National Capital Attractions Education Programs
Over 160,000 Australian students visit Canberra, Australia’s National Capital, each year to participate in high quality educational programs on offer at the National Capital Attractions. The exciting programs draw on vast collections to cover topic such as civics and citizenship, history, arts, science, technology, and the Australian environment. The attractions have developed these education programs, designed as a complement to classroom learning using a range of educational techniques along with interactive displays, hands-on activities and role plays. These programs offered at over 23 cultural institutions and attractions, all focus on supporting the successful delivery of the Australian Curriculum.
Civics and Citizenship Education
Canberra is the perfect destination for civics and citizenship education. In the one destination student groups can see Australia’s’ government representatives discuss important national issues, sit in the seats where past political figures made decisions that shaped Australia, view the nation's founding documents, learn about our voting process or watch the highest court in the country monitor our constitutional rights. More broadly, there are experiences at the National Capital Attractions that contribute to the idea of national identity by delving into Australia’s history and the roles Australians play in our society's evolution.
A visit to Canberra in itself is an immersive civics and citizenship learning experience. It helps students see themselves as part of a broader society, not just of their own town, city or school community. The visit helps students understand they have rights and responsibilities as citizens of Australia. There is also a personal development value to an excursion to Canberra. Students are often on their first trip away from home alone, travelling with friends, learning to share with others and participating in an extremely well organised program of activities. The excursion may also be the first time a student visits a national cultural institution, an art gallery or a museum.
Canberra hosts a range of accommodation houses that cater specifically for schools and groups, some of these have been purpose built over the past few years. Each property offers a variety of packages designed for the needs of schools. These packages may include breakfast, dinner, packed lunch and even spaces to conduct evening activities.
There are also a range of great on the go catering options, recreational activities, events and night time programs and activities that can complement the education component of the excursion. These can include visits to Canberra’s two main lookouts, Telstra Tower and Mount Ainslie, a drive around the Embassies, time at Canberra’s shopping precincts and many parks and open spaces for outdoor relaxation.
There is also a long list of transport and tour operators based around the country with specific expertise in planning Canberra excursions. Some offer itinerary planning, organisation of coach or air travel and accommodation bookings, others are charter services or airlines. This can provide schools with a hassle free options for organising all or components of the excursion program.
The region surrounding the National Capital offers the opportunity for students to explore Australia’s heritage and natural environment. The Capital Country Region offers great stops on your way to and from the National Capital and a great way to break up a long bus journey. Many schools add a trip to the Snowy Mountains during the winter months for fun in the snow. This could be for a day trip or overnight with many accommodation options available in the region.
Parliament and Civics Education Rebate
The Commonwealth Government believes it is important to engage young Australians in our democracy and culture. The Parliament and Civics Education Rebate provides assistance ranging from $20 - $260 depending on distance travelled.
Parliamentary Sitting dates
Many schools consider when Parliament is sitting when choosing dates for an excursion. Sitting dates for the following year are usually released in November. These can be found on the Parliament House website www.aph.gov.au under the About Parliament section.
Canberra, has four distinct seasons. Winter often brings morning frosts, and summer generally has low humidity, with dry heat. Whichever the season, Canberra is known for its clean fresh air and clear blue skies.
Average Canberra temperatures
Average Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Maximum ºC 28 27.1 24.5 20 15.6 12.3
Minimum ºC 13.2 13.1 10.7 6.7 3.2 1
Rainy days 7 7 7 7 8 10
Average Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum ºC 11.4 13 16.2 19.4 22.7 26.1
Minimum ºC -0.1 1 3.3 6.1 8.8 11.4
Rainy days 11 11 10 10 10 8
Safety and medical services
Canberra is an extremely safe excursion destination. Many of the National Capital Attractions are government managed organisations with strict OH&S policies and risk assessment. Canberra has good roads and most venues are within 20 minutes of each other, so travel is easy and safe.
Canberra has a good range of medical facilities if needed, most not more than 20 minutes away. Below is a list the best options for school groups travelling to Canberra.
Free Medical Advice and service locator
T 1800 022 222 | Open 24/7
healthdirect is a free service supported by the governments of Australia.
Visit healthdirect.gov.au for a location-based service locator and symptom
checker. Free smartphone app also available.
For minor health concerns and medication queries
- Chemist on Northbourne | T +61 2 6162 1133
65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City | Open 8 am–11 pm, 7 days
- Capital Chemist O’Connor | T +61 2 6248 7050
9 Sargood Street, O'Connor | Open 9 am–11 pm, 7 days
After hours GP
Canberra-wide after-hours GP appointments
- CALMS — Canberra Afterhours Locum Medical Service
Open 8 am–11 pm weekdays, 10 am–11 pm weekends and public holidays
T 1300 422 567 for an appointment | calms.net.au
- National Home Doctor Service
T 137 425 for an appointment | homedoctor.com.au
Open 7.30 am–10 pm, 7 days | No appointment necessary
One-off treatment for minor illness and injury
- Tuggeranong Walk-in Centre (Southside)
Tuggeranong Community Health Centre
Corner Anketell and Pitman Streets, Tuggeranong
- Belconnen Walk-in Centre (Northside)
Belconnen Community Health Centre
Corner Lathlain and Cohen Streets, Belconnen
Hospitals - for accidents and emergencies
- Canberra Hospital (Southside) | T +61 2 6244 2222
Yamba Drive, Garran | Open 24/7
- Calvary Public Hospital (Northside) | T +61 2 6201 6111
Corner Belconnen Way and Haydon Drive, Bruce | Open 24/7
Ambulance - Dial 000