Thousands of students descend on Canberra every year and participate in high-quality educational programs as part of their curriculum. Students come away with amazing memories and life-long impressions of Australia’s past and present. Here we detail our top 5 attractions, our favourite accommodation venues, everything you need to know about the PACER rebate, and when is the best time for school groups to visit!
Top 5 attractions
Take a guided tour and learn firsthand about Australian democracy, lawmaking and how Parliament works to make Australia a better place to live.
Students learn about the history, role and function of the High Court and its architecture. View the Great Hall, which includes an educational display and video area, and often features exhibitions or performances by cultural organisations; and the three courtrooms, which are the focus of the building’s activities.
Go behind the scenes on an award-winning 90-minute guided tour of Australia’s premier elite sports precinct. In the Sportex, try wheelchair basketball, virtual downhill skiing, rock climbing, football penalty shootouts and more.
Free-fall down a six-metre slide, freeze your own shadow, experience an earthquake or challenge a robot to a game of air hockey. Questacon’s eight interactive exhibitions feature more than 200 hands-on experiences covering a range of science topics, from astronomy to zoology and everything in between.
The Australian War Memorial combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. The Memorial’s purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in the war. Partake in self-guided visits to the Hall of Memory, Roll of Honour, Aeroplane Hall and the War Museum and Last Post Ceremony and choose to participate in a number of educational programs.
Our top 3 accommodation venues in Canberra which cater specifically to school groups are:
- Ibis Style Eaglehawk
- YMCA – Bush Capital Lodge and Leumeah Lodge
- Capital Country Holiday Park
Each venue includes entertainment areas for evening activities and provides a safe and welcoming space for students to relax at the end of a busy day exploring all that Canberra has to offer.
The Australian Government understands the importance of a Canberra educational tour within the civics and citizenship curriculum and encourages and supports Australian schools to partake by offering a financial rebate to all schools who visit in Years 4 to 12. PACER rebates are allocated on a per-student basis and amounts are dependent on the distance from the school to the centre of Canberra and are paid directly to the school. At WorldStrides, we design tours that meet the government regulations and can assist with your PACER application.
Best time to visit
One of our best tips is to travel during off-peak periods to maximise learning opportunities and open up more options for accommodation and activities. Shorter queues and no crowds allow students to enjoy an up-close-and-personal experience.
When: Early February
Why: With schools settling in for Term 1, our teachers often say this is a great time to build group cohesion for the year ahead.
Why: Many schools are undertaking NAPLAN testing at this time, which means you won’t be competing with crowds.
When: June – August
Why: Many schools avoid travelling to Canberra in the chilly months, but our teachers say Canberra in winter has a cosy charm.