The CanberraDayTour is an attempt to compress into a single day, a tour of Canberra. A "day in the life", if you will.
The original itinerary was planned for visiting americans, to give them a glimpse of australian bush as well as city, and it went like this...
Starting before dawn, the day starts with sunrise on the top of Mount Ainslie. The tourguide then leaves the hapless victims, uh, tourists, to clamber down the mountain (approx 30 mins) where they find breakfast ready and waiting for them behind the national War Memorial, which can then be visited if the tourists so wish, and the guide permits it.
Traditionally however, the next step is to drive down to Tidbinbilla and spend the morning at the Tidbinbilla nature reserve meeting native australian flora and fauna, and also geeking out at the tracking station.
Returning to Civic for lunch at the Carillon where the ducks can be fed. DUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKKKKK!
After lunch, we explore canberra city... National Gallery, the High Court, the Questacon (National Science and Technology Center), the Parliament Houses, and other stuff in the Parliamentary Triangle (most 'tourist' stuff is in there) ... and more or less whatever else we feel like. There is a railway station hybrid church that's miles from the nearest train line that's worth a visit too...
However, for aussies who are familiar with the aussie bush, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve might not be quite the attraction it would be to an american. Still worth a visit, but it can be a fair chunk of the day. So anyways, let's look at our options...
- Tidbinbilla (30 min drive from Civic)
- Nature reserve (would want to spend several hours, could easily be a day)
- Tracking station (30-60 minutes)
- Civic / Parliamentary Triangle / area
- Merry-go-round (a fun ride, 15mins)
- War Memorial (hour or two to see stuff, 10 minutes if you just want to see the Memorial for the unnamed soldier)
- National Library (not much to really see, 10 mins)
- National Science and Technology Centre (aka Questacon) (hands-on science, you'll love it. Hours)
- High Court (walk-through, nice building, 20mins)
- National Art Gallery (usually worth an hour or two, depends if there is a special exhibit)
- Blundells Farmhouse (15 minutes)
- Carrilon (good lunch stop - so call it an hour. Feed the swans/ducks too)
- Parliament House (old) - usually has tours - worth half an hour
- Parliament House (new) - worth an hour... and a roll down the sides.
- National Museum - garish on the outside, but lots of good stuff. could easily spend several hours.
- In Canberra city, but not quite in walking distance from Civic
- National Mint (10mins drive from Civic) (an hour walkthrough)
- Mt Ainslie (10 min drive from civic, good canberra views)
- Black Mountain Tower (10min drive from civic, great views of Canberra)
- Botanical Gardens - at the foot of Black Mountain
- Red Hill Lookout (kiosk, also good Canberra views, rounds out the trio of canberra lookouts)
- National Aquarium/Zoo (a few hours, should be on any Linux Geek's tour of canberra) (10min drive from civic)