Canberra, Hidden Gem of Australia
According to locals in Canberra, their city is not tops on the tourist route, but should be, as they have much to offer.
It’s a beautiful city, originally planned out through a design competition, which was won by an architect from Chicago in the US! In the center a lovely lake meanders, providing a place to sail or sit and ponder, or walk, run or bike along it’s shore.
Cultural opportunities abound. The National Gallery has a great collection, both inside and also, outside in the sculpture garden. And don’t miss a visit to the National Portrait Gallery.
The War Memorial is a sobering but very educational and interesting look back at Australia’s history, definitely a must when you’re in Canberra. And for more history, in a fun environment and awesome architecture, head to the National Museum.
Definitely take a tour of Parliament House, you’ll enjoy the over-a-billion dollar building full of marble columns and priceless art, as well as learn a lot about how Australia’s government is run.
At night, take a walk by the Carillon, a gift from the British. It’s on a little island of its own, reached by a foot bridge.
For local color, visit the farmer’s and arts markets, and the Botanic Gardens…
And for local flavor and amazing views, visit the nearby Yass Valley wine region!
Plus, Canberra itself has fine dining options. Stop for a drink in the unique Hotel Hotel lounge for its fun retro atmosphere.
Also, take a short road trip to nearby Braidwood for some fun shopping and restaurants.
Even the airport is worth a visit, if you’ve arrived by car or bus, for its contemporary architecture and sculpture .
And a few minutes from town, you may see kangaroos hopping around!!
Best of all are the people! Get to know some local folks, either at the market, in the parks, or at little local haunts. They’re so friendly and helpful and can make your experience a much more personal one. I was fortunate enough to stay with a wonderful family, who treated me like one of their own. Thanks again Amanda & Maurice!!