Masterpieces from around the world, floating picnics on Lake Burley Griffin, museums showcasing Australian stories, mountain biking trails weaving between suburbs, and kangaroos that graze on the grass outside the Australian War Memorial. Find more than you expect in Canberra, the nation’s capital.
Perfectly positioned between Melbourne and Sydney and easily accessible to the Snowy Mountains and South Coast of NSW, Canberra is a great destination for a weekend away.
We all know the ACT is home to some of the best museums and galleries in Australia, but there’s a surprisingly adventurous side to the capital you may not have seen when you visited during year six school camp. While history buffs are walking in the footsteps of past politicians at the Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House, others are exploring waterfalls, gorges and rivers at the ACT’s national parks. While young travellers are busy becoming mini scientists at Questacon others are having a floating picnic on a GoBoat on Lake Burley Griffin. While art lovers do indeed flock to the National Gallery of Australia others are flying high above in a hot air balloon.
WHERE TO GO
A city designed to be different, Canberra is divided into distinct precincts that each hero something wonderful. Head to the Parliamentary Triangle for cultural and historic attractions all within walking distance of each other. Brunch in Braddon, home to a smorgasbord of cafes and independent shops that showcase local creatives and regional growers. Take the family to Gold Creek Village where little ones can see scenes from around the world in miniature at Cockington Green Gardens or learn about T-Rex at the National Dinosaur Museum. Enjoy a day of bouldering, beers, burgers and op-shopping in Fyshwick or reconnect with nature and spot Aussie animals at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Or ride around Lake Burley Griffin ending with dinner at the Kingston Foreshore.
However you choose to spend your getaway to Canberra, exploring multiple precincts is as easy as jumping in the car and plugging in your GPS. Nine times out of 10 your destination will be less than 15 minutes away and we have it on good authority Canberra’ traffic is a breeze.
Known as the centrepiece of Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin separates the north from the south. All you have to do is decide which side of the lake you want to rest your head. Choose between staying in the cultural south, foodie north and vibrant central district.
Canberra has accommodation to suit every traveller from hotels with lots of perks and stylish apartment living through to camping in national parks and convenient RV sites with easy access to the city.
If you’re after a stay for a special occasion, book one of Canberra’s luxury experiences.
Sleep under the stars in a picturesque glamping set-up at Mount Majura Winery, wake up to the view of giraffes eating breakfast in a treehouse at Jamala Wildlife Lodge or watch the sunset from a rooftop bar at a hotel in the heart of the city.
Canberra’s foodie scene has gone from strength to strength in recent years with chefs adding awards to their already crowded mantlepieces and new eateries establishing themselves as local favourites. The café culture in the ACT is strong so brunch with coffee is a must. Lunch and dinner should be sit down affairs, so you can savour the flavours of the capital properly whether that be at a food truck or a hatted restaurant.
And what’s a holiday without a cheeky drink with your meal? Sample some of the region’s cool-climate wines over lunch. With 30+ wineries within 30-minutes of Canberra you could even pop to the cellar door to meet the maker. If you’re a beer connoisseur, sip your way through the capital’s local breweries or take a tour to learn about the brewing process.