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Visiting the High Court

The High Court building is a National Building and one of Canberra's major tourist attractions. It is situated in the Parliamentary Triangle, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin between the National Science and Technology Centre and the National Gallery of Australia.

The building is a unique structure. Forty metres tall and constructed mainly of concrete and glass, it has four main elements: a large public hall, three courtrooms, an administrative wing, and Justices' chambers. Public visitors may view:

  • the Great Hall, which includes an educational display and video area, and often features exhibitions or performances by cultural organisations;
  • the three courtrooms, which are the focus of the building's activities; and
  • the licensed cafeteria, where everything from light snacks to formal meals may be enjoyed.

Court Attendants are on hand at strategic points in the building to explain the operation of the Court, its history, and to guide you through this spectacular building.

The building is surrounded by parkland which provides an ideal venue for lunch on fine days. Many school groups bring their lunch and enjoy it on the shores of the lake. The Court cafeteria would be pleased to provide groups with a picnic lunch for a reasonable charge, and may be contacted on (02) 6270 6828.

Court Sittings and Building Opening Hours

The calendar of Court sittings is determined by the Court and is usually published in the September prior to the start of each year. See the Court Calendar.

Normally, the Court sits in Canberra for two weeks of every month, except for January and July when it is in recess. High Court sittings are open to the public. Normal Court sitting hours are from 10:15am to 12:45pm and 2:15pm to 4:15pm.

The building is open to the public from 9:45am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday, and on Sundays between 12:00pm and 4:00pm. The building is closed on public holidays. The cafeteria is open from 9:45am to 4:15pm during the week.

Admission to the High Court building is free of charge.


Large groups (eg. bus tours, school groups) are asked to book ahead, if possible, by faxing their preferred visiting date to the Court Guide Supervisor on (02) 6270 6346. Individual visitors or small groups need not book.

Public Liability Certificates and Risk Assessment Statements

To assist with planning group visits you may wish to consult the High Court's public liability certificates and risk assessment statements:

Venue and Safety Information for School Excursions Insurance Certificate of Currency


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