Rent a car in Australia’s capital city; visit the Old and New Parliament Buildings, museums shops and restaurants. Alternatively drive out to experience Canberra’s Nature Park which is divided in to thirty different areas, the inner hills such as Red Hill and Mount Ainslie are wood and grassland areas with indigenous wildlife (kangaroos).
The city of Canberra was designed by a body of architects who won a worldwide competition (Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin) in 1912. Drive around the city to visit the memorials, historic monuments and embassies; the greatest attractions being the Parliamentary Triangle and the man-made Lake Burnley Griffin.
Visit the Australian War Memorial, the museum is dedicated to those patriots that have fought in wars for their country. Their children’s exhibition is great for families, highly educational and an archive of information and offers a place for visitors to pay their respects to those who have sacrificed their lives. Within walking distance is the National Gallery of Aboriginal Art, another must see for visitors wishing to see Australia’s history. The gallery has a wonderful collection of watercolours, and textiles, ceramics and sculptures.
Shopping in Canberra is unique; drive around the city to fully appreciate the variety of shops boutiques and markets compared to the large American Style Malls. Retailers selling regional produce and locally designed jewellery and art. There are many beautiful gifts for children such as toys and musical instruments. For more sophisticated tastes, there are many independent stores with vintage jewellery, designer clothes and home wares.
Visit Canberra in the autumn (March) to see the Balloon Fiesta. At the break of dawn for nine days the sky is filled with a rainbow of coloured balloons; taking off from the Old Parliament Buildingseither view them from the ground or take a balloon ride.
Visit Canberra in the spring (October) for the Floriade; Australia’s biggest flower festival. The garden beds of the Common Wealth Park become a canvas for super sized pictures. Tulips, hyacinths, daffodils to name but a few are integral to the artistic projects. Enjoy the floral displays while exploring the market stalls, workshops and exhibitions.
Explore the World Heritage Namadgi Park just a 45min drive out of Canberra a vast bush land, with and breathe taking views, and rich in Aboriginal history. Get back to nature climb or abseil the rock faces, hire mountain bikes and explore, or ‘go walk-about’ in to the Bimberi wilderness. There are many campsites to make the most of your visit. See the nature attractions such as the ceremonial stone arrangements and rock art sites that belong to the Ngunnawal people, there also trails to follow of the pastoralists and gold hunters. It is advisable to hire a 4 x4 to venture out to the top ofMount Coree, drive out to fish the trout filled river or for cross country skiing.