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Questacon: The National Science and Technology Centre

Home > Canberra > Exhibitions | Galleries | Kids | Misc | Places of Interest
by Manny Diaz (subscribe)
Freelance writer and street photographer
Published February 18th 2014
Fun and fascination you'd keep coming back for
From Sydney, Canberra is 3-4 hours drive. A tour of the national capital will generally include the Parliament House and the War Memorial, national icons both. You simply got to have a photo taken there, just as any visitor of Sydney would have one with the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge. When time permits, Cockington Garden becomes part of the itinerary, and yes, Questacon.

questacon, national science and technology discover centre, canberra attractions, canberra for kids
The National Science and Technology Centre in Canberra.


Questacon is the National Science and Technology Centre located at King Edward Terrace, Parkes, ACT. While the building is beautiful and impressive, it is not as iconic as the Parliament House which everyone immediately associates with Canberra. It is, however, proven to be a place every kid would love. For this reason, any visit to Canberra with kids in tow should put Questacon as the last in the itinerary for the day, otherwise set aside an entire day just for Questacon. It is not really a very huge place, but it has engaging exhibits and interactive artifacts that even adults can get very amused.

questacon, national science and technology discover centre, canberra attractions, canberra for kids, robot, talking robot, roboq, robothespian
RoboQ, the robot thespian, will welcome you at Questacon.


At the Questacon lobby, you will be greeted by a talking robot. You can ask this robot questions, you can make it move according to a series of instructions you can define, and it can even be made to quote lines from popular movies. Overhead, you can see a gigantic DNA helix.

questacon, national science and technology discover centre, canberra attractions, canberra for kids
Questacon is a place for fascination, learning, and fun for everyone, young and not-that-young alike.


Mini-Q is an area very popular with little kids. Children can play with water, from scientific contraptions using levers and pulleys to pretend fishing and other waterworks. Don't worry, waterproof aprons are provided so chances of getting clothing wet are smaller. It also has the usual netted play maze, where kids can climb, crawl and slide. There is a construction site where kids get to play out roles in a hard hat area, and vintage cars with a pretend gas station. A pretend bakery which includes aprons and play sets, as well as a pretend vet clinic complete with doctor's tools and soft animals are perfect for pretend play. Half day in this section alone is usually not enough for the kids.

questacon, national science and technology discover centre, canberra attractions, canberra for kids, mini-q
Kids' imagination soar in MiniQ pretend play and scientific tool setup.


Another section, called Excite, is just as amusing. You can play a four-way air hockey with your mates (or with the other patrons and make new friends) or play with a robot! You get to send fabric through an air tube which makes up a complex network, or hear your pulse through drum beat.

questacon, national science and technology discover centre, canberra attractions, canberra for kids
You get to play air hockey with a robot and many more at ExciteQ.


There is so much to see, experience, and discover at Questacon. The thermal palm scanner near the cafe has beckoned even grown ups. There's only so much that can be written about it, but the one thing I am certain is that my daughter has kept coming back to Questacon, each visit as interesting as the previous ones, and we always have to allocate at least day for it.

questacon, national science and technology discover centre, canberra attractions, canberra for kids
Sculpture at the Questacon grounds pay tribute to Australian sportsmen and sportswomen.


Tickets at Questacon cost $23 for adults, $17.50 for children, and $70 for families, but since we're a member of Sydney's Powerhouse Museum, we're entitled to reciprocal benefits, which means unlimited free entry to that place which every kid would love, the National Science and Technology Centre in Canberra. It may be a long drive from Sydney, but weekend visits are always worth it.
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Why? A day of fun, fascination, and discovery.
When: Anytime
Phone: 02 6270 2800
Where: King Edward Terrace, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia
Cost: From $17.50
Your Comment
What happened to affordable?? 70 to get in 50 to get there and 30+ for lunch. 150 for what? Its just not worth that much. It was worth the gold coin donation 9 years ago that's it.
by stace (score: 0|2) 1550 days ago
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