Here's why you need to visit Canberra in 2018
Situated in the Australian Capital Territory, Canberra is not only the capital city of Australia, but is also known as the ‘bush capital’. This ever-growing town is home to important landmarks such as Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and the High Court of Australia. It is also home to hundreds of award-winning restaurants, bars and cafes, with world class wineries nearby, as well as some stunning natural landscapes. Add to this an excellent range of hotel and accommodation options and you have yourself the ingredients for the perfect holiday destination. There are lots of reasons to make Canberra your next long-weekend destination!
Learn about the history of Australia in Canberra, the museum capital
With all the national attractions Canberra has to offer, you can embark on a journey of Australia’s rich history. The Canberra museum scene is amazing!
The Australian War Memorial is an emotionally-moving museum, showcasing the experiences of war and the Australian people that lived through them. The memorial is a place to show your respect for the fallen and there is a 90-minute tour available every day.
Sitting proudly on Capital Hill is Australia’s Parliament House. Wander up there to view historical documents and Australian art and take a guided tour. You can even sit in on Question Time and check out Australian politician’s debate and make tough decisions. Climb up to the roof to view Canberra from above and see the majestic 81-metre high flag mast.
The National Museum of Australia always has a number of exhibitions on display and is another treasure where you can learn all about the history of Australia and its people. Situated on the beautiful Lake Burley Griffin, you can enjoy lunch on the terrace and take in the stunning views. You can even bring the little ones along – Kspace is the museum’s new interactive kids adventure game. This Canberra museum might just be my favourite in the whole country.
Sitting across the lake is the National Library of Australia. This gorgeous building is full of history, with the ever-changing Treasures Gallery giving you free access to some of Australia’s most amazing stories. Take a tour of the library or enjoy a delicious meal at Bookplate Café.
Enjoy the very best nature has to offer: Canberra nature activities
Dubbed the ‘bush capital’, Canberra is full of beautiful parks, lakes and nature all around. Take a stroll through the Australian National Botanic Gardens which is only minutes away from the bustling city. They have a big collection of native Australian plants, as well as a rainforest sanctuary you can walk through. Their newly opened café, Pollen, is a lovely spot to have lunch amongst the trees.
The National Arboretum Canberra is another must-see for all nature lovers in Canberra. Covering 94 acres of forest, including rare and endangered symbolic trees from Australia and around the world, you can walk, drive, cycle or horse-ride around the area. The Gallery of Gardens at the Arboretum recently opened and includes: The Open Gardens Australia Celebration Garden, The Labyrinth Garden, The AIDS Garden of Reflection and Mununja the Butterfly Garden. Each garden is different with a range of plants and landscape features.
If you fancy a bushwalk or a picnic, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is the place for it. Located south of Canberra, it is only a 40-minute car drive from the city centre. You can choose out of the many walking trails or trek amongst the wetlands. There are areas to have a BBQ and the kids can play on the Discovery Playground.
Eat your way around Canberra: foodie experiences not to be missed
Canberra is a foodie’s dream. There are trendy places to eat all over Canberra, not just in the city centre. You can find any type of cuisine you desire and food suitable for all budgets. There are a large number of formal dining restaurants, as well as casual, cheaper cafes. Here are our picks for the best places to eat in Canberra.
If you are a burger lover, try out the iconic Brodburger, situated at the Canberra Glassworks in Kingston. They have been around for years and serve up mouth-watering burgers. You can enjoy your burger at the café or take it down to the lake and enjoy the view.
For something a little more up-market, check out Pulp Kitchen at the Ainslie shops. They scored themselves a chef’s hat in the Good Food Guide and the food is a dining experience every foodie must enjoy.
Looking for something hip and trendy? Monster, located in the lobby of Hotel Hotel is a must-try. The vibe is hipster meets luxury and the food is nothing short of sophistication, same goes for their extensive wine list.
Lonsdale Street in Braddon is one of Canberra’s hippest streets, and it has just welcomed a newcomer – Lazy Su. It’s a fusion of Korean, Japanese and American with a fresh cocktail bar and has already become a favourite with the locals.
Even the kids will love Canberra
Canberra has been dubbed a ‘family city’, which means there is lots for children to do. Show your kids that science can be fun by taking them to Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre. Questacon offers a hands-on experience for kids so they can learn about science in an interactive and fun way.
Is your child game enough to ‘meet a cheetah’ or feed a reef shark? These and much more experiences are available at the National Zoo & Aquarium.
Get the kids out into the fresh air at Stromlo Forest Park. It has the ultimate active outdoor circuit for cycling, mountain biking, running, walking and even horse-riding.
For something a little different, head out to Cockington Green Gardens. About a 20-minute drive from the city centre, Cockington Green is a community of miniature buildings, people and animals. Afterwards, head across to the National Dinosaur Museum where you can check out the latest exhibitions, learn all about the dinosaurs and more.
It's time to add Canberra to your travel bucket list!
Canberra may be smaller than most other Australian cities, but it is a gem with pockets of food, cocktails, culture, history and green beauty. Be sure to find the best Canberra accommodation for you.
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