A Weekend in Canberra with Kids

Canberra, Australia’s colourful capital city, is home to a wide variety of family-friendly attractions, from wildlife excursions and outdoor adventures to educational museums and celebrated national landmarks. Whether you’re here for a short break or a weeklong holiday, the hand-picked list of regional highlights below can help you plan the perfect family trip on any schedule. For more information about visiting Canberra as a family, take a look at this Canberra travel guide.

Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
Located just 45 minutes way from Canberra, the Deep Space Communication Complex takes visitors of all ages on an exciting adventure into the distant outer space. Guarded by giant antennas that serve as NASA’s communication towers, the facility is equipped with educational displays, interactive exhibits and stops for gifts and refreshments. Come discover the wonders of the universe without blowing the family budget – daily admission is free for both kids and parents.

National Library of Australia
At the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, the National Library of Australia is a treasure trove of interesting print works that mark important milestones in Australian history. In addition to getting a glimpse of historic maps, manuscripts and book collections, visitors can use online portals to access rare and unpublished materials from Australia and the greater Pacific region. Be sure to check the library’s calendar to see which special exhibits and activities are planned during your visiting dates.

Balloon Aloft Canberra
Take your Canberra holiday to new heights with a breathtaking flight on a hot air balloon at Balloon Aloft Canberra, an award-winning local operator with over 25 years of experience and a proven track record of safety. All balloon flights take off at sunrise – when the air is smooth and stable – soaring high above Canberra’s spectacular natural landscape as it comes to life in a rainbow of colours.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Nestled beneath the picturesque hills of the Gibraltar and Tidbinbilla mountain ranges, the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is an untouched paradise a short drive south of Canberra. Here, families can get up close and personal with indigenous flora and fauna, hike scenic trails through some fourteen unique habitats and enjoy cooking barbecue on public grills. Before you start your journey into the wild, stop by the Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre for maps, information, snacks and souvenirs.

Australian War Memorial
Great for older children, the Australian War Memorial commemorates the many Australian lives lost in conflicts ranging from the Great War to the Second Gulf War in Iraq. Here, you can stroll past touching memorials, take free guided tours and learn more about the important role Australia has played – and continues to play – in the global peacekeeping effort.

National Zoo and Aquarium
Situated next to the Scrivener Dam on Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra’s National Zoo and Aquarium houses a variety of wildlife displays, including big cats, exotic reptiles and playful primates. For a more hands-on experience, book the zoo’s award-winning Zooventure tour. With special access to bears, giraffes, tigers and snakes, it delivers unforgettable thrills for the whole family.