Make the most of your long weekend by commemorating Anzac Day at the Australian War Memorial, exploring famed museums and galleries and enjoying the great outdoors in Canberra.
As the home of our national ceremonies, thousands of people are expected to flock to the Australian War Memorial on Anzac Day to mark the 101st anniversary of the landings on Gallipoli.
There’s no more moving way to mark April 25 than the Dawn Service, which starts at 5.30am in the grounds of the Memorial. Bring a torch and rug up – as it will be dark and chilly – and arrive by 4.30am to hear excerpts from the letters and diaries of Australians who experienced war first-hand.
Anzac Day commemorations continue throughout the day at the Australian War Memorial with the National Ceremony at 10.30am and the daily Last Post Ceremony at 4.45pm.
These ceremonies attract large crowds, so be sure to leave plenty of travel time and considering walking or registering for free bus travel to the Dawn Service or the National Ceremony.
While you’re visiting the Australian War Memorial, be sure to explore all the nooks and crannies of this poignant and historic monument. Place a poppy on the Memorial’s Roll of Honour, see how Australian modernist artists responded creatively to the Second World War at the Reality In Flames exhibition, or return at night to see the names of those who gave their lives during the First World War projected onto the memorial as part of the centenary commemorations.
After exploring the Australian War Memorial, savour the peace and quiet for a little longer by taking a walk up Mount Ainslie from the rear of the memorial. Clock up a few steps on the way up and take in some of the most spectacular views of Canberra once you reach the top.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is also particularly beautiful at this time of year. Just 40-minutes drive from the city you will find a number of walking trails ranging from short strolls to all-day bushwalks as well as tours, overnight excursions and ranger-guided activities.
If you’re in the mood for some history, head to Parliament House to see the Magna Carta Exhibition – which celebrates the 800th anniversary of one of the most significant democratic and human rights documents in the world – and check out the ANZAC Centenary Commemorative Print Portfolio Project.
Complete your historical journey with a visit to the Federation Gallery at the National Archives of Australia, where you can view some of Australia’s most significant documents.
By now you will have no doubt worked up an appetite, so be sure to pop in to one of the capital’s buzzing foodie precincts for a bite to eat. The Kingston Foreshore is the perfect autumn spot, with a host of popular cafes and restaurants situated alongside picturesque Lake Burley Griffin.
The inner-city suburb of Braddon is another great place to refuel with an eclectic mix of cool cafes, bakeries and restaurants. Wander down the hip and happening Lonsdale Street for a great brew and some of Canberra’s best eats. This foodie hot spot is also a great place for early risers to grab some bacon and eggs after the Dawn Service.
For more Anzac Day travel inspiration, head to www.visitcanberra.com.au