More places to visit in Canberra, Australia.
Museum of Australian Democracy
The seat of government from 1927 to 1988, this elegantly proportioned building offers visitors a taste of the political past. Displays cover Australian prime ministers, the roots of democracy and the history of local protest movements. You can also visit the old Senate and House of Representative chambers, the parliamentary library and the prime minister’s office. Kids will love the Play Up area including dress ups and a play room based on the UN’s Right to Shelter, while those with a thing for bling will enjoy the replica crown jewels.
This kid-friendly science centre has educational and fun interactive exhibits. Explore the physics of sport, athletics and fun parks; cause tsunamis; and take shelter from cyclones and earthquakes. Exciting science shows, presentations and puppet shows are all included.
Australian National Botanic Gardens
On Black Mountain’s lower slopes, these large gardens showcase Australian floral diversity over 35 hectares of cultivated garden and 50 hectares of remnant bushland. Various themed routes are marked out, with the best introduction being the 30-to-45 minute main path, which takes in the eucalypt lawn (70 species are represented), rock garden, rainforest gully and Sydney Region garden. A 3.2km bushland nature trail leads to the garden’s higher reaches.
The visitor centre is the departure point for free hour-long guided walks at 11am and 2pm. If you’d prefer a more sedentary experience, an electric bus departs on the Flora Explorer Tour (adult/child $6/3) at 10.30am and 1.30pm on weekends.
Canberra Museum and Art Gallery
This local musuem is worth it for the Sidney Nolan’s alone – including his Ned Kelly series and Burke and Wills Expedition – but there’s also an exhibition on Canberra’s story which is often overshadowed by ‘national’ stories.
Look out for some punchy temporary exhibitions, good floor talks, and kids activities on weekends.
National Zoo & Aquarium
It’s certainly not the biggest in Australia but Canberra’s zoo is well laid out and animal friendly, with native fauna such as Tasmanian devils and dingoes to keep the kids amused. It also offers various behind-the-scenes experiences where you can help to feed the sharks, lions, tigers and bears, and interact with rhinos and cheetahs.
Another unique offering is the chance to stay in the luxurious on-site Jamala Wildlife Lodge (www.jamalawildlifelodge.com.au), where you might find a giraffe leaning over your balcony or a tiger eyeing you through the window of your bedroom.
To get here, catch bus 81 (weekdays) or 981 (weekends) from platform 10 of the Civic bus station.
Hope you enjoy your time in Canberra!
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