I had some great advice from a friend before we went on our recent trip to Canberra, plus picked up some things when down there.
If you’re planning a family trip to Canberra, here are some things to keep in mind. plus links to our more detailed posts:
- Take gold coins. Although car parks at the main attractions do take credit card payments, many of the parking meters in the town centre only take coins. It’s a shock to the system!
- Pack warm clothes... it really is chillier in Canberra. Check the Canberra weather forecast before you go.
- Start early. If you’re visiting in school holidays then you can expect the main attractions, like Questacon and the Australian Museum to be very busy. Make it easy on yourself by getting there early. you’ll find parking easy and the crowds won’t make your head ring… at least for an hour or two. Mind you, we loved our dusk visit to Parliament. The car park underneath was empty and we loved the views over Canberra at sunset.
- Check the ACT term dates. These may be different from other states, and some kids sections of Canberra’s attractions are used by school groups in school dates e.g. the Discovery Zone at the Australian War Memorial. Check ACT term dates here.
- Always take food out with you. Even though my twins are nine now, I still need to carry food everywhere we go as they get hungry and very badly behaved… you can’t rely on any tourist attractions to have food or even free tables. On our trip I had hoped to eat a meal at Floriade Nightfest but the queues were miles long and the offerings not great anyway. We ended up eating our snacks there and then having room service when we got back.
- Eat early. I know that my children are easily overwhelmed by lots of sightseeing. To avoid meltdowns and dining disasters, I usually let them have a bit of downtime in the late afternoon (i.e. watch TV) and then make sure we get out to eat before 6pm. This also means that cafes or restaurants are not too busy, so food comes quickly. Plus if there’s childish behaviour (from them!) there are less witnesses to my mortification.
- Enjoy the ease of getting around. If you’re from Sydney, you’ll be used to long journeys and difficult parking whenever you visit tourist attractions. So you’ll love the ease of getting around in Canberra and the cheap and easy parking.
Family Trips to Canberra – More Posts
Do you have any other general tips for enjoying family trips to Canberra?
Please share with the group!