Want to get a look inside how elite Australian athletes train? Stop by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra to experience what it’s like to eat, work and sweat like one of the players. One of Australia’s most-loved sites, AIS welcomes more than 200,000 visitors each year.
Take a guided tour for a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of world-class Australian athletes. The 160-acre campus includes top-notch sports facilities, training camps and lodging for some of the most renowned athletes in the world. The AIS Arena hosts well-known events, concerts shows such as Cirque du Soleil — don’t forget to check what’s on! Grab an espresso at the AIS café or pick up a souvenir at the shop, and soak up the sporting atmosphere.
The Australian Institute of Sport is located in Canberra, Australia on Leverrier Street. While admission is free, the cost of tours and activities may vary. Visitors are welcome Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Science is hands-on and cool at Questacon: Australia's National Science and Technology Centre, where educational experiments and displays show kids everything from how tsunamis are made to earthquake experiences. Puppet shows, mind games, a roller coaster simulator and science shows round out the educational entertainment for kids and adults alike at this popular museum.
Questacon: Australia's National Science and Technology Centre is by Lake Burley Griffin in the Parkes museum precinct.
Address: King Edward Terrace, Canberra 2600, Australia
Hours: Open daily, 9am - 5pm. Closed on Dec 25
Admission: Adults: AU$20, Children (4-16yrs): AU$15
Take a trip around the world at Cockington Green Gardens in Canberra. The expansive outdoor exhibit transports travelers across the globe with its meticulously crafted miniature buildings representing numerous landmarks. Meander among the serene gardens to the original area, and explore Great Britain — the inspiration for Cockington Green Gardens — complete with a tiny cricket match and mini Stonehenge. Since 1998 the gardens have welcomed international exhibits, so now visitors can also view a tango in Argentina, Hungary’s humble villages, a temple in Indonesia, plus many more.
Peruse the expertly manicured gardens, wander through the hand-cut turf maze, or enjoy a picnic or snack at the on-site café. Younger travelers will especially love the miniature steam train rides.
Cockington Green Gardens is located 15 minutes from Canberra’s city center. The following admission prices apply: $19.50 adults, $14.50 seniors, $11.50 children, $56 family — additional attraction fees within the gardens vary. It is open every day except Christmas and Boxing Day, pending weather.
Address: 11 Gold Creek Rd, Canberra, Australia
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. every day pending extreme weather (closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day)
Admission: $19.50 adults, $14.50 seniors, $11.50 children, $56 family
The idyllic counterpoint to Canberra’s political center, the manmade Lake Burley Griffin stretches over 664 hectares right at the heart of the capital. Formed in 1963 by the damming of the Molonglo River, the lake has since become not only the city’s natural centerpiece, but an important recreational ground.
Cruises along the lake are a fun way for visitors to admire lakeside attractions like Parliament House, the National Museum of Australia and the Captain James Cook Memorial and Water Jet, while other popular activities include kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, dragon boating and rowing. Miles of parks and recreational areas also line the lakeside and King’s Park, Commonwealth Park, Stirling Park and Weston Park are all favorite local spots, full of walking and biking trails, barbecue and picnic areas, and swimming beaches.
Lake Burley Griffin is located in central Canberra.