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Things to do in the ACT

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by Archie Ward (subscribe)
I'm an Australian living in Thailand. I like to read, write and travel. I'm currently working on my (commercial) travel website skedaddlecarhire.com.au to make more moolah for my trips.
Published July 24th 2015
More than just Canberra


Photo Credit: JJ Harrison

Visitors flying into Canberra find a variety of interesting activities in ACT. The Canberra metropolis itself had humble beginnings as nothing more than farm country and a sheep station. Today, it serves as the capital city and features a number of attractions. The Australian Capital Territory lies within New South Wales, spans approximately 2,400 kilometres (950 square miles) and offers a wide selection of interesting destinations. Stop at the ACT tourist information centre in Canberra and get some insight as to what the territory offers. Hire a vehicle and feel free to explore to your heart's content.

National Gallery of Australia



Photo Credit: Kathy Trelease

The facility houses more than 100,000 works and regularly hosts world-class exhibits. Visitors have the chance to gaze upon pieces using many different mediums created by native Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Collections also include Asian and International art. See works created by contemporary artist Jackson Pollock, a series remembering Ned Kelly and the many pieces originating from India.

Australian National Botanic Gardens



Photo Credit: Bidgee

Whether desiring a breathtaking, tranquil location to spend some time, performing scientific research or engaged in botanical study, the gardens offer the chance to see all of the plants found in the country in one convenient location. Different paved trails invite guests to see the wide selection of plants that include common to endangered species. See some of the most beautiful vegetation on the planet. Gaze in awe at some of the most unusual plants ever produced. Various locations also feature carefully designed settings that include trees, plant and animal life found in specific regions. Relax after enjoy your stroll by stopping in at the local cafe.

Lake Burley Griffin



Photo Credit: Petaholmes

The lake park lies in the middle of Canberra and encompasses 664 hectares. Walk along one of the paths or hire a bike on the north end of the lake at the Acton Park Ferry Terminal and see more of the 35 kilometre shoreline. Hire a boat or take a ferry and explore the sights from the water. The north end also commemorates Captain Cook's three voyages and features a memorial water jet that shoots six tons of water to a height of 147 metres. Cafes and restaurants provide the chance to enjoy a picnic. The expansive destination features electric BBQ facilities, designated swimming areas and public facilities.
The lake is also a popular fishing location and contains various species of carp, cod, perch and trout.

Robyn Rowe Chocolates

For chocolate lovers, popular ACT tourist attractions include a stop at Robyn Rowe for the chance to sample and purchase some of the facility's scrumptious handmade confections. Watch the production process and enjoy the mouthwatering delights that come in more than one dozen flavors. Each rich, sweet treat is made using Callebaut couverture, which means that milk chocolates contain 33.6 percent cocoa and dark chocolates contain 53.8 percent cocoa. An outdoor verandah provides the opportunity to indulge in a cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea while satisfying your sweet tooth. The facility is located a mere 30 minutes from Canberra on the Barton Highway. you'll definitely need your own car, so I'd recommend heading into one of the many car depots in the Fyshwick area. I was able to compare the different car rental agencies using this handy website.


Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex

When looking for unique things to do in ACT, consider visiting the communications complex. The site is associated with NASA's Deep Space Network and provides two-radio links to dozens of spacecraft that are exploring the universe. See images taken from outer space, learn the latest news concerning space exploration and discovery, catch a movie and enjoy refreshments at the Moon Rock Cafe. The complex is located 45 minutes from the centre of Canberra and is situated in the Tidbinbilla Valley.

Visit A Winery

Named for the Greek god of wine, the Dionysus Winery lies along the Barton Highway among the rolling hills just east of Murrumbateman. The venue invites guests to tour the facility, learn about the wine-making process and sample vintages. The winery additionally offers homemade chutneys, jams and oils along with a selection of wine accessories. The property also welcomes guests to enjoy BBQs or picnics at the facility. Eden Road Wines is another local company that produces a long list of award-winning vintages that include chardonnay, pinot noir, riesling and shiraz.

Namadgi National Parkand Visitors Centre

Rock Art in Namadgi National Park
Rock Art in Namadgi National Park


Photo Credit: Martyman

Encompassing 106,095 hectares of land, the park features many different natural environments along with the chance to see Aboriginal and European cultural sites of interest. Cycling, walking and hiking are popular here and visitors have 160 kilometres of marked paths from which to choose. Explore the nine kilometre Settler's Track and see an array of historic fences, homesteads and huts. Spend a weekend camping or just indulge in an afternoon picnic. Hire a personal locator beacon or take a ranger guided tour into the wilderness. As the park lies on the northern end of the Australian Alps, visitors should bring appropriate clothing in anticipation of sudden weather changes. The park lies just 45 minutes from Canberra.
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Why? You're in the capital and want to do some things while you're there.
Phone: 1300 554 114
Where: Australian Capital Territory
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