Canberra is the capital of Australia and lays claim to being one of the most appealing city destinations in the world.
Since 1927 when it became the capital, Canberra has evolved into a world city, combining both historical heritage and modern cool.
Take your pick of world class art galleries, cultural events, high energy bars and sophisticated restaurants. This is a culinary destination, fuelled by an international outlook, great local produce and a creative buzz. The Old Bus Depot Market and the artisan stalls at the various farmers markets are always a big draw.
After the urban bustle, step outside the city boundaries and you’re in prime Australian bush, inhabited by extraordinary wildlife in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, on the Brindabella Ranges and in the Namadgi National Park. Lake Burley Griffin, though man-made, is a real landmark, right in the centre of Canberra and with pleasant cruises giving a fresh perspective on the city from the water.
A popular highlight is the remarkable and partly underground Parliament House, known locally as the ‘house on the hill’. It’s a distinctive building completed as recently as 1988 and there are frequent tours daily.
Art lovers head to the National Gallery to admire the largest collection of indigenous Australian art on the planet, or perhaps the National Portrait Gallery. The Australian War Memorial is a place for reflection and you might be interested to see Changi Chapel, built originally by prisoners of war in Singapore and painstakingly brought back after the war.
The Australian Institute of Sport has an important role in the hearts of a sports-mad nation. It will educate, entertain, intrigue and inspire anyone with an interest in Australia’s sporting heritage. If feeling energetic yourself, you can take a mountain bike and ride down Mount Stromlo at the Stromlo Forest Park.
More sedate are the National Botanic Gardens, perfect for a relaxing stroll among some of the world’s most gorgeous flora – there’s even a 45 minute bus tour of the Gardens so you can see the highlights without doing the legwork.