are court guides present to introduce you to the history, as well as the role and operations of the Court. If the court is sitting, you can watch the proceedings, following the high court’s etiquette.
7. The National Library of Australia
National Library of Australia is a library supporting creative and intellectual endeavor as well as learning. Expect to find documentary resources of national significance to Australia’s diverse culture and heritage. They also double as a publishing house releasing 18 publications related to natural history, art, photography, and literature a year. They also publish award-winning children’s books. They have a bookstore and an in-house café, and two floors filled with desks and computers to work from.
8. The National Museum
If you want to be a part of the history of Australia, the most prominent place will be the National Museum. Their motto is “where our stories come alive,” and they do. This museum is a time capsule covering the history of Australia from the aboriginals until today. It is an interactive and fun learning experience for kids and grown-ups alike.
The national museum offers the ultimate Virtual reality experience with David Attenborough. Go back in time to explore earth coming to life and try diving the great barrier reef.
Questacon is the national science and technology center of Australia. They have more than 200 hands-on experiences to explore for people of all ages. This is the place of making future history. Try freezing your own shadow and experience an earthquake. Challenge a robot to play a game with you or free-fall down a six-meter-long slide. Bring out your inner child and enjoy.
9. The Wine district
The history of producing wine goes back 160 years in Canberra. With 140 vineyards and 30 cellars within 35 minutes’ drive from downtown Canberra, a winery is an obligatory visit to the area. Learn the difference between the grapes and how they are combined and tested to fulfill every taste in wine. Riesling, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Tempranillo or Chardonnay to name a few grapes combined to make red white or rose in this area. Join one of the many tours offered to be picked up at your hotel and get back safely.
Visiting these informative sites will give you the 101 on Australien History. An excellent reason to visit Canberra.