Canberra: a capital destination

Our national capital is often overlooked by grey nomads in favour of more well-known destinations. 

That’s a mistake, because Canberra, with its unique blend of natural beauty and captivating history, has something to offer everyone. Importantly, many of its most fascinating attractions are free. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the attractions that piqued our interest during a recent visit to the nation’s capital. 

National Museum Australia 

Our visit to Canberra was a road trip detour to see the Ancient Egypt Exhibition at the National Museum Australia and it didn’t disappoint. Open until September 2024, the exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to see and learn about this rich and diverse ancient civilization. Tickets are $25 per adult ($20 concession) and booking is essential. 

Parliament House

A visit to Canberra wouldn’t be complete without exploring the iconic Parliament House. As the seat of Australian politics, this majestic building symbolises the country’s democratic values. Take a guided tour to discover the intricate architecture, and stunning art displays, and learn about the legislative process. Admission is free, although we chose a paid ‘behind the scenes’ guided tour and consider it money well spent.

Old Parliament House

Now the Museum of Australian Democracy (MOAD), Old Parliament House was the home of Australia’s federal government from 1927 to 1988. The free guided or self-guided tours give an insight into our political history and the lives of our elected representatives at the time. Admission is free.

High Court of Australia

The building is open to the public from 9.45am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, except for holidays. Visitors are welcome at any time during ordinary opening hours. A court guide is present in each courtroom to answer your questions and provide information about the role and function of the High Court and its architecture. On sitting days, visitors are welcome to view the sitting court. Admission is free.

Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial stands as a tribute to all those who have served their nation. This poignant landmark commemorates Australia’s involvement in wars and conflicts, displaying artefacts, interactive exhibits, and touching stories. Attend the moving Last Post Ceremony at 4.30pm, which pays tribute to the fallen soldiers and their sacrifices. Entry to the Australian War Memorial and the Last Post Ceremony is free, but you must book/have a ticket.

Art enthusiasts will be captivated by the National Gallery of Australia. This premier art institution showcases an extensive collection of Australian and international artworks. From Indigenous art to contemporary installations and famous European masterpieces, the gallery exhibits a diverse range of artistic styles. Entry is free.

From its historical landmarks to its artistic splendour and natural wonders, Canberra is a city that offers a diverse range of experiences. Importantly, grey nomads are well catered for with plenty of accommodation options, and, as mentioned earlier, most visitor attractions are free. So, make sure to include Canberra in your travel itinerary and unlock the hidden and important treasures that await in our capital city.

Note: Parliament House, Old Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia, the High Court and the National Library of Australia are on the southern side of Lake Burley Griffin. The War Memorial and the National Museum Australia are on the north of the lake. Parking is limited, however Canberra is well served by taxi and Uber services.

To help plan your itinerary, visit:

Have you ever travelled to Canberra? Why not share your favourite experience in the comments section below?

Also read: Up in the air over Canberra on a balloon adventure

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