Australia’s capital city might seem a bit … dry, at first glance, to take the family for a vaycay. But let me assure you that Canberra has everything it takes to please all parties, from culture-seeking parents to picky tweens, restless toddlers and everyone else in between.
1. It’s flat
The flatness of Canberra makes the city extremely walkable, cyclable and scootable. Some hotels like the East Hotel even offer free bike hire to their guests, so it’s really easy to get from one place to the next by foot. Ditch the car and get active on this trip!
2. It’s educational
Kids might groan at an education holiday but Canberra does educational tourism right. Questacon, with over 200 educational and interactive science-based exhibits, enthrals kids for hours, while Old Parliament House engages families in history with activity packs for older kids and a play space for younger ones.
The National Gallery of Australia has European and Australian masters on display, plus a hands-on area for kids and a large sculpture garden that is a firm favourite of adults and kids alike.
Even Parliament House has something to offer everyone, with its grassed roof that’s irresistible for rolling down, as well as information inside that will teach school-aged kids about how Australia’s government runs.
The Australian War Memorial has also catered to visitors of all ages with a kid-focussed discovery zone for the younger crowd, and dioramas, videos and artifacts to make history really come to life.
3. It's Fun
What kid wouldn’t want to spend all day at a playground like the Pod Playground at the National Aboretum? Designed to mimic the shape of plants, this playground will have toddlers to tweens enthusiastically climbing up, running and swinging.
There’s also the National Zoo & Aquarium for kids who love to get up close to animals. For a special experience, stay overnight in Jamala Lodge, or book in older kids for an animal encounter.
4. It’s beautiful
Visit Canberra in autumn or spring for stunning foliage and blooms. Kids always love a good leaf toss while in spring; the Floriade festival will entertain the whole family with its wide range of activities.
5. They’ve got tasty treats
You can’t come to Canberra without trying a freak shake at Patissez! They come in regular and small sizes, and are best when you pair one with one of the cafe’s delicious brekkie or lunch dishes.
Christine Knight writes about navigating
the world and parenthood on her site,
You can find her sampling gelato and cake around the world with her
preschooler, or building sandcastles at the beach in her home town of Sydney.