National Parks & Reserves in the ACT

Walk with nature


Blooming in natural beauty, the small area of the ACT is home to a lone national park alongside a number of nature reserves full of diverse land, spectacular views and assorted wildlife. Get exploring and discover why the ACT is renowned for its outdoor spendor.
 
 
  

Namadgi & ACT nature reserves 

  
The largest and most diverse of the ACT’s nature parks, Black Mountain Nature Reserve is home to 5000 insect species, 100 bird species and 500 species of plants. Closely situated to the central business district of Canberra, Black Mountain rises 256 metres above Lake Burley Griffin, a forested region that runs for about 4.5 kilometers. With a range of walking and cycling trails, Black Mountain Nature Reserve has changing vegetation depending on your location, with the cool east side home to stringybark forests with drier vegetation on the western and northern slopes. 

South of Canberra, the Namadgi National Park is situated in mountainous terrain, situated on the northern end of the Australian Alps. Snow falls, green valleys and bold granite mountains diversify Namadgi, which covers approximately 46% of the ACT’s total land area. Additionally, this park stands of high importance to the ACT, its water catchment area supplying approximately 85% of Canberra’s water. Be prepared to see eastern grey kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and ravens along your trek, alongside Aboriginal artwork dating back some 800 years. Added to the Australian National Heritage list in 2008, the Namadgi National Park is as rich in history as it is in beauty, which you can admire on your hike up Bimberi Peak, the highest mountain in the Australian Capital Territory. 

On the fringe of Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is bursting with wildlife, combining the diverse habitats of wetlands and grasslands as well as wet and dry forest regions, complete with a panoramic view of the Tidbinbilla Valley. In order to discover an in depth experience of Tidbinbilla’s history, ranger guided walks are available every weekend, as well as during school holidays. Within Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, the Nature Discovery Playground is an area for children to learn the importance of nature through a series of hands on activities and attractions. 
 
Find out more about Australia's natural beauty, here
 

Tags:

ACT | Top 15 | Travel

Festivals in the ACT

Truffles and tipple


The nation’s capital is home to many events and celebrations, from gourmet food and wine to flowers and film. Whether it’s overindulgence at the Canberra and Capital Region Truffle Festival or a regency regalement at Australia’s Jane Austen Festival, you’ll be sure to find a fitting festival for you to stop and enjoy the culture of the Australian Capital Territory



What are some famous festivals in the ACT?


Reflecting the city’s unique qualities, culture and people, the Canberra Festival runs over 17 days across the ACT, with a variety of performances, exhibitions, sports, dance, music and film. For a week and a half of tunes, why not experience the Canberra International Music Festival, with over 30 concerts, from classical to contemporary combined with national and international artists hosting a variety of cultural performances. With performances in many iconic Canberra buildings, soak up some jazz, A 10 day event, this music festival is one of Australia’s most inspiring and innovative, allowing you to have a new found appreciation for different music styles. 

Cider, beer, gourmet food, beer, entertainment and more beer – isn’t that what holidaying is all about? The Canberra Craft Beer Festival is an annual event, celebrating the best of local brewing and, of course craft beers in general. Meet the mugs behind the beer, try your luck at a table tennis championship or test your knowledge with a beer quiz – preferably before you start tasting them. 

For a feel good festival, experience the National Folk Festival, the ACT’s annual Easter celebration drawing in visitors from across the world to celebrate and partake in the folk lifestyle of music, eclectic style and laidback living. Featuring over 200 different performances over 5 days, the National Folk Festival is a cultural celebration like no other. 
 
 
 
 

Tags:

ACT | Top 15 | Travel

Rock Climbing in the ACT

Race up the red rock river crags


Although rock climbing destinations are somewhat more limited in the ACT than other areas of Australia due to its compact size, this activity is still thoroughly enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Untouched beauty and panoramic views of sun, city and wilderness combined make the Australian Capital Territory a rock climbing gem, with an assortment of small and large challenges available for those willing to search for them.
 
 
 

Where can I go rock climbing in the ACT?


A popular rock climbing destination in the ACT is that of Namadgi National Park, bordering Kosciusko National Park in the southwestern territory region. A variety of starting points, from beginners to amateur and professional climbers, Namadgi National Park provides the perfect viewing location from the top of the many surrounding rock faces. Situated at the southern end of Namadgi, Booroomba is renowned as one of the regions most popular climbing destinations, where a number of challenging climbs are undertaken.

Although not quite as popular as Booroomba, Mt Coree is another of the ACT’s prime climbs, best undertaken in autumn and spring to avoid being snowed on. More of a sporting climb than that of Booroomba, Mt Coree provides excellent surrounding views from the summit, where you can enjoy the cool, fresh air and seclusion. 

 The largest of Canberra’s river crags, Red Rocks Gorge provides steep, angular challenges, combined with a picturesque gorge perfect for post-climb swimming. Situated close to Canberra, Red Rocks is conveniently located, catching the sun as it rises and providing both easy and more difficult routes. Rock climbing is banned at Red Rocks during August and January each year, due to falcons nesting on the cliff. 

For more information on rock climbing destinations in the south, see http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2007/06/09/Rock-Climbing-in-South-Australia.aspx
 
 

Tags:

ACT | Top 15 | Travel

Wineries in the ACT

Sample the tastes of cool climate territory

 
33 wineries within 35 minutes of Canberra? That’s enough to impress even the toughest wine connoisseur. The conveniently compact ACT is home to a variety of cool climate wines, with nearly 150 vineyards and over 30 cellar doors around Canberra and the ACT. Explore the single wine region of the Canberra District at a relaxed pace and discover the variety of wine, production and styles this state has to offer.
 
 
  

Where are the wine regions of the ACT?


The Canberra District wine region is situated in a triangular area bordered by Canberra, with many of the vineyards of young establishment, grown after 1990. The ACT’s wine industry itself however dates back to the 1970’s, although wines near the Yass region were produced in the 1860’s.   

Less than 10 minutes from Canberra’s city centre, the wine region of Hall and its surrounding area is home to three cellar doors, providing spectacular views of the Brindabella Mountains and rolling hillside. To the north of Canberra, the high altitude wineries around Lake George, Bungendore and Wamboin offer a historic charm, impressive wine collections and scenic views, alongside a selection of award winning restaurants. 

The ACT’s variation in temperature, land elevation, soil type and winemaker skills have resulted in the production of a unique wine style, reflecting a European influence and specializing in wines from Sangiovese to Riesling, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Although the wineries in the ACT are somewhat small, this makes for an interactive and original visitor experience. Plus, the less people, the more wine, right? 
 
Read more about wineries around Australia here http://www.agfg.com.au/guide/wine-wineries/
 
 
 

Tags:

ACT | Top 15 | Travel

The Australian Institute of Sport

Australia's olympic playground


Want to experience a day in the life of a professional athlete? Find out what it takes with a tour to the Australian Institute of Sport, the national world class training institution. Located in the northern suburb of Bruce, tours of the Australian Institute of Sport are guided by elite athletes and take you around the 66 hectare campus, where you might just see a professional in training. 
 
 

What happens in the AIS?


The Australian Institute of Sport was established in 1981 after Australia’s less than impressive performance at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. Employing over 190 staff, the Australian Institute of Sport is dedicated to a range of athletic performance and activity, including nutrition, biomechanics, psychology and talent identification. The winner of several tourism awards, this institute is a place of dedication and inspiration, where you might just catch some of the infectious motivational spirit that is present throughout the establishment. 

After the tour, test out your sporting ability in Sportex, where you can virtual row, rock climb and feel the pressure with a soccer penalty goal. Including an exhibit of sporting memorabilia, uniforms and medals, Sportex and the AIS provide an insightful experience into the day of your sporting hero. 


Tags:

Top 15 | Travel | ACT

Shopping in the ACT

Bag a Bunda Street bargain


Similar to its neighbour Melbourne, The Australian Capital Territory has a thrift store shopping culture, enhanced by marketplace bargains and independent stores. Boutique stores and homeware outlets are plentiful throughout the state, and with the state’s delightfully compact size, you can rest assured knowing your shopping trip will be a day long success. 
 
 
 

Where can I go shopping in the ACT?


The multi award winning Old Bus Depot Markets are located in Kingston, well known for art, clothing, furniture and food. Encompassing products to suit all ages, the Old Bus Depot Market reflects the ACT’s welcoming atmosphere, with 200 stalls to discover within an old industrial building. Special events are held monthly at the marketplace, with musicians playing a lively tune or two amidst the hustle and bustle.

For some country air, the Captains Flat Markets is home to fresh local produce, trash and treasure and a variety of antiquities. Enjoy home made cake, freshly brewed coffee or a community sausage sizzle while you browse through a variety of secondhand books and handicrafts at a leisurely pace. 

Large indoor and outdoor shopping centres in Canberra are based around Bunda Street in the city’s centre, with several out of town malls and centres in the city surrounds. For an added essence of heartwarming charm, Canberra is also home to a number of bookshops where you can find everything from the newest bestseller to specialized and alternative reads. 
 
Don't stop there - follow the shops around Australia. Click here 
 
 

Tags:

ACT | Top 15 | Travel

The Royal Australian Mint

Money making in the act 

 
What do Queen Elizabeth, a platypus and a lyrebird have in common? Careful now. The answer is the Royal Australian Mint – Australia’s coin factory. Situated in the suburb of Deakin, The Royal Australian Mint is one of two operating mints in the country, and was the first national mint not to be a branch of the Royal Mint in London.  
 

Australia's coin factory

 
Since its opening in 1966, the Royal Australian mint has produced more than 13 billion circulating coins, with capacity to produce two million coins a day. Tours around the mint allow you to discover how coins are made and watch as the robots work at producing Australia’s currency, including one of the world’s strongest robots, the Titan.  The mint not only produces Australia’s legal tender, but is the birthplace for military and civilian honor medals. 

In the Royal Australian Mint museum and gallery, discover some of Australia’s rarest tender, including some of the first coins to be used in the country. The holey dollar and dump coins are among some of the uncommon coins on display, alongside a range of collectables. Through a series of displays and tours, watch and learn how money is made, learn the significance of Australia’s coin designs and press your own $1 coin.
 
 

Tags:

Top 15 | Travel | ACT

Museums in the ACT

Uncover a past and present Australia

 
Rich in history, the ACT has squeezed in as many museums as it can into its tiny territory. Make sure to take a few days to explore around and discover the welath of knowledge that awaits. From science to art, it seems Canberra has it all covered.
 

 

Museums in the ACT


To start your ACT Museum experience, what better way to jump straight into history than with a trip to the Canberra Museum and Gallery. An art gallery and museum dedicated to celebrating the regions rich history and nationwide talent, the Canberra Museum and Gallery plays host to a selection of local, national and international exhibitions, but mainly fixates on the historical and social developments of the state. 
 
If it’s science you’re after, the CSIRO Discovery Centre is an award winning attraction offering an interactive journey through health and science history. Containing two floors of glass front laboratories, where scientists and technicians are seen researching, you are able to not only interact with the surrounding exhibits, but see science in progress. Focusing on the CSIRO’s research into topics such as ecological preservation, new technology and health, this centre is perfect for a family day out or rainy day activity. 

An activity that both national and international visitors should undertake whilst in Canberra is the National Capital Exhibition, a series of interactive displays that tell the story of Australia’s capital city. Discover why Canberra was chosen as the nations capital, enjoy the Canberra sound and light show and learn of the indigenous people of the area while you explore the exhibits that tell the tale of this city’s past, present and future development.

For a look at some of the nation’s most memorable faces, head to the National Gallery of Australia, home to more than 120,000 works of art. Come face to face with some of Australia’s most memorable faces and places by taking a wander through the various halls of this Brutalist style building. Collections at the gallery include photography, crafts and sculptures as well as visiting international exhibitions. Home to works by the famous Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Claude Monet, the National Gallery is a destination for inspiration.
 
For more information on Australia's art history, see our article on Art Galleries in Australia 
 

 

Tags:

ACT | Top 15 | Travel

Western Australia

 

 

 

About Western Australia 


So big it needs to take up a whole third of Australia, this state is as impressive in size as it is to experience. Australia’s largest state, Western Australia occupies the entire western third of the continent, bordered by the Northern Territory in the north east and South Australia in the south east. With a Mediterranean climate and thousands of kilometres of coastline, Western Australia encompasses the best of climate, beaches and wines, contrasted with glorious barren outback full of gorges, red rocky terrain and bright blue skies.

Western Australia holds the nation’s sunniest capital of Perth, which sees an impressive 3000 hours of sunshine a year. A diverse piece of Australia, this state is home to some 2.3 million people, of which 85% are situated in the south west corner. Home of some of Australia’s most iconic destinations, stop for a swim with the sharks at Ningaloo Reef, admire the unusual black steel sculptures on the white salt plains of Lake Ballard and hike around the orange and black striped World Heritage listed Bungle Bungles. Nature is one of the state’s biggest attractions in Western Australia, and from beach to bush, you’ll be guaranteed an assortment of outdoor activities at your very feet. 

Arts, crafts and culture also play an important role in Western Australia, home to one of the country’s best performance training institutions. With a rich, creative spirit, this state teems with an assortment of galleries, markets, museums and theatres to explore and embrace. From Freemantle’s ambiance of new age creativity to Broome’s Opera under the Stars, Western Australia has a selection of entertainment to suit all ages in all locations. 

Easily accessible by land, air or sea, Western Australia’s scenic beauty, crisp ocean breezes and remote yet thriving community feel is something unique and memorable. With so much land to cover, you may find yourself planning several future trips back again.

What to do in Western Australia 


Here you will the best of what Western Australia has on offer, with a list of the top 15 destinations, attractions and activities every visitor should see, do and explore for themselves: 

Fishing 

Cycling

Golf

Diving & Snorkeling

Extreme Sports

Beaches & Surfing

Camping

National Parks 

Road Trip

Wildlife 

Historic Buildings

Festivals 

Wineries 

Broome

The Gormley Sculptures

 

Additionally, experience Western Australia's hospitality taking a look at the many restaurantsbars and accommodation services available 

 

Fishing in Western Australia

Get trawling for a trout


If you come home from a days fishing in Western Australia empty handed, there is something seriously wrong. With a vast coastline, numerous lakes, estuaries and rivers, this state is spoilt for choice for places to cast off and sit back. With trout in the south west to a challenge for sports fishermen in the north, fishing is Western Australia’s largest recreational activity, with a fish and a waterway to suit every angler.
   
  

Fishing in Western Australia 

  
Barramundi is the most prized catch in the north, growing to around 1 metre in length and often seen leaping out of the water. Off the reefs, snapper, cod, coral trout, sharks and blue water giants such as the cobia are found, alongside hundreds of other species. Sailfish and marlin are also caught in the north, the latter often found in deeper waters. 

The southern rivers are plentiful for trout and crayfish, a gourmet dish on the menus of local restaurants. A license must be held for trout fishing, a seasonal catch in the West Australian waters. Closer to Perth, herring, tailor and dhufish are caught from both boat and shore, with similar catches on Rottnest Island.

Alongside a plethora of different fish species, Western Australia is also famous for its crayfish and crustaceans caught in the coral reefs from the Golden Outback in the south west to the Coral Coast further north. Try your luck at catching a mud crab the size or a dinner plate or a western rock lobster – but take care not to put your fingers near their nippers.
 
Continue fishing to the Northern Territory. Click here