NCA Heritage Festival Events Released

Media Release

1 April 2014

The National Capital Authority today released its program of events being delivered as part of the 2014 Canberra and Region Heritage Festival.

The Canberra and Region Heritage Festival, coordinated by the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate celebrates the region's Aboriginal, natural and built heritage. The 16 day festival begins this Saturday, 5 April.

The National Capital Authority (NCA) will hold six events, inspired by the festival's theme of 'Journeys'. These include:

1.Carillon Frolic

To kick off the Heritage Festival, head to Aspen Island this Saturday 5 April, from 11am to 3pm for the annual Carillon Frolic.

The Carillon Frolic is a popular event that has something for everyone. Entertainment includes performances by local band Pocket Fox, the ANU Handbell Choir and carillon recitals. Children's activities such as bubble blowing, face painting and balloon artistry will also be on offer.

Tours of the National Carillon will be available, however these book out quickly, so recommend getting there early to secure your spot.

Refreshments can be purchased, including a sausage sizzle, or you are welcome to pack a picnic lunch.

2. Carillon Tours

If you have ever wondered how the National Carillon works, how it is played, or what the view is like from the top, then book into a tour being offered throughout April for the Heritage Festival.

NCA volunteer guides will give 45 minute tours of the National Carillon, with visitors being taken to all three floors of the carillon tower. The first contains the chamber for the clavier, the instrument that operates the bells. Above this is the carillon chamber itself, featuring 55 bronze bells. You will also get the chance to meet our world-class carillonists and listen to a performance.

Tours will be conducted on Thursdays and Saturdays in April, at 12.30pm and 1.30pm.

Bookings are essential. There is a maximum of eight people per tour. 

3. Lake Burley Griffin Walk

Take a step back in time on a walk around the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin. Stretch your legs after work and exercise your brain with stories of little known landmarks and an introduction to the heart of the Griffin plan. Enjoy the autumn evenings in one of the best places in our city. The walk is about five kilometres long, with the only climbs being up onto Kings and Commonwealth Avenue Bridges.

Wednesdays in April, 5.30pm to 7pm. Meet at the Canadian Flagpole at Regatta Point, Barrine Drive at 5.20pm. No bookings required.

4. Anzac Parade Walk

Come on a volunteer led journey around some of the memorials to dig a little deeper into the legends and the history that form part of the National Capital's major ceremonial way.

Discover the stories and symbolism behind these sculptural works and the parade itself, which was placed along Canberra's magnificent Land Axis, a key feature of Walter Burley Griffin's original 1912 plan of the city.

Tuesdays 1, 15 and 29 April 2014, 10am to 11.30am. Meet your guide at Kemal Ataturk Memorial at 9.50am. Bring a hat and a bottle of water. No bookings required.

5. Old Parliament House Gardens Walk

Join a volunteer led walking tour of both the Senate and House of Representatives Gardens for an introduction to the history, significance and stunning beauty of Old Parliament House Gardens.

Until 1989 these parliamentary gardens were not open to the public. They were used by Members, Senators and their staff as a place for relaxation and retreat. When Parliament moved to its permanent home the gardens fell into disrepair. After their reconstruction and reopening to the public in 2004 they have become very popular public spaces.

Tuesday 8 and 22 April 2014, 10am to 11.30am. Meet on the front steps of Old Parliament House at 9.50am. Bring a hat and a bottle of water. No bookings required.

6. A child's journey to school: Blundells Cottage to St John's

St John's Schoolhouse and the National Capital Authority are working together to bring the 19th century to life. The journey starts at Blundells Cottage where children will meet Mrs. Blundell and get ready for school (if they are not already in period clothes). They will visit the Cottage, help with chores and be served a morning tea of damper and syrup, before walking to school with Florrie Blundell. After some schoolwork at the old desks it will be time for play. The event concludes outside, with traditional games.

Saturday 12 April and Thursday 17 April, 10am to 12.30. Cost per child: $5.00. All bookings and enquiries please contact Jenny Garden: 02 6249 8392 or