Canberra Attractions

Parliament House, Canberra, Australia
••• Yury Prokopenko/Getty Images

Admittedly the best way to go sightseeing in Canberra, Australia's national capital, is by car as you may not get public transport from one Canberra attraction to another.

There are, of course, guided bus tours which you can organise in Canberra itself or from other departure points in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.

For visitors used to the flexibility of going sightseeing on a hop-on, hop-off tour bus or tram — such as the Sydney Explorer buses or Melbourne's free City Circle Tram — yes, Canberra has one.

And it visits most major Canberra attractions.

Canberra's City Explorer Bus takes in the Canberra sights Monday to Friday. It has no Sunday service and Saturday trips are only available on accepted bookings.

Current ticket prices (subject to future changes) are $35 per adult, $30 for an Australian Seniors Card holder, and $20 for a child under 16.

Four trips a day

Four sightseeing trips start in the City Centre at 59 Northbourne Ave outside Student Flights travel centre at 9.30am, 11am, 12 noon and 1pm, with its next stop at the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre on Northbourne Ave. Passengers can get off and on at the various designated stops except those who have opted to stay on the bus on its sightseeing loop at a reduced adult ticket price of $30 a person.

The last bus leaves the National Museum of Australia (and National Film and Sound Archive on request) at 4pm, arriving at the City Centre at 4.05pm and the Visitors Centre at 4.10pm.

The sightseeing route

From the city centre and visitors centre, the City Explorer Bus proceeds to the Australian War Memorial. It then drives past the Anzac Parade Memorials to the History of Canberra Museum in the National Capital Exhibition at Regatta Point.

Its next stop is for the National Library of Australia and Questacon.

An entry fee is charged at Questacon.

The next combined stop is for the National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Australia and the High Court of Australia. Certain visiting exhibitions at the National Gallery may require an admission charge.

The bus then continues to the National Archives, followed by a stop at Parliament House.

From here it heads down to the Museum of Australian Democracy, formerly Old Parliament House and, on request, the Royal Australian Mint.

There is then a drive past the Governor-General's residence, The Lodge, at Yarralumla, and the various foreign embassies in the area.

The next stop is at the National Museum of Australia, but from 2pm to 3pm, a cruise on Lake Burley Griffin is available at $15 per person, with pickup at 3:05pm at the National Museum.

There is a stop, on request, at the National Film and Sound Archive before the City Explorer Bus returns to the City Centre and the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre.

Note: Routes, timetables and ticket prices are subject to change.