New flights promise to put Canberra in the limelight for travelling families.
The Australian capital prepares to welcome families from Asia and beyond with the arrival of Singapore Airlines flights in September. Canberra has long been a popular destination for Australian families and now this wellkept secret destination will welcome travellers from across the world looking for an authentic Aussie experience. Here are some of our favourites.
Thinking chemistry equations and test tubes? Think again! Science equals fun for all ages at Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre (questacon.edu.au), where families can spend a whole day exploring the 200-plus interactive exhibits. Freefall from a six metre-high slide, experience a simulated earthquake, challenge a robot to a game of air hockey or take your budding scientists (0-6 year olds) to Mini Q.
With its stunning scenery and fully sealed bike paths, Lake Burley Griffin is a great place to burn off some energy. Check out some of Canberra’s iconic galleries and museums scattered along the shoreline, and cycle or walk the five-kilometre loop between the Kings Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue bridges. For kids aged 12 years and older, discover the Lake and famous landmarks on a segway with SegGlideRide (segglideride.com.au).
Located on the north-east side of the Lake, just off Kings Avenue, Boundless (boundlesscanberra.org.au) showcases the benefits of inclusion and diversity, enabling children with a disability to explore, play and swing alongside their able-bodied peers. There are ramps, cubbies, swings, slides and a sandpit with diggers. Recently awarded the Best Landmark in TripAdvisor’s Australian and the South Pacific categories, the Australian War Memorial (awm.gov.au) offers interactive, educational experiences for kids of all ages. The younger historians of the family can dodge sniper fire in a First World War trench, take control of an Iroquois helicopter and peer
through the periscope of a Cold War submarine.
For the young adrenalin thrill seekers, Power Kart Raceway (powerkarts.com.au) is an indoor racing experience featuring world-class electric go-karts on an F1-style circuit, not far from the Parliamentary Triangle. The latest-generation OTL Electrokarts are more powerful and consistent than conventional petrol-powered kart, providing beginners and experienced racers with a thrilling experience. There’s a heated spectator area, cafe and amusement arcade.
For a truly motivating experience, visit the Australian Institute of Sport (ausport.gov.au), the nation’s premier elite sports precinct. Get an insight into what goes into making a champion athlete on a behind-the-scenes AIS Tour, which includes Sportex, an educational and engaging sports experience where families can try wheelchair basketball, rock climbing and football penalty shoot-outs.
Get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing creatures at the National Zoo & Aquarium (nationalzoo.com.au). With a wide variety of native and exotic animals and the largest inland saltwater tank in Australia, there’s something for all the family. The Family Tour takes families behind the scenes to feed sun bears and fallow deer and meet monkeys, dingoes, kangaroos and emus.
Surrounded by native flora and fauna, Yarralumla Play Station (yarraps.com.au) is the home of Weston Park Railway, Petite Park Petting Zoo and Lake Walter Mini Golf. The 36-hole Canberra-themed mini golf courses include a model Lake Burley Griffin and adaptations of the Parliamentary Triangle. Ride the miniature train, Bluebell, which runs every 30 minutes around the grounds, and look out for the herds of kangaroos that also enjoy the area.
Dinosaur fans of all ages will completely ‘dig’ the National Dinosaur Museum (nationaldinosaurmuseum.com.au), located in Canberra’s Gold Creek Village. With one of the largest permanent displays of dinosaurs and prehistoric life in Australia, children can discover how dinosaurs evolved and interacted amid skulls, skeletons, murals, models and fossils not on display anywhere else in the world. There are even robotic dinosaurs that move, roar, blink and breathe!
For more information about Canberra, go to visitcanberra.com.au