Top Things to Do in Canberra

Visiting the capital of Australia? My top three things to do in Canberra are museums, museums, museums...One of them is actually a minature garden museum - Cockington Green Gardens.

Visiting them is not only instructive but also fun.

And these museums are not like the usual ones where you wander about trying to make sense of the exhibits as you pass along.

If you are not a connoisseur of the museum theme or if you did not consult Wikipedia or read guides before starting your visit, museums are, usually, places where you are likely to see a lot and understand a bit.

Not the ones in Canberra.

They are interactive, full of stories, movies, movement, fun and action. And in all of them you are right in the middle of the action; you are not just a passive watcher.

Plus most of the museums offer visiting tours ran by volunteers who are passionate about what they are doing. And the best thing of all? Usually those tours are free. Just ask the concierge if there is one going while you are there. If there is, don't miss it. It will really make your museum experience so much better.

Things to Do in Canberra - The Best Museums

So which are some of the best museums to visit when you are in the capital of Australia?

Here's my selection:

things to do in canberra - australian war memorial

  • The Australian War Memorial is one of the most interesting museums in the country with a huge number of exhibits. They are reminders of war time bravery and of emotions people went through, while living through danger. The memorial has a huge collection so visiting just a part of its sections can take a whole day.

  • The National Gallery of Australia is dedicated to Australian and international art: paintings, sculptures, photography. A large part of the international section is about the culture of our neighbours in the east and south east Asia and south Pacific. In addition almost every year the National Gallery becomes temporary home to masterpieces from prestigious museums in the world.

  • things to do in canberra - national-museum of australia

  • The National Museum of Australia tells the story of the country, of its native populations and of its settlers, of the way people lived in the past and of today's lifestyle. It is good to go back and visit it again whenever you are in Canberra, as new exhibitions are coming up so there's always something new to see.

  • The Museum of Australian Democracy houses a collection of information and exhibits about the people who ran the country, members of the Parliament and their advisors.

  • The National Portrait Gallery has a collection of works of art that portray people who have contributed to all things Australian: art, culture, political life, sports, industrial development and more.

  • The Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre is a must see for children and their parents too.

Things to Do in Canberra - Cockington Green Gardens

While not a museum in the true sense of the word, Cockington Green is a garden where its owners display knee-high length replicas of various buildings and items that exist somewhere around the world. Most are in England, but some are representative symbols of various other countries.

Hover your mouse on any of the small images below to enlarge them.

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Imagine being a giant and wandering around a miniature town with streets full of people, pushing a stroller, reading the newspaper, mowing the lawn, getting ready for a game of cricket or soccer, visiting the Stonehenge...

And if the house replicas are not enough to blow you off your feet, then the dwarf plant species, the manicured lawns and crystal clear creeks will make your day.

If you haven't been to Europe or if you have and want to see it again, without flying, go to Cockington Green Gardens. Most constructions there are scale replicas of streets and houses in UK and some European regions.

Cockington Green - International Section

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things to do in canberra cockington international section things to do in canberra cockington argentianian favelas things to do in canberra cockington indonesian temple things to do in canberra cockington machu pichu things to do in canberra cockington turkish architecture

Want to travel further? Why bother?

There's an international section with highlights from around the world: a colourful Argentinian neighbourhood, an Indonesian temple, the famous Machu Picchu, Dutch windmills and many more.

Cockington Green Gardens is definitely one of the top things to do in Canberra. You can spend the whole day there, ride the steam mini-train, have a nice picnic or try the garden cafe.

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