Aboriginal Tent Embassy
The Aboriginal Tent Embassy is a controversial semi-permanent
assemblage claiming to represent the political rights of Australian
Aborigines. It is made of a large group of activists, signs, and
tents that reside on the lawn of Old Parliament House in Canberra,
the Australian capital. It is not considered an official embassy
by the Australian government.
On the 26th of January 1972 at 1 a.m. four Aborigines, led by
Michael Anderson, established the Aboriginal Embassy by ramming
a sun umbrella into the lawn outside Old Parliament House in Canberra.
The Tent Embassy was established in response to the McMahon Coalition
Government's refusal to recognise Aboriginal land rights and saw
a new general purpose lease for Aborigines which would be conditional
upon their ‘intention and ability to make reasonable economic
and social use of land’ and it would exclude all rights
they had to mineral and forest rights.
In February 1972 the Aboriginal Tent Embassy presented a list
of demands to Parliament that were rejected, and in July 1972,
following an amendment to the relevant ordinance, police moved
in, removed the tents, and arrested eight people.
In October 1973, around 70 Aboriginal protesters staged a sit-in
on the steps of Parliament House and the Tent Embassy was re-established.
The sit-in ended when Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam agreed
to meet with protesters.
In May 1974 the embassy was destroyed in a storm, but was re-established
As well as political pressure, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy has
also been under attack from criminal elements, having been fire
bombed on a number of occasions.
Some local Aboriginal Ngunnawal people have also called for the
eviction of residents of the tent embassy.
The Embassy remains intact and plans for the annual Corroboree
for Sovereignty are still going ahead. Corroborree for Sovereignty
is always held on 26 January, Australia Day, known to some Indigenous
Australians as "Invasion Day".
Annual Canberra floriade, photo by Robyn
Floriade - Australia's Celebration
of Spring, is a 30-day floral extravaganza. The festival of flowers
and fun is complemented by entertainment and events right throughout
the nation's capital. Usually run end September/early October.
Subaru Rally of Canberra - annual
rally event staged as a round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship
(APRC). The APRC attracts a world class field of competitors and
takes place throughout Asia and the Pacific, usually held in April.
The Australian National Botanic Gardens cover 90
hectares at Black Mountain and are well worth a visit.
Some of the highlights are the Aboriginal Pant Use walk and the
Rainforest Gully, there are guided walk available and there is
a pleasant cafe.
© Idol Moments
You can find your own way around Canberra
but the best way to get to know the place is on a tour with a
guide who has in-depth knowledge of the place;
This full day private tour will let you experience
the heritage and history of Australia's Capital city as well as
the flora and fauna of uniquely Australian wildlife. Combine Parliament
House and the Australian War Memorial with Koalas, Kangaroos and
Optional Extra: In Depth Tour of Parliament House
This tour is suitable for people with a particular interest in
politics, architecture, art or landscape design. A specialist
guide will take you on an exclusive one to one tour of Parliament
House. Idol Moments will also try to fit into this tour, 'Question
Time', when Parliament is sitting (between 2pm and 3pm). This
is a unique and lively debate that brings all our members of Parliament
into the Senate or House of Representatives Chambers. This tour
requires you to list your contact details as secutiry is strict.
Enjoy Canberra's finest fresh produce set in a light picnic lunch.
After lunch, your tour will depart the city and on the outskirts
of Canberra you will find National Parks, nature reserves, rural
properties and Canberra's Deep Space Centre. At the Tidbinbilla
Nature Reserve, Australian birds and animals can be seen in their
natural surroundings, from water birds to Koalas and kangaroos.
info on this daytour...
Australian National Library
© Canberra Tourism Events Corp
Canberra in two hours; If you are visiting Canberra
for a short time and would like to learn about the history that
lies within Canberra and its sights, this tour will fit into your
busy schedule. Idol Moments will guide you around the city sights,
the Parliamentry Triangle and the unique embassy area, within
two hours. You can also choose to take the tour during the day
or the evening, the choice is yours, more
info on this tour...
Half day lookouts tour; visit the four major
lookouts in Canberra. Gain views over this well planned city,
including views of man-made Lake Burley Griffin and the impressive
Parliament House. This tour will help orientate you with Australia's
capitol and delight you with stunning views over this dynamic
info on this tour...
Half day wildlife tour; Wander amongst wallabies
and wombats on this half day small group tour to the Tidbinbilla
Nature Reserve. This is a nature photographer's dream. See native
birds and wildlife in their natural surroundings. Hear the sounds
of the Australian bush as you discover the nature trails. Nestled
in the mountains surrounding Canberra, more
info on this tour....
Australian Institute of Sports
Australia has competed in every Olympics held since
1896. The best performance in the Olympics was when they were
held at home in Melbourne in 1956 where our athletes managed to
stop a total of 35 medals, including 13 gold ones, from leaving
the country. In contrast 20 years later in Montreal they were
pathetic winning only one silver medal and no gold what so ever.
This prompted the government to start an Institute of Sport to
better prepare our athletes for this sort of event and it worked
as the Aussies dragged twelve medals away from the next 1984 Los
Angeles Olympics and at the Sydney 2000 Olympics the Aussie athletes
managed to keep 16 gold medals in the country.
Now you can visit this institute where an elite athlete will escort
you on a guided tour. Test your sporting skills with the various
interactive displays and take time to browse through the AIS shop.
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Situated off Clunies Ross Street (near the Telstra Tower turn
off), 2.4 kms from the city centre. In these gardens you will
find a collection of over 6000 species of Australian native plants
from the rainforest, the desert, the mountains and more in a series
of specially created environments. 1-1½ hour tours can
be booked for groups. Hudsons in the Gardens' cafe is set among
the lawns and duck ponds. Open daily 9am - 5pm (8pm during summer).
Call the Visitor Centre on 6250 9540 for more information on the
Summer Concerts. More info on their website.
Australian War Memorial
Canberra's War Memorial
Australia has never been invaded in its just over two centuries
existence but it has sent its soldiers overseas on numerous occasions.
In the first and second world wars to Europe, to Korea, and to
This memorial is to honour the scores of soldiers that have died
in those situations.
More recently Australia has also sent soldiers to Timor, the Solomon
Islands and Iraq but these were fairly smooth operations with
Located at the head of Anzac Parade, the memorial contains galleries
displaying relics, documents, photographs and art.
The Hall of Memory, where the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier
is located, is the centre of the formal commemorative area.
You can enjoy some lunch at The Outpost, the Australian War Memorial
Kiosk, on the lawns outside the memorial.
Australia's Fauna - Emu
© Rachel C
Interested in a tour that combines Australia's Native flora and
fauna, with Aboriginal rock art? Then look no further, as this
is the tour for you. This tour will visit Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
and Namadgi National Park, allowing you to encounter Australia's
native wildlife which may include Platypus, Kangaroos, Wallaroos,
Wallabies, Emus, native birds, Water-fowl, Lyrebirds, Echidnas
and Wombats. More
info on this tour....
Visit the tranquil Japanese Garden at Cowra
© Go Bush Tours
Or head further out of the city on this tour which
includes a leisurely day of touring to enjoy the delights of Cowra
which is situated on the Lachlan River. Visit the Japanese Gardens
and Cultural centre, the World Peace Bell and the site of the
Cowra P.O.W breakout. This tour allows you to enjoy the friendly
and relaxed atmosphere of this bustling town and learn the history
of Cowra's involvement in WWII. More
info on this tour....
Lake Walter Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin with Parliament House across the water.
In 1964, the Molonglo River was dammed to form
Lake Burley Griffin, the lake is named after the American architect
that designed the layout of Canberra. It will take you about an
hour to walk around this lake and you will find on the north side
of the lake the National Capital Exhibition Centre which has many
of Burley Griffin's original plans on display, together with a
model of the city as it is today - great to get your bearings.
Musea and galleries
Canberra's Oldest House and Building
© Idol Moments
If galleries and museums are your scene, then this
is the tour for you. This private tour will take you to a selection
of exclusive Australian contemporary galleries and to view Indigenous
collections at the National Gallery of Australia or the National
Museum of Australia. Take your pick, the choice is yours!
More info on this tour...
National Dinosaur Museum
You'll find this place on the corner of Gold Creek
Road & Barton Highway. This is the largest privately owned
collection of dinosaur material in the world and takes you on
an exciting journey into pre-history. There are full size replica
skeletons, dinosaur bones and skulls, including the Muttaburrasaurus,
the fair dinkum Aussie dinosaur. The mueseum is opened daily 10am-5pm.
Group tours can be booked on 1800 356 000 or 02 6230 2655 or see
for more info.
National Gallery of Australia
You will find this gallery at Parkes Place, 3.1
kms from the city centre, open daily 10am-5pm. Admission to the
permanent collection is free. As well as housing the national
art collection of more than 100,000 works, the National Gallery
of Australia is home to an ever-changing series of exhibitions.Half
hour tours are conducted by voluntary guides in a friendly and
informal atmosphere. Ring 02 6240 6519 for groupbookings or for
more info on their website.
National Museum of Australia
Garden of Australian Dreams inside the National Museum of Australia
Situated on Acton Peninsula, 5 kms from the city
centre,and opened 9am-5pm daily, the National Museum of Australia
uses the latest technology and interactive exhibitions. General
admissioncc is free. Fees apply to guided tours (book on 02 6208
5000 or 1800 026 132) and special exhibitions. More info on their
National Zoo and Aquarium
Well worth a visit. Located at Scrivener Dam, Lady
Denman Drive, 6.6 kms from the city centre. Set in seven hectares
of landscaped bush, the park offers lots of amazing animals, freshwater
tanks with a Riverland walk-through tunnel, BBQ sites, a coffee
shop and free parking. Opened daily 9am-5pm. Group tours of 3.5
hours can be booked on 02 6287 8400 or see their website
for more info.
Constable Fitzpatrick with Kate Kelly 1946
Buy this picture and others at Picturestore.com.au
You'll find the Nolan Gallery on Tharwa Drive, next
to Lanyon Homestead, in the grounds of historic Lanyon Homestead
on the Murrumbidgee River, 30km south of Canberra. It houses a
collection of paintings by Sir Sidney Nolan from the 1940s and
1950s including some of his famous Ned Kelly images and works
on other Australian themes. There is also a regular changing program
of 20th century Australian art, including contemporary work. Opening
hours are Tues-Sun 10am-4pm summer hours 10am-5pm. You can arrange
guided tours on 02 6235 5688 or see their website
for more info
Sidney Nolan was born in Melbourne on 22 April 1917.
He studied intermittently at the National Gallery Art School,
Melbourne, from 1934, and engraving and lithography under S.W.Hayter
at the Atelier 17, Paris in 1957.
During the Second World War, Nolan was conscripted into the army
and served at Dimboola in the Wimmera District of Victoria 1942-1945.
In 1946 he began a series of paintings on the theme of the bush
ranger Ned Kelly, and later painted personal interpretations of
historical and legendary figures such as Eliza Fraser and Burke
and Wills, in which he expressed the feeling of the country and
the timelessness of the myths. Nolan also painted a series of
works portraying Central Australia.
From 1950 Nolan lived mainly in Britain and became Australia's
most internationally celebrated painter. He also designed sets
for ballet and opera and provided illustrations for books. He
died in London on 28 November 1992, aged 75.
Old Parliament House
Canberra’s original Parliament House, opened
in 1927 when the Federal Parliament moved from Melbourne to the
newly built national capital, and it housed Australia's government
for 60 years..
This building houses the Museum of Australian Democracy which
has many well designed realistic scenes and it is an interesting
time-warp like experience to walk through corridors and offices
alive with the sound of telexes and voices.
Outside on the lawn there is the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, an assortment
of tents filled with Aboriginal activists, more info above on
House in Canberra, home of the Australian government
Learn about Australia’s Parliament on a free
guided tour, departing every 30 minutes, a large percentage of
the building is open to the public between 9am and 5pm, and is
well worth the visit.
For more info (and things they may not tell you on this tour)
see our politicians page.
Or see our laws page to see some of
the results of the activities in this building.
Royal Australian Mint
Located in Denison Street, Deakin, 6.5 kms from
the city centre and opened Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat, Sun & public
hols 10am-4pm. Here you can see the Aussie money being made, displays
of coins dating back to the First Fleet and a coin shop where
you can browse among a wide range of collector coins and medallions.
You can also mint your own "C" mint marked $1 coin during
your visit or have some lunch at the Royal Australian Mint Cafeteria.
Book guided group tours on 1300 652 020 or for more info see their
Skiing and snow fun
and skiing at Thredbo
At Thredbo there is something
for everybody. From Friday Flats beginner runs through
to steep tree runs, board park and half-pipe. Thredbo
also guarantees snow, as it has the largest snow
making facilities in the southern hemisphere and
boasts the highest lifted point in Australia. The
combination of long runs and lots of vertical terrain,
means less time traversing and more time ripping
up the slopes.
There are also plenty of challenging off piste runs
filled with natural hits and powder filled chutes.
The more advanced boarders will enjoy the 110 metre
long half-pipe, in Thredbo's extreme board park.
So join us as we head to Thredbo for the all round
Tear up the powder on the slopes of Perisher Blue.
The year 2005 marks Perisher's 10th birthday, so
this year's snow season looks to be action packed
with plenty to do in the village and on the slopes.
Perisher Blue offers an amazing natural experience
surrounded by great Australian scenery. Enjoy the
largest skiable area in the southern hemisphere,
for all levels of skiing and boarding, from beginner
to the radical, thrill seeking skier or snowboarder.
info on a 3 day 3 night package....
info on a 6day 6 night package....
More info on a 2 day 2 night package....
Pondage at Khancoban
© Go Bush Tours
Many Australian's visit the Snowy Mountains Region
in Winter for the obvious reason of skiing down steep slopes in
the snow. However, this two day tour will give you to opportunity
to see the beauty that summer brings upon this area, with the
alpine flowers in bloom and the rivers flowing with water, come
and experience the magic of this region. More
info on this tour...
Telstra Tower on the left, sitting high up Black Mountain.
In the foreground the Governor General's residence.
Sitting high up Black Mountain this tower provides
spectacular 360 degree views of Canberra and the surrounding countryside.
You can visit the exhibition room, snack bar, coffee shop or revolving
To see animals in the wild you don't have to go too far
from Canberra. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on Paddys River Road is a
short and scenic drive south of Canberra. Here kangaroos, wallabies,
koalas and emus run wild. There are a number of sightseeing tours available
and in the summer months there are spotlight tours after dark. Entry
to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is free and the reserve is opened 9am
- 8pm in summer and the visitor centre: Mon-Fri 9am - 4.30pm weekdays,
9am - 5.30pm weekends and public holidays. For more info phone 02 6205
Australian wines are becoming increasingly famous
and are produced all over the country, and Canberra is no exception.
You can visit the Kamberra Wine Tourism Complex, Australia's newest
urban winery and the centre of the region's wine industry. Facilities
include the Cellar Door, the Meeting Place Bistro, the Federation
Centre (VIP function rooms), a Demonstration Winery and an amphitheatre.
© Canberra Tourism Events Corp
Or combine your sighseeing with wine tasting
on this tour!
Begin this tour by driving through the unique embassy
area to one of the oldest gardens in Canberra. This former farming
property is now a city dwelling, with a garden that hints to how
life may have once been, over 150 years ago. This tour will take
you to the tranquil shores of Lake Burley Griffin, a favorite
spot for picnics and enjoying the outdoors.
Other tour highlights include a walk through the sculptured gardens
of Parliamentary Triangle, a guided tour of Parilament House,
home of the Australian Federal Government and a visit to the Australian
Following the Heart of the Nation tour, you will be whisked away
to a nearby grazing property that has diversified into wine growing
and curing meats (including Kangaroo and Emu) and vegetables.
Their award winning gourmet foods and wine, services the top hotels
and restaurants in Australia and their rustic Smokehouse Kitchen,
will provide you with mouth-watering temptations and a most stunning
The Murrumbidgee River corridor produces some of Australia's
best wines and this tour will give you the opportunity to meet
the wine-maker at another nearby vineyard, before returning back
to your hotel in Canberra. More
info on this tour...
Canberra - Accommodation
and what to do - Transport