National Nursing Forum 2021

Things to do in Canberra

You are here:

Explore Canberra to experience Australian culture and history at superb monuments and galleries. It’s also a city surrounded by parkland and native bush.

To view all the activities you could do during your stay in Canberra, please visit

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is an iconic place to encounter native wildlife in their natural setting. Nestled at the base of the Tidbinbilla Range, the reserve is only a 40-minute drive south-west of Canberra’s city centre. Located within the reserve is a Wildlife Sanctuary Area of five ponds and weirs abundant with wildlife including platypus. There is an over 80% chance of seeing these rare and usually elusive animals! Other native animals you may encounter include koalas, emus, pelicans, brolgas, kangaroos and many bird and reptile species. Tidbinbilla is also a leader in conservation with a Threatened Species Breeding Program focusing on the Northern Corroboree Frog, Southern Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallaby and the Eastern Bettong. The landscape of the reserve is spectacular and varied with mountain ranges, peaceful dry eucalypt forests, woodlands, sheltered streams, majestic open grasslands and calming wetlands. Learn more.

Anzac Parade Self-Guided Walking Tour

A self-guided walking tour from the steps of the Australian War Memorial along the National Capital’s major commemorative way.

The term ‘ANZAC’ stands for ‘Australian and New Zealand Army Corps’. The Anzac legend has its roots in Gallipoli and the First World War, when Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on 25 April 1915.

Anzac Parade (the Parade) is set along Canberra’s magnificent Land Axis, a key feature of the Griffins’ original 1912 plan of the city. The Land Axis is now bookended by Parliament House at one end and the Australian War Memorial at the other. Learn more.

Parliament House

Visit Parliament House, Canberra, and experience Australia’s robust democracy in action.

You can watch Question Time, see bills being debated, and sit in on committee inquiries as current issues are explored in detail.

You’ll also find some of Australia’s finest historical treasures and contemporary art on display throughout the building, and in our permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Parliament House is open 364 days a year, and you’re welcome at the meeting place of our nation. Learn more.

National Gallery of Australia

The National Gallery of Australia is the national art museum of Australia as well as one of the largest art museums in Australia, holding more than 166,000 works of art. Located in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, it was established in 1967 by the Australian government as a national public art museum.

If arts and culture is your thing, Canberra has you covered with a multitude of galleries and museums to explore and discover more about Australia’s history. Learn more.

National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia, in the national capital Canberra, preserves and interprets Australia’s social history, exploring the key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation. It was formally established by the National Museum of Australia Act 1980.

General admission is free. Costs apply for some special exhibitions and events.

The National Museum of Australia brings to life the rich and diverse stories of Australia through compelling objects, ideas and events. We focus on Indigenous histories and cultures, European settlement and our interaction with the environment. Learn more.

The War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial was voted the number one landmark in Australia by travellers in the 2016 Tripadvisor awards. Come and see why.

The Australian War Memorial is open between 10am – 5pm daily and is free to enter. Learn more.

Australian National Botanical Gardens

The Australian National Botanic Gardens, on the lower slopes of Black Mountain in Canberra, has the world’s most comprehensive display of living Australian native plants. A place for recreation, inspiration, science and learning. The plants are displayed for the enjoyment and education of visitors and are used for research into plant classification and biology. A herbarium of preserved plant specimens is closely associated with the living collection. The Gardens also cultivates plants threatened in the wild. This helps protect them against extinction and provides information which might assist reintroduction to their natural habitat. Learn more.

National Film Sound and Archive

The National Film and Sound Archive is Australia’s ‘living’ archive – the custodian of over 3 million items that we not only collect, but preserve for future generations and share in many diverse ways. Collections include films, television and radio programs, videos, audio tapes, records, compact discs, phonograph cylinders and wire recordings. It also encompasses documents and artefacts such as photographs, posters, lobby cards, publicity items, scripts, costumes, props, memorabilia, oral histories, and vintage equipment. Learn more.

Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint prides itself on producing high quality coins commemorating significant national anniversaries, or celebrating what makes our country unique. While they display a denomination, these coins are not intended to be put into circulation, and are worth a lot more than their face value. Our proof coins are our flagship products, exquisitely crafted from hand polished gold and fine silver blanks, the dedication and care that is bestowed on each coin from its inception is evident in our breathtaking final product. Our status as a world class, technologically superior mint can be seen in our product range, which often features colour printed, selectively gold plated and uniquely shaped coins. Our coins cover a wide range of themes, and if you’re a sports fan, nature lover or a history buff, chances are you will find something that interests you in our product range. Learn more.

National Zoo and Aquarium

The National Zoo and Aquarium (NZA) first opened in 1990 as the National Aquarium. The Aquarium consisted of approximately 30 different species, a large restaurant and function area, with its main feature being a large 1.5 million litre aquarium with an underwater viewing tunnel. This was reportedly the first of its type in the world and was manufactured by a local Canberra company. The Aquarium was situated on around 7 hectares of land which also incorporated a series of outdoor ponds and streams for trout farming. The Aquarium struggled both financially and with some of the major exhibits and within 3 years of opening had been sold to another operator. With a wide variety of both native and exotic animals, as well as the largest inland saltwater tank in Australia, there is something for everyone. Learn more.

Lanyon Homestead

Experience the restored 1850s homestead, discover the Convict-era outbuildings, and explore the stunning gardens that make Lanyon Homestead the gem of Canberra’s history.

While you are visiting Lanyon:

  • enjoy a guided tour of the homestead
  • explore the outbuildings that made this pastoral property a showpiece in the region –Machinery Shed, Fowler engine, Convict Barn
  • take in the view while enjoying the Barracks Espresso Bar and Eating House or picnic in the garden with a view to the hills beyond the Murrumbidgee River
  • take a leisurely stroll through the rambling gardens surrounding the homestead and enjoy the outbuildings that complete the story of how it functioned.

Learn more