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Parliament House

Home > Canberra > Architecture | Galleries | Misc | Tours
by Natasha Stewart (subscribe)
Food and words.
Published November 9th 2011
Parliament House is where some of Australia's biggest decisions are made, discussed, and voted down. Sitting atop Capital Hill it is an impressive one, and you can visit the building to admire the architecture or to take a look at what goes on inside. It is a popular location for tourists and school groups, but is something that can be of interest to all Australians.

To visit Parliament House, all you really need to do is turn up. It is open 9am-5pm on non-sitting days, and from 9am on sitting days, until House rise. You can wander through the public areas by yourself, or if you'd prefer you can join one of the free tours. Joining in a tour will mean you'll get to learn a lot more. There are private tours available, and these start at $5.

Anyone interested in the history of the house, and some of the people that have passed through it, will probably also be interested in checking out the portraits of past prime ministers. These portraits include the 1972 Archibald Prize winning piece by Clifton Pugh of Gough Whitlam. It seems a little out of place amongst some of the other paintings, but perhaps captures the prime minister the best.

A popular aspect of Parliament House is going to watch the sittings. While you can't enter the chambers during this time, you can enjoy watching from a special viewing platform. Question Time is a particularly interesting one to watch, if you ever sit at home watching it on TV, you really should come down to Parliament House to watch it live. Head to the website to find out how to book.

The building itself is worth a look, with unique architecture, towering marble columns, and some really interesting features. Parliament House has established itself as the image of Canberra, and the view of it is hard to forget. Come check it out for yourself.
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Why? Get political for a day
When: 9am-5pm, times vary on sitting days
Where: Capitol Hill, ACT
Cost: Free, some tours cost money
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