One Day in Canberra, Australia

Quick…What’s the capital of Australia? You don’t know do you?! Hint, it’s not Sydney and it’s not Melbourne. No, it’s not Brisbane or Perth or even Adelaide! It is Canberra. You know that city that everybody dreams of visiting when they think of going down under. Admit, you have never heard of Canberra and know nothing about it. That’s OK…most people have no clue where it is or certainly that it is the seat of power in Australia. Needless to say, it’s not a knockout tourist destination but spending just one day in Canberra, or even just a few hours, is a nice way to see the city or at least the main sites.
New Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, ACT
The site of Canberra, as the capital, was selected as part of a compromise between the two rivals of Sydney and Melbourne. It is located roughly 170 miles southwest of Sydney and 400 miles northeast of Melbourne in what is called the Australian Capital Territory or the ACT.
Old Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, ACT
The ACT was designed with Washington, D.C. in mind in creating a separate non-state entity to run the government so one state doesn’t have higher influence than others. The main difference is the ACT has representation in government unlike Washingtonians.
Australian War memorial, Canberra, Australia, ACT
I flew into the ACT in order to hire a car and drive to hike Mount Kosciuszko about two hours say in New South Wales. I scheduled the flight to arrive early so I could have one day in Canberra to have a look around the main government sites. I had seen photos and they always looked interesting. Plus it was the only part of Australia I hadn’t been to, more or less.
View from New Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, ACT
The Parliament House is the main draw and was the first stop on my one day in Canberra. It is pretty cool from both the outside and inside. Outside there are some cool photo opps and a lot of grassland along the parliamentary axis which runs much of the main part of the city.
Parliamentary Axis, Canberra, Australia, ACT
Inside, it’s also pretty cool and fun to walk around but to be honest there is nothing cooler than their rare copy of the Magna Carta. Did you know that was written in 1215?! From inside you also get really cool views down the parliamentary axis.
Magna Carta, Canberra, Australia, ACT
With one day in Canberra you can also check out other cool federal and governmental buildings, museums and monuments like the Australian War Memorial, Australian National University, Australian Institute of Sport, National Museum, National Gallery, and the National Library. The best part is they’re all pretty close and you can easily drive to everything in Canberra. It’s not that big.
Lee Abbamonte, Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, ACT
Have a look around the ACT. One day in Canberra is definitely worth the time and honestly a few hours works as well. I wouldn’t tell you to go ahead of the other major cities but if you happen to pass through-don’t dismiss it.

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  1. I knew it but I’m Aussie!

  2. I had no clue Canberra is the capital of Australia, I just figured it was Sydney.

  3. Canberra, Washington DC and Brasilia…all made specifically to be the capital of major nations.

  4. Thank you for this info! I’m planning a trip to Australia and trying to decide if I can fit in a quick flight to Canberra for a Mount Kosciuszko hike. Your posts have been very helpful!

  5. I’m australian so naturally I knew. :p

    A very underrated location in Australia, I enjoyed my time while I was there a few years ago. The war memorial is very interesting.

  6. Little beautiful city

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