Designed by the American-based architects Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp, Parliament House was officially opened by the Queen in 1988. It is home to both houses of Federal Parliament (the Senate and the House of Representatives). If your visit coincides with the sitting of parliament, you can see democracy in action from the public galleries (check parliament’s website, www.aph.gov.au, for sitting dates). The permanent displays include an extensive collection of Australian art, the Great Hall Tapestry and one of only four surviving 1297 copies of the Magna Carta. Once inside, take the lift to the roof for magnificent views of the city. It is worth noting that the fl ag fl ying atop the 81-metre fl agpole is roughly the size of the side of a double-decker bus. Guided tours of the complex are recommended; brochures also give visitors the option of self-guide tours. Those with a keen eye may spot the fossils in the main foyer’s marble fl oor. Those who prefer outdoor attractions can walk through the 23 hectares of landscaped gardens. Parliament Dr, off State Circle; (02) 6277 5399; open 9am–5pm daily; admission free.
Take a tour through the halls of federal power in this impressive building.
A visit to Parliament House
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