It’s the capital city of Australia, but Canberra is all too often overlooked by visitors in favour of the bright lights of Melbourne or Sydney. However, if you are based in Sydney and happy to embark on an ambitious day trip to fit Canberra in, there are some excellent day tours available. And a trip is well worth it, for Canberra is home to many of Australia’s most important institutions, including the National Gallery, the National Museum and the Australian War Memorial, not to mention the country’s seat of government.
Most tours manage to pack these highlights into ambitious itineraries that often last around 13 hours, including the roughly six hours of driving between Canberra and Sydney required. There are two main categories of Canberra tour from Sydney: group and private. While the latter is preferable, the group tours are much better value. What follows is a list of the best three Canberra tours from Sydney, factoring in the tour guides, value for money, itinerary and reviews from previous travellers.
FROM A$189/per person
By making a proper day of it, this tour offers more than just a round trip to Canberra from Sydney. Stop at the small village of Sutton Forest midway between the two cities, before continuing to Canberra. Your guide will tell the story of the city, how it was meticulously planned for its purpose by top architects before you get the chance to explore it for yourself. Guided tours introduce you to Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial, where you’ll learn all about the ANZAC troops, while you’ll also pass by major institutions like the National Library and The Lodge, home of the Australian prime minister.
From A$644/ per person
To make the most of your local guide’s knowledge though, a private day trip is the best option for exploring Canberra. Naturally this tour involves a pickup from a location of your choice in Sydney. From there your private driver and guide will help you tailor the tour of Canberra to your preferences, making sure that you really get the most from your time there. Take a rest stop along the way at a pleasant spot like Lake George, then determine how long you’d like to spend at the War Memorial, National Museum of Australia and more. This trip includes all entry fees and a tranquil picnic lunch beside Lake Burley Griffin.
From A$1,090/ per group
If you’re travelling with a slightly larger group, then a private tour with a set fee per group may prove more economical. This option allows for up to six people, with pickup from a Sydney address of your choosing. As it’s a private tour, you can tell the guide exactly what you’d like to learn, do and see both along the way and in Canberra. Be it the stories of Gallipoli at the War Memorial or of political power and intrigue at Parliament House, this is a great way to spend a day away from Sydney. Please note: this tour does not run on Saturdays.