If you’ve ever visited Australia’s capital, you’d know that driving and parking can be a mission-and-a-half, and trying to work out the public transport isn't any easier. Those days could be long gone, with Canberra’s brand new Culture Loop Shuttle Bus now operating around the city. Culture Loop takes the hassle out of your sightseeing by taking you to Canberra’s most-loved cultural attractions, totally free. The best part? Stop 1 is located right next to Canberra City YHA. Fall out of bed, hop on the bus and see everything Canberra has to offer, easy breezy. With Culture Loop, you can fully immerse yourself in exhibitions, galleries and events, stress-free. Not convinced? Here’s what you can experience.
Not your average shopping centre, Canberra Centre is the capital’s premier shopping attraction. Packed with a whole range of fancy and not-so-fancy stores, cafes and restaurants, we can personally guarantee you’ll visit here at some stage, especially given its location right next to Canberra City YHA. Make this your first stop to fuel up with brekky, or unwind after a day of sightseeing with some light retail therapy. Whatever your whims and desires, Canberra Centre has something for everyone.
National Museum of Australia (Photo: Australian Capital Tourism)
It’s no surprise that Australia’s capital would contain the National Museum of Australia, the home of Australia’s infinite stories, memories and milestones since 1980. Make your trip to Canberra a learning experience and hop off here to dive deeper into Australia’s history than you ever imagined. There’s always new and unique exhibitions happening, which you can check out on their website. Open 7 days a week and with no admission price, there’s really no excuse for not paying the National Museum of Australia a visit.
Continue feeding your inner history buff at the National Film and Sound Archive, the custodian of over 2.8 million Australian films, television and radio programs, videos, tapes, records, documents, artefacts and more. Recent events have included Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures – commemorating the work of the Academy Award-winning late Australian actor, as well as Cats and Dogs, simply celebrating our favourite furry friends. Dating back to 1935, the Archive is worth a visit for anyone who loves our great country.
By now you’ve learnt that Canberra is not boring, and the National Capital Exhibition shows off everything fabulous about this underrated city. Explore Canberra’s past, present and future through unique displays featuring its people, events, history and design.
Also accessible from Stop 4 is the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, where you can chat to a friendly local and get the low-down on all things Canberra. Overlooking Lake Burley Griffin, you won’t believe how cool an information centre can be. Plan the rest of your trip – chances are, a few of the recommended places will be coming up on the Culture Loop!
National Library of Austalia (Photo: Australian Capital Tourism)
If you only visit one of these stops, make it Questacon – the iconic venue that brings school trips and science lovers to Canberra from all over the country. Words don’t do it justice, but we can personally guarantee you’ll have your mind blown, twisted and challenged with over 200 interactive exhibits relating to science and technology. Free-fall down a 6 metre slide, pick up a quirky souvenir at the famous Q shop and solve puzzles – Questacon is an unforgettable experience for all ages.
Continue your education while your mind is sharp and mosey on over to the National Library of Australia, the largest reference library in Australia. Open 7 days a week, there’s always an array of interesting and informative exhibits going on. Even if you don’t go inside, make sure you get that prime Insta pic from the outside.
Okay, we know, Canberra has a lot of museums, but Australia has a lot of history! The Museum of Australian Democracy is located in the Old Parliament House, celebrating the spirit of Australian democracy and the power of our voices within it. With admission prices ranging from $1 to $2, you may as well!
Arguably Canberra’s main attraction, the Parliament House is where the federal government meets to, well, govern the country! Have your picture taken outside the stunning building, watch our pollies in action or go on a tour. Anyone is welcome at the Parliament House 364 days a year – don’t leave Canberra without at least standing outside!
Stop and catch your breath and find a patch of grass to chill on at West Basin, where bustling Canberra meets iconic Lake Burley Griffin.
If you’ve stopped at every stop (and you really should), you’re probably pretty pooped by now, but we promise summoning your energy to check out Canberra Museum and Gallery is worth it. With free entry, you can feast your eyes on a whole range of artworks and artefacts exploring the social history of Canberra.
Located right next to Stop 1, Canberra City YHA is the perfect spot to base yourself while exploring Canberra with Culture Loop. With a café, indoor pool, spa, sauna, rooftop BBQ and underground bar, we’ve got everything you need to make your stay in Canberra perfect. Stay in spacious multi-share accommodation or opt for a private ensuite room – just come visit us!
Click here to view the Culture Loop map and timetable. Please note: Culture Loop is currently operating on a six-month pilot period from its launch on 20 December 2018.