Alberta’s Top Tourist Attractions for a visiting Australian family

Prairie buffalo graze in paddock near Waterton National Park

Prairie buffalo graze in a paddock near Waterton National Park

My daughter Jenn asked me to compile a list of recommended tourist destinations for an Australian family who moved here on a professional work exchange program.  The family will be living in Alberta for a limited number of months, so given the tight time constraints, here’s my ‘Must See’ list of tourist recommendations to squeeze in while they’re here:

National and Provincial Parks – visit as many as you can get to, especially:

  1. Banff National Park (with trips to Bow Falls, Johnson Canyon, Banff Springs Hotel built by the CPR in 1888 to attract tourists to Canada)
  2. Jasper National Park
  3. Waterton National Park (and adjoining Glacier National Park in Montana); nearby buffalo paddock
  4. Elk Island National Park (near Edmonton) to see the buffalo
  5. Dinosaur Provincial Park, Drumheller, a World Heritage Site
  6. and, Lake Louise

Museums and Historic Parks

  1. The Glenbow Museum in Calgary to see the history of Alberta
  2. Fort Edmonton Park here or Heritage Park (Calgary) to see life in the pioneer days of Alberta
  3. Royal Tyrell Museum, Drumheller, to see everything about dinosaurs
  4. Reynolds-Alberta Museum, Wetaskiwin (specializes in ground and air transportation; agriculture and industry)

Calgary and Edmonton

  1. Tour of the Alberta Legislature Building, Edmonton
  2. Edmonton’s Fringe and Busker Festivals
  3. West Edmonton Mall and Galaxyland for the kids
  4. The Calgary Zoo
  5. Calgary Stampede for the world’s greatest rodeo
  6. Tour Canada Olympic Park (site of the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics)

Other Alberta attractions

  1. Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump interpretive centre (a World Heritage Site), near Fort Macleod
  2. Ponoka Stampede (to see ‘authentic’, small town rodeo)


  1. Drive the Icefields Parkway, Highway 93, one of the most scenic drives in Canada
  2. Take a bus tour on the Columbia Icefield and visit the Icefields interpretive centre there
  3. Drive from Calgary to Longview on Highway 22, The Cowboy Trail, to see the foothills, classic southern Alberta ranchlands and drive into Kananaskis Country (Peter Lougheed Provincial Park)
  4. Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana (adjoining Waterton National Park in Alberta); always rated as one of the Top Ten Scenic Drives in America
  5. Road trip to Vancouver

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.