Canberra – A Capital idea
When was the last time you went to the ACT? Or perhaps you are one of many Australians who have never been to our capital city. Canberra is very accessible; a seven-hour drive or a quick one-hour flight from Victoria – so what are you waiting for?
First the climate. Winter mornings are cold, ok freezing, which later develop into beautiful clear brisk days with a chance for a walk to breathe in the fresh crisp air. This is a great time to visit the many art galleries and museums including the National Gallery of Australia, Australian War Memorial, Old Parliament House, just to name a few. Here’s some ideas…
National Gallery of Australia
This is a fabulous gallery with world-class permanent and travelling exhibitions. It is Australia’s showcase gallery and they attract high profile international artists.
Canberra Museum and Gallery
This is right in the heart of Canberra – Civic. They have thousands of works on social history and visual art objects to help tell the story of Australia’s culture and the Canberra region. There is a permanent Sydney Nolan Collection and this exhibition changes regularly.
Australian War Memorial
A wonderfully displayed collection of articles and written stories of military events and places where Australia was involved in major conflict. There are changing exhibitions and galleries of Australia’s military history.
National Museum of Australia,
Here you will find exhibitions and stories on Indigenous histories and cultures and European settlement.
Spring is a time when Canberra bursts into colour and there is no better way to see the blooms in all their glory than a bike ride around Lake Burley Griffin. The cycleways, that are a part of the greater Canberra landscape, offer beautiful lakeside flora and fauna with plenty of places to stop and take in the view and the scented air – sounds wonderful doesn’t it? The Floriade festival is when Canberra comes to life with an explosion of colour. This floral extravaganza is like Melbourne’s version of the Chelsea Flower Show, attracting local visitors and international ones too.
The NMA from all angles
Ever considered a personalised tour of the National Museum of Australia, starting with a unique introduction of its exterior, unlocking the secrets of its design, all by hot-air balloon?
What a way to kick start this once in a lifetime experience. Just imagine soaring high in the sky in the early dawn looking over the museum and all the surrounding landscape.
This is then complemented by a curator-led personal guide inside the museum which highlights Australia’s colourful social history, all before the doors open to the public.
Then to top it all off, a scrumptious champagne breakfast in the museum’s café overlooking the beautiful Lake Burley Griffin.
The tour runs for 3-4 hours with a minimum of two and maximum of 8 people.
What a truly special and personal way to see and appreciate our nation’s capital.
Places to stay
Canberra has plenty of accommodation options to consider.
Here are some suggested boutique hotels.
From the QT, it is a short walk into Civic and to Lake Burley Griffin over a walking bridge, where you can hire canoes and bikes. A recently upgraded hotel with plush facilities, it’s a short walk to even plusher hotels for a drink and plenty of local cafes.
Built in the 1920’s on nearly three acres of gardens and lawn, the Brassey is full of charm. It is close to the Realm Precinct where a number of restaurants are waiting for you; from standard wholefood cafés, pizza and tapas to high-end Japanese and fine dining. It is out of the city area, so taxis or a rental car is recommended.
First opened 1926 and designed by John Murdoch, who also designed Old Parliament House. The historical building is tastefully decorated in the Art Deco style and all facilities are of a high standard.
It’s quite evident that Canberra is really establishing itself as one of the cultural hubs of Australia, it’s a great place to spend a weekend or longer to explore the many diverse things our capital has to offer. Canberra is a city for all seasons with something for everyone to experience and enjoy.
Want to discover more Australian Gems? Click here