Although Canberra is the capital of Australia, it's a place that many people are not familiar with. It doesn't get as much attention as the nation's larger cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne. Canberra, however, is a fascinating destination with many worthwhile attractions and activities.
What to do in Canberra
Canberra is a city that has something for everybody. It has many modern and stylish restaurants and cafes of every description. You will also find many alluring food markets around the city offering everything from fresh produce to locally raised meat to tempting baked goods.
Canberra also has lots of cultural attractions. This is a great place to explore Australia’s rich history. You can visit museums and other cultural attractions, such as:
- The National Museum of Australia, which has exhibits showcasing artistic achievements from all periods of Australian history. There are many exhibits dedicated to Indigenous history.
- The National Gallery of Australia, which contains more than 100,000 works of art in many different styles and media.
- The National Library of Australia gives visitors access to many documents, maps, books, newspapers and other materials that are significant to the nation’s history.
Both children and adults will enjoy exploring the National Dinosaur Museum, which contains the nation’s largest dinosaur and prehistoric collection.
- The Arc Cinema at the National Film and Sound Archive is an ultra modern cinema that gives you a taste of the best cinema from Australia as well as the rest of the world. This is a must see for movie lovers.
Canberra also has plenty of exciting nightlife to keep you occupied after you’re finished with your daytime excursions. You can relax with a drink at one of the city’s many traditional pubs, beer gardens and cocktail lounges. Many of these spots offer live music. There are also casinos. concerts and cinemas.
If you’re staying in Canberra, you should make it a point to get a view of the city’s lights from one of the spots that offers spectacular views. The best places to do this are the Mount Ainslie, Red Hill and Black Mountain Tower lookouts.
The Natural Beauty Surrounding Canberra
The Canberra region has some of the most beautiful scenery in Australia, and you will find diverse landscapes such as mountains, wine country and beaches. The world famous Snowy Mountains are a 3 hour drive from Canberra and are part of the alpine parks system. Here you will find ski resorts, fishing and lots of places for camping, horse riding and hiking.
Another place to explore is the South Coast, which is 2.5 hours from Canberra. This area has pristine beaches and the perfect place for swimming, kayaking, whale watching or simply relaxing on the sand.
The Canberra district wine region contains more than 140 vineyards. Australian wines are unique due to the distinctive climate of this region. Explore the vineyards and learn how the wine is made and sample some for yourself. This is a destination wine lovers should not miss.
Getting to Canberra
The easiest way to get to Canberra depends, of course, on where you’re coming from. At this time, there are no international flights to Canberra Airport. This is scheduled to change in 2014, when direct flights to the city will begin. For now, however, you can find cheap flights to Canberra from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.
If you are driving in Australia, you will find that the drive to Canberra is pleasant and scenic. If you are staying in Sydney, Canberra can be a great break for a couple of days. It’s about a 3.5 hour drive from Sydney. You can also find trains and buses to Canberra from all major Australian cities.
Many Reasons to Visit Canberra
If you are coming to Australia, you should make it a point to put Canberra on your list of destinations. It’s not very far from Sydney, so you can easily drive or fly to Canberra from there.
Both Canberra itself and the surrounding areas contain some of Australia’s most interesting and attractive features. You can find both natural beauty and plenty of cultural activities to keep you busy.