Cockington Green, Melissa Krafchek

In Canberra’s north is Gold Creek Village, a tourist attraction that takes its name from an old property established in the area in the mid-1800s. To make matters confusing, there is no Gold Creek, and no history of goldmining in this area – Gold Creek Station was apparently named after a racehorse. The station, north of the village, is still a large working merino property and is open to visitors wanting a taste of Australian rural life (groups only; bookings (02) 6230 9208). However, Gold Creek Village is the real drawcard here, with specialty shops, galleries, cafes, historic buildings and a host of modern attractions.

National Dinosaur Museum

The museum has an extensive display of fossilised dinosaur remains, full skeletons and full-size replicas. During school holidays there are plenty of activities for children as well as guided tours. Cnr Gold Creek Rd and Barton Hwy, Gold Creek Village; (02) 6230 2655; open 10am–5pm daily.

Cockington Green

Journey through a magical world of miniatures, from a Stonehenge replica to a village cricket match amid beautifully manicured gardens, or take a ride on a miniature steam train. A heritage rose walk links the miniatures with the steam train. 11 Gold Creek Rd, Gold Creek Village; (02) 6230 2273; open 9.30am–5pm daily.

Canberra Reptile Zoo

Dedicated to research, conservation and education, this is the place for all things reptilian. Both Australian and exotic species are on display, including a boa constrictor, the giant day gecko from Madagascar and local favourites such as the blue-tongue lizard and children’s python. The collection is continually increasing so there will be something new each time you visit. O’Hanlon Pl, Gold Creek Village; (02) 6253 8533; open 10am–5pm daily.

Canberra Walk-In Aviary

Walk among over 500 birds representing 54 species from Australia and around the world in this aviary, which measures 1000 square metres. You can photograph and handfeed the colourful creatures, which fl y free in the landscaped 9-metre-high enclosure. Federation Sq, Gold Creek Village; (02) 6230 2044; open 10am–4.30pm daily in summer, 11am–3pm daily in winter.

Ginninderra Village

The old village of Ginninderra predates Hall , the nearby town that began life as a village well before the city of Canberra was created. Ginninderra serviced the surrounding farming districts, including the property of Gold Creek Station. The Ginninderra Village that is today part of Gold Creek Village contains the old Ginninderra schoolhouse and the township’s old Catholic church. They can be found among giftware stores, craft studios and galleries. O’Hanlon Pl, Gold Creek Village; open daily.

Gold Creek Station

This large, working pastoral property runs merino sheep and beef cattle. Visitors can share a day in the life of a farming family. Groups only; bookings (02) 6227 6586.