Often unfairly maligned for being ‘too tidy’, the city of Canberra is cradled by mountain ranges and hills covered in bushland, beyond which are several charming villages and a growing number of cold-climate wineries.
Canberra is a monument to the young country’s aspirations. Its urban landscape, expertly designed by Walter Burley Griffin, beautifully showcases the nation’s democratic and cultural institutions. In addition, the city boasts some of the nation’s most significant fine art and historical collections.
Canberra is Australia’s political heart – its restaurants buzz at lunchtime with politicians, lobbyists and the army of political reporters that calls the capital its home.
Home to around 367,000 people, Canberra is a city in a park. Its kaleidoscope of colors and experiences is brought to life by the changing seasons.
The region surrounding Canberra offers more than 30 wineries, historic townships and quiet coastlines. You can also discover the lush southern highlands and the Snowy Mountains - the alpine ‘roof ‘ of Australia.
For those with a thirst for knowledge, the National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial are essential viewing, while the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery protect much of Australia’s cultural heritage.
You can also witness the daily cut and thrust of federal politics at Parliament House, while the political relics of yesteryear can be seen at the Australian Museum of Democracy housed in the Old Parliament House.
For a more natural experience, the Australian National Botanical Gardens is full of native flora and fauna, making it the perfect place for a picnic and a stroll.
Other fun Canberra attractions include the interactive, educational and entertaining science center at Questacon - the National Science and Technology Centre - and the Australian Institute of Sport, home to some of Australia's most elite athletes.
Canberra’s food scene is blossoming. Bistro-style cafés and quality quick eats blend perfectly with stylish restaurants and sleek high-end dining experiences. Kingston, Manuka and neighboring suburbs have fantastic cafés and restaurants, gourmet food stores and bakeries. While in the heart of the city, Canberra Center’s North Quarter has an equally diverse array of dining options. Dickson is home to a small flourishing Chinatown and much more.
Canberra has a thriving Slow Food movement and boasts a host of outlets for people interested in buying direct from small local producers. The Saturday morning Capital Region Farmers Market at Exhibition Park is one of Australia’s largest and most authentic farmers’ markets.
For those who fancy a tipple, many of Canberra’s best cocktail bars, clubs and pubs can be found around Garema Place and nearby City Walk.
Take a three-hour scenic trip from Canberra to the Snowy Mountains and discover beautiful alpine flowers, ski resorts, wild brumbies and activities including fishing, trekking and horse riding. See the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme and much more.
Ascend the highest mountain in Australia, Mt Kosciuszko, as a summer walk to experience the alpine flowers and endless views.
Just over an hours’ drive north is the early home of the world’s greatest cricket batsman, Sir Donald Bradman. Visit the Bradman Museum in Bowral as well as the magnificent rainforests and waterfalls in Moreton National Park near Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands.
Just out of Canberra’s limits is wine country, where you’ll find the historic towns of Braidwood and Bungendore. There you’ll discover beautiful churches, old time pubs, galleries and antique stores and admire the stunning woodwork at the award-winning Bungendore Wood Works Gallery.