Questacon (questacon.edu. au) at the National Science and Technology Centre has excellent hands-on displays on topics such as earthquakes and the technology of fun-park rides; there are also animatronic dinosaurs.
The National Zoo (nationalzoo.com.au) has a fine collection of endangered species and the country’s largest number of big cats; a behind-the-scenes program gets you up close to cheetahs.
Head with teenagers to CSIRO Discovery Centre (csiro. au/discovery, right), where government scientists can be seen in action in laboratories, and you can find out how Australia developed woollier sheep, meatier prawns and fraud-proof plastic currency.