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10 Things Not to Miss at the Canberra Heritage Festival

HerCanberra Team

Canberra might be a (relatively) young city. 

But that doesn’t mean that our history doesn’t run deep. The 2017 Canberra Region Heritage Festival is your chance to celebrate our city on a deeper level – looking closely at the events, peoples and buildings that make Canberra the way it is today.

Ever wondered exactly how Lake Burley Griffin was created? Been curious about what exactly is up the top of the National Carillon? What about a Canberra ghost tour?

Now is your chance.

Lake and Land Knowledge Quest

Image: Martin Ollman

Image: Martin Ollman

How much do you know about Canberra backyard? Pick up your Quest Kit from the National Capital Exhibition. Clues will lead you through Commonwealth Park and along Lake Burley Griffin. Follow the clues and bring your kit back to the National Capital Exhibition to claim your prize.

WHEN: April 18 – May 7 2017
TIME: 9am – 5pm
COST: Free
ADDRESS: Commonwealth Park (pack pick up from National Capital Exhibition), Regatta Point, Barrine Drive, Parkes
CONTACT: 6272 2902 or [email protected]

Mystery Tour

Image: Andrew Merry. Supplied.

Image: Andrew Merry. Supplied.

Join us for a mystery tour of Old Parliament House which celebrates its unique place in the political and social life of the capital and the nation. Come and explore spaces behind the scenes and consider what has changed since the building opened in May 1927.

WHEN: April 18 – May 7 2017
TIME: 45 minute tours each day at 11am and 3pm
COST: Adult $6, Children (under 5) $4, Family ($20) after Museum entry
ADDRESS: Old Parliament House, 18 King George Terrace, Parkes
CONTACT: 6270 8215 or [email protected]

What’s in that Tower? Exploring the National Carillon

Inside the Carillon

Inside the Carillon

What is the National Carillon and why do we have it? What is inside that building? During this tour meet a carillonist, discover some history, and see the bells up close. These tours are held both before and after the regularly scheduled free concerts (12:30pm start) so that participants can enjoy some music.

WHEN: April 19, 23, 26, 30 and May 3, 7 2017
TIME: Tours at 11.30am and 1.30pm
COST: Free
ADDRESS: The National Carillon, Aspen Island, Wendoree Drive, Barton
CONTACT: 6272 2902 or [email protected]

Aboriginal Traditional Weaving Workshop

aboriginal basket weaving

Connect to the world’s oldest continuing culture during this full day workshop. Through weaving and traditional plant uses you will gain an understanding of Aboriginal connection to Country. At the completion of this workshop you will feel like you have been immersed in our culture while enjoying the very therapeutic sense of healing it provides.

WHEN: April 20, 22, 30, May 6 2017
TIME: 10am – 3.30pm
COST: $160
ADDRESS: Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross Street, Acton
CONTACT: 0438 544 982 or [email protected]

Finding Your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ancestors

QBN finding-your-family-aiatsis-torres-strait

Do you think you might have Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander branches on your family tree? Experts from the Family History Unit at AIATSIS will explain what resources and strategies you can use and challenges you might face in trying to identify and trace these Ancestors. Morning tea and research notes will be provided.

WHEN: April 21 2017
TIME: 10am – 12pm
COST: Free
ADDRESS: Queanbeyan City Library, 6 Rutledge St, Queanbeyan
CONTACT: 6285 6255 or [email protected]

National Trust Open Day

Did you know there is an 1865 late-Georgian residence in Crace? Open to the public for the first time, the National Trust’s annual Open Day will have its full range of fun activities, displays and tours of Gungahlin Homestead. Co-hosted with ‘Soldier On’ who will showcase the valuable work they do.

WHEN: April 22 2017
TIME: 10am – 3pm
COST: Gold coin entry
ADDRESS: Gungahlin Homestead, 44 Bellenden Street, Crace (NB Google maps shows Kaleen)
CONTACT: 6230 0533

Macedonian Orthodox Church Saint Kliment of Ohrid: Orthodox Easter Tradition

This year Christians celebrated Easter together on 16th April but why do some Christians have another date? What traditions are associated with Easter? Come along to the Macedonian Orthodox Church, admire its architecture, beautiful interior and be part of the Sunday morning church mass.

WHEN: April 23, 30 and May 7 2017
TIME: 10am – 1pm
COST: Free
ADDRESS: 313 Goyder Street, Narrabundah
CONTACT: 0401 094 412

How to Make a Lake


What was Canberra like before and after the lake? How was it created? Why does the water stay where it is? Stroll along the northern shore of the central basin with your guide who will be equipped with historical photos and will also point out some of the hidden curiosities. Tour concludes at the National Carillon.

WHEN: April 23, 30 and May 7 2017
TIME: 2.30pm – 3.30pm
COST: Free
ADDRESS: Meet at the front desk of National Capital Exhibition, Barrine Drive, Regatta Point
CONTACT: 6272 2902 or [email protected]

Weird Canberra Ghost and History Tour

tim the yowie man

This is the history they don’t put in the guide books; this is a tour that shines a spotlight into Canberra’s hidden underbelly. A unique, three-hour experience visiting sites of crimes, hauntings and murder in Australia’s national capital.

WHEN: 28 April 2017
TIME: 8:00pm – 11:15pm
COST: $99 (Bookings close 26 April)
ADDRESS: Departs from and returns to corner Mort and Cooyong Streets, Braddon
CONTACT: [email protected]

Mt Stromlo Site Tour and Garden Party


Tour the historic Mt Stromlo Observatory to learn about the past and current science as well as the unique and in some cases peculiar history of this iconic part of Canberra. Afterwards gather at the recently refurbished Director’s Residence for refreshments and croquet – emulating the garden parties regularly held there in the 1950s.

WHEN: 29 April 2017
TIME: 11am – 2pm
COST: Free (Bookings by 26 April)
ADDRESS: Meet at the Mt Stromlo Visitor Centre and Café, Mt Stromlo Road
CONTACT: 6125 8794 or [email protected]

the essentials

What: The Canberra Region Heritage Festival 2017
Where: Various locations, see website for details
When: 18 April – 7 May


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