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Canberra visitor centre opens at new lakeside home

Gorgeous views of Lake Burley Griffin and Parliament House? Tick. Walking distance to some of our city's most popular attractions? Tick. Finding out all you need to know about the nation's capital in one place? Tick. 

Welcome to Canberra's newest tourist drawcard - the city's welcoming new visitor centre. 

The Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, located next to the National Capital Exhibition at Regatta Point, officially threw open its doors on Friday. 

The opening of the centre comes just weeks before the start of international flights in September, which will offer a direct route to Wellington and Singapore. 

Acting deputy prime minister Fiona Nash said the centre offered tourists great views of the Central National Area and Lake Burley Griffin, the centrepiece of Canberra's landscape. 

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"Putting these two facilities together just makes sense," she said. 

"Visitors can explore the exhibition and learn about the history of Canberra the Griffins' vision for this city, then with the help of the visitor centre, plan a truly remarkable trip."

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the newly refurbished visitor centre was the "showcase of Canberra and the region that the city has ever produced".

"If we look out the window, I don't think you could get a better vista and a better showcase for the city," he said. 

"It also reflect contemporary tourism visitor centres in so much as we have a very significant digital presence and great flexibility in the space being able to use this as a showcase for regional produce as well.

"It's a great way to discover some of the new tourism offerings that the city has to offer. Our tourism product is constantly evolving." 

Mr Barr said the new centre was not just aimed at international or interstate visitors to Canberra. 

"Canberrans, through their visiting friends and relatives, are some of the greatest advocates for tourism in the city. About one in three of our visitors comes here to visit a friend or relative," he said. 

The centre features large LED screen showcasing Canberra attractions and visitors can see how the city has evolved over the past 100 years. 

In addition to the digital presence at the centre, visitors will also be able to access face-to-face advice about accommodation and booking options. 

More than 30 businesses were involved in creating the new centre, which is managed in partnership between the National Capital Authority and the ACT government. 

The refurbishment cost about $5.6 million and was jointly funded by the NCA and the ACT government. 

The centre is open daily from 9am - 5pm weekdays and 9am-4pm weekends and public holidays, except Christmas Day.