While it’s larger siblings, Sydney (to the North) and Melbourne (to the South) might be the more famous of the nation’s cities, Canberra has a charm and a cool of its own. As the nation’s capital and the seat of government, you might assume Canberra is filled with old men talking politics, but as the first city in Australia planned out from its beginning and at just over a hundred years old, Canberra is youthful and vibrant, with a vibe and aesthetic unique in Australia.
All of Australia’s big cities from Adelaide to Sydney are positioned around the coast, but Canberra’s inland ACT (Australian Capital Territory) location gives a different feel for visitors keen to discover another side of Australian cities and a whole other level of natural beauty. The Brindabella Ranges provide a gently mountainous view to the west, Lake Burley Griffin dominates the city centre, and plenty of pretty suburbs, points of interest and green tree lined walkways makes Canberra quiet and relaxed.
Art lovers rejoice, Canberra is home to collections of some of the country’s finest. Discover the face of Australia at the National Portrait Gallery where their permanent collection includes a wide representation of Australian art through the ages from indigenous to colonial and everything in between and after. Alternatively, take one of the free guided tours offered at the National Gallery of Australia and get close to works by everyone from Dali to Warhol, Monet to Cézanne, Hockney to Lichtenstein, Picasso to Pollock as well as Australia’s most recognised and important artists. With more than 166,000 works of art housed in the brutalist building, there’s no shortage of art to be discovered.
Canberra and government go hand in hand, and even if politics-talk bores you, the Australian Parliament House is worth exploring. It’s boomerang inspired shape is complemented by a unique design that focuses on green lawn spaces and landscaped gardens. Inside, the design continues to impress, with most areas open to the public to explore. Of course, for those with an affinity for the political, there is nowhere better than the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House for discovering Australia’s political history.
Offering one of the best viewpoints in Canberra, at 850m, Mount Ainslie is worth the hike. Take a walk to the top for some daytime exercise or take a drive as the sun sets for some night time views over the city. The Canberra Nature Park (not one, but 33 separate protected wild spaces in and around the city), promises no shortage of up close nature experiences, with pretty little pink and grey galahs and cockatoos providing entertainment. Aside from Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain on the north shore of Lake Burley Griffin and Mount Taylor offer different city views and different levels of walking and hiking for all age and fitness levels.
If you’re looking for a little more wild in your wilderness adventure, then a short drive southwest of Canberra is the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. The reserve has ranger guided options for kangaroo, koala, emu and platypus encounters.
Knightsbridge Canberra’s new furnished apartments give Canberra visitors more freedom to experience the best the city has to offer in no-compromise accommodation. Premium fittings in executive comfort combine with a state of the art gym, pool and BBQ terrace makes it easy to live the Canberra life.