Replacing Old Parliament House as the seat of federal government, Australia’s current Parliament House was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in May of 1988. There are many public rooms open to visitors as well as guided tours. Anyone with an interest in politics will enjoy visiting The House of Representatives and the Senate chambers.
With around one million visitors each year, Parliament House is one of Canberra’s biggest attractions. A section of the large grounds actually forms the roof of this uniquely designed building and from this rooftop vantage point excellent views of Canberra are to be had. The rooftop is also an excellent place to see the huge 81 metre high flag staff which is formed by one of the largest stainless steel structures in the world.
The main public entrance of Parliament House opens into a foyer which leads to The Great Hall. This space contains a painting of a New South Wales eucalyptus forest on one of the largest tapestries in the world. The Members Hall holds some of Australia’s most important documents including the original 1900 UK act creating the Commonwealth of Australia as well as one of the only four surviving Magna Carta issues from 1297.
Parliament House is at the centre of Canberra and is situated on Capitol Hill. Free bus service on the Centenary Loop departs every 30 minutes.