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Top Rated Attractions in Canberra

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National Arboretum

The National Arboretum of Australia has received numerous accolades for its efforts to preserve and conserve some of the most important plants native to Australia. It houses 94 forests across 250 hectares (617 acres) that play host to more than 44,000 plant species, many of which are classified as endangered. Remarkably, two of the site's forests are nearly a century old. On-site attractions like the Sprout Cafe and Pod Playground have made the National Arboretum fun for the whole family. Since its official opening in 2013, this awe-inspiring landmark has become one of Canberra's can't-miss destinations.

Gibraltar Falls

Located in the lush Woods Reserve, Gibraltar Falls is a series of gurgling waterfalls and one of Canberra's best-kept secrets. Surrounded by golden pastures, the river is unnoticeable from the road and offers the perfect spot for a day's getaway or a simple evening reprieve. A lovely, shaded walking path follows the winding bends of the river and offers tantalizing views of the falls at each twist and turn. That said, a walk in the water over moss-covered rocks and through small pools is perhaps the most breathtaking way to experience this idyllic spot.

Belconnen Arts Centre

Beautifully located beside the lake, the Belconnen Arts Centre (BAC) is an awesome place for performing art lovers. From visual arts to theater and music to dance, there are a plethora of shows and events taking place throughout the year. The ever-changing exhibition at the Belconnen Arts Centre gallery showcases contemporary artists of the region. The venue also hosts workshops and classes for adults and kids alike.

Cotter Reserve

The Cotter Dam was built in 1912 and provides Canberra with part of its water supply. In 1924, deciduous trees were planted at the site, making a spectacular display in autumn. The golden poplars and plane trees found here are often featured in calendars and posters. Take a quiet stroll along the Cotter River with only the rippling water and native birds to listen to. What's more, barbeque facilities make picnics here a delightful experience.

Black Mountain Nature Park

The largest of Canberra's 27 Nature Parks, Black Mountain is home to amazing bush walks. There are several different access points, including the top of Black Mountain drive. If your goal is simply to wander, the Aranda Bushlands is a small section of the park, which is enjoyable for walkers, cyclists and horse enthusiasts. If physical exertion is not the order of the day, drive to the tower and enjoy the view. The entire city is laid out before you.

Mount Taylor

Formed during a period of intense volcanic activity 420 million years ago, Mount Taylor marks the northern edge of the Tuggeranong Valley. This steep hill has exposed igneous rocks near the summit and weathered volcanic soils on the slopes and base. There are several walking trails along Sulwood Drive and Athlon Drive, but the Athlon Drive access trail allows you to drive part of the way. The climb to the summit is demanding but the views are outstanding, overlooking the Tuggeranong Valley, and to the north a vista over Woden Valley to the city and beyond.

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