Discover Australia's capital, Canberra
Australia's vibrant, multicultural capital of Canberra is perfectly nestled amongst pristine nature parks. Discover Australian wildlife in its natural environment whilst enjoying the delights of Canberra's thriving dining-scene and its iconic national attractions.
There's no better way to begin your Australian journey than by discovering its capital city, Canberra. Uncover some of Australia's most important national treasures and stories through its iconic national attractions.
What to expect
- Soar above the Canberra in a hot air balloon
- Encounter Australian animals in their natural environment
- Experience paddock-to-plate dining
- Time: 5 days
- Distance: 200 kilometres
- Transport: Car
- Nearest major city: Canberra
- Price: $$$
Day 1: Canberra City to Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary
Canberra may be Australia's capital but it also has an adventurous side to discover. Hire a bike and cycle around Lake Burley Griffin to take in some of Canberra’s iconic attractions. If you like water sports, kayak or join the fastest growing trend of stand-up paddle boarding to sightsee.
Have your lunch at Turkish Halal Pide House, which is not far from Australia's Parliament House. Here, you'll find Halal-friendly meals and flatbreads.
At Parliament House, a five-minute drive from Manuka, admire the stunning architecture of this building, see Parliament in action during sitting weeks and take a lift to the rooftop to capture the stunning views of the city.
To pray, visit Canberra Mosque at Canberra Islamic Centre.
Drive down to Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary via Gungahlin Drive, located north-east of Canberra. Take a Mulligans Flat Twilight Tour and experience the Australian bush as it was 100 years ago. See unique Australian animals such as the Eastern Bettong which disappeared from the landscape a century ago.
Day 2: Canberra City
Begin your day with a magical hot air balloon ride at sunrise, floating over Lake Burley Griffin and Parliament House. Fun fact: Canberra is one of the only places in the world where you can find yourself floating over a nation's parliament.
Once back on the ground, enjoy a delicious coffee from one of Canberra’s most popular brunch spots, The Cupping Room. While you’re there, keep an eye out for some of Australia’s barista champions. Do note The Cupping Room serves pork in their menu. However they have vegetarian and vegan options for Muslim visitors.
Go on a cultural visit and explore the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal Australian artwork at the National Gallery of Australia or discover Australia’s stories at the National Museum of Australia.
End your day at Roti House which serves authentic Malaysian Roti and hawker-style cuisine in Canberra's city centre. Do note Roti House serves alcohol. For other halal-friendly eateries, see here.
Day 3: Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to Canberra
Get back to nature at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve which offers outstanding natural wildlife experiences. Spot kangaroos, koalas, emus and the elusive platypus in natural surrounds.
The Reserve is a 45-minute drive from the city centre and borders of Namadgi National Park. Both offer a number of walks on designated tracks. Namadgi National Park is part of the Australian Alps mountain range near Canberra, offering beautiful rugged bushland and fascinating history. Hike in pristine bushland, pack a picnic and visit the majestic Gibraltar Falls.
On your return back to the city, discover original designers, stylish Australian fashions, unusual handcrafted gifts and fantastic eateries in Canberra's Braddon precinct. Enjoy a hearty dinner from halal friendly Indian restaurant, Darbar along bustling Lonsdale Street.
Day 4: Canberra
Head towards Kingston and indulge in one of its waterfront breakfast spots. After breakfast, visit the award-winning Old Bus Depot Markets (Sundays, 8am-4pm) to sample the freshest regional produce and find unique Australian souvenirs. Discover handcrafted glassware and create your own souvenir at the neighbouring Canberra Glassworks.
Be your own captain and take to Lake Burley Griffin in your very own GoBoat. These sustainable and stylish picnic boats enable you to self-explore Lake Burley Griffin while enjoying Canberra's fresh air and big blue skies.
Ever wonder how truffles are grown? If you're visiting in winter (June to August) you can enjoy a truffle hunting experience just outside the city. Drive from the city centre via Majura Parkway M23 for about 15 minutes and enjoy a paddock to plate experience at The Truffle Farm. The Canberra region hosts the annual Truffle Festival – where you can learn from the chefs and other truffle experts at a cooking class or demonstration or pop along to a farmers market. There are family friendly activities available and you can even stay at some truffle farms.
Day 5: Canberra
Be a zoo keeper for a day, pat a shark, look a big cat in the eye or hand feed a giraffe or bear at the National Zoo & Aquarium. Just moments from the zoo, take a self-guided tour through the National Arboretum Canberra, featuring 250 hectares (618 acres) of rolling hills and 94 forests.
If shopping is your thing, Canberra Centre houses a collection of Australian and international brands. For a halal friendly meal, head to PappaRich for an authentic Malaysian cuisine.
Before departing Canberra, reflect on the diverse experiences of war at the Australian War Memorial, including the moving Last Post Ceremony held daily at 4:44pm. One of the iconic cultural attractions in Australia, the war memorial combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. Architecturally magnificent, the memorial gives an insight into what it means to be Australian.