Australian Capital Territory 5 Must See Places
ACT Map

On compiling a top 5 list for every state in Australia we are bound to upset someone. Somebody’s favourite destination will have been left off while another person may find the inclusion of one place over another outrageous.

The Australian Capital Territory is a tough list to compile. The A.C.T. comprises a plot of land pinched from New South Wales when Sydney and Melbourne couldn’t agree on which city would be the capital. Consequently, it is the size of a pin head when you compare it to other states and it is difficult to jam vast natural attractions into such a small area. It is probably time to ‘bite the bullet’ and accept a bit of culture when visiting the A.C.T. and forget about spending every night camping beside a different river or taking a 4WD into a desert landscape. Don’t feel cheated though because many of the man-made sights are spectacular.

So in no particular order and with no apologies:


1. Australian War Memorial "…in no particular order...” is a bit inappropriate for a list of the Australian Capital Territory for the war memorial resides at the top of the heap of any architectural/symbolic/memorial style landmark in Australia. The sheer span and breadth of the place, the stunning architecture and gardens and the dignity of its existence make the Memorial the No 1. Must See place in the A.C.T.


2. National Library. Canberra. Why? You may ask. Well, it is an ugly if not impressive building with a nice view but more importantly is has an annual budget of $80,000,000 dollars a year and houses and collects books, microform, art, music, dance, music, illustrations, rarities and oddities. It has half a million volumes alone on Asian languages. And like the War Memorial it exists for all the right reasons. It is a fantastic resource whether it is online or in real life. Grab a book, sit down and have a read. Awesome.


3. Parliament House. Australia is such a massive place that many visitors will never find their way to Canberra as neither will many Australians. A visit that gets anyone remotely close to any nations capital should include a visit to the seat of government. Not necessarily out of respect but because the architecture will be stunning, the pomp and grandeur amusing, the security intimidating and the cost to build these places - exorbitant.


4. Namadgi National Park, is for when you’ve been completely, culturally bombarded and have seen enough architecture and enough gardens and taken enough tours to last a lifetime. Get into the hills and have a look around. Aboriginal history is fairly well cultivated here and you can go for a horse ride or take a tour. Try and find a secluded camping spot unless it’s winter - when you can expect snow. The views are stunning.


5. The National Gallery of Australia is a work of art in its own right. An imposing building with another great view across Lake Burley Griffin, inside you will find a constantly changing collection of Australian and World art as well as the permanent collections that are housed here. Grab a coffee, have a walk around the gardens and suck in some of the fantastic art and sculpture.


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