Have you ever taken a trip to Australia? I spent six weeks there during university. It was fantastic, that’s for sure, but there is one thing about Australia that makes it a difficult destination.
As such, there are a lot of decisions to be made about where you go and what you do.
Allow me to make a case for adding Canberra to your itinerary. Here are 8 good reasons to visit Canberra.
1 – Canberra Balloon Spectacular
This even is called a spectacular, do I need to convince you further? It’s a hot air balloon festival that takes place right downtown. Each March, more than 50 balloons take off from the lawns of the Old Parliament House.
It is a fun time to be in town, you might even be able to take a picture of a gigantic Van Gogh head peaking around a building, for example.
2 – Lake Burley Griffin
Nearly every other major city in Australia is located on the ocean. Canberra wanted to have some waterfront, too, so they built a lake. Not a small lake, either.
All of the major downtown attractions can be found adjacent to this lake, which is surrounded by trails and parks. It makes for a lovely travel experience and atmosphere. You can also hire a bike to explore on your own.
3 – Australian Institute of Sport
Australia is pretty darn good at summer sports. Michael Phelps, anyone?
Daily public tours take you behind the scenes at this fantastic facility that also boats an interactive sports exhibit and a large collection of Australian sporting memorabilia.
While you’re on tour, you may even see some of Australia’s top athletes practicing their crafts. Those are good pictures for the photo album.
4 – National Carillon
Wandering in a capital city often causes me to wonder what some of the buildings actually do. Travelers in Canberra will probably wonder what the large white tower thing on an island does, until they hear it. The very modern looking National Carillon was built in 1970 and plays recitals frequently, in addition to chiming on the quarter hour and playing a tune on the hour.
It’s a nice touch to a downtown core and looks lovely set against the backdrop of Lake Burley Griffin.
5 – The Hamlet
Foodies, this stop is for you. Full of pop up shops and street food, this district oozes character and fun. You never know what you’ll find in the shops here, it’s the perfect place to find a delicious snack and a souvenir that no one else has. Check the hours before you go, though, as it’s not open on Mondays or Tuesdays.
With reasonable prices and a solid vibe, this is the perfect place for backpackers to head, as well as families and travelers who want to “experience a place”.
6 – FashFest
Into style? Canberra in September is where you want to be. FashFest is a “stunning three-day fashion experience.” The arts and fashion communities come out in full force in this destination-event. From the runway to the parties, it’s an excellent time to visit Canberra and be entertained.
7 – Floriade
Also in September and October is Floriade, a celebration of spring as thousands upon thousands of flowers bloom. The CBD is awash in colour throughout the day and at night the entertainment continues.
At Floriade NightFest you can find wandering performers, lighting designs, rides, entertainment, comedy and culinary exhibitions. In other words, it is a traveler’s perfect time to visit and experience the best of Canberra.
8 – National Gallery of Australia
Modern art? Classic Australian art? It all lives here in the National Gallery of Australia. There is even a controversial Jackson Pollock that resides in the collection.
The best part? Nearly all of the gallery is free to view. That makes it a perfect frugal thing to do in Canberra, whether you’re a cheap backpacker or just looking for somewhere to hide out should the weather turn on you.
There you have it my friends, 8 great reasons to visit Canberra on your Australian adventure. While you’re planning, pick your accommodation in Canberra based on location. Most of the attractions are located in the CBD, so that’s where you want to be.
Yes, that rhymed. You’re welcome 😉