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  • Writer's pictureColleen Deere

Canberra - Discover our Capital!

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Easter weekend spent basking in the sunshine!

Our capital is easily forgotten amongst the bright lights of other popular cities such as Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney, however when a recent trip to Brisbane was cancelled due to (one of many) COVID-19 outbreaks across the country on the lead up to the much-anticipated Easter break - Plan B was very unexpected! With lots of AirBnB's booked out last minute and soaring prices with flights, we decided to chase the sun that weekend jump in the car and drive somewhere for our 4-day trip. This lead us to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

From Sydney it was a 3.5-hour drive south, and we stopped off at a country town for a 'bakery break' called Goulburn to see its most prominent tourist attraction - The Big Merino!

On arrival we checked in to our hotel for the weekend - Crowne Plaza Canberra (Click on link to be brought directly to website) This accommodation was such a central location, parking at the hotel came at an extra cost, it is located next to The Casino. It has an outdoor pool, and a fitness centre too. Breakfast was included each morning, and it was busy each day, so we tried to get down as early as possible. In terms of the restaurant , there was a great selection to choose from - buffet style.

Scooters will get you around the city quickly and you'll culturally feel part of Canberra. Download the app, scan the code & off you go wearing your helmet. For just less than $0.50c per minute you’ll be whizzing around the local area sussing out the cool spots to go to! Day passes & weekly passes are also on offer.

Must-Do's in Canberra

Bruce Pink Lake: Located in Belconnen it is a 15-minute drive from our hotel. Please be reminded it is a seasonal pink lake, so depending on the time of year you visit, it is just a regular pond! It was so pretty, and luckily when we went there it was in fact PINK- it isn't actually a very well-known tourist spot so it's something different for you to see while in the area.

National Gallery of Australia: It surprised me. I wanted to tick it of my list, however it was so colourful, interesting, and quite intriguing. I probably should have spent longer browsing; however, it was busy being a popular holiday weekend. (Free Entry however parking is paid)

Lake Burley Griffin: Take a walk along the lake anytime of the day for simply stunning views. We went for sunrise, and sunset and it was really amazing. Keep your eyes peeled above to spot some Hot Air Balloons rising with the morning dew overhead.

@Go-Boat Canberra: Check out this Instagram handle. This was possibly one of the highlights of the trip (and I've got quite a few!) Cruise along the lake enjoying a cheese board and some BYO and take in your surroundings blissfully.

@Mount Majura Vineyard: If you're like me and you love to visit a new winery and taste the goodness on your trips away, this vineyard should be top of your list. The Cellar Door is open 7 days, and the charge includes various tastings and a tasty cheese platter included for just $15 each.

@BentSpoke Brewing: Following the trip to the Cellar Door I felt it would be a nice way to end the afternoon with a trip to one of the well-known breweries. Ubers are cheap in Canberra so jumping in a cab to enjoy a few drinks is recommended.

@CockingtonGreenGardens: Make sure to visit this magical place, no matter your age! Young and old will enjoy the beauty of these gardens and the imagination. Be ready to be transported to a world of colour and culture across many parts of the globe. For just $21 entry, and only 20 minutes’ drive outside the city - it's worth the unique experience.

On the way home from the city, we took a bit of a detour for the final day and pay a visit to two stunning areas: Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve & Gibraltar Falls. This was the perfect end to the 4-day trip, and we really squeezed in a lot!

Tidbinbilla was approx. 40 minutes’ drive from the centre of Canberra, and the entry fee was $14. You will spend hours there just wandering around the sanctuaries, and trails. Lots of wildlife to get up close with - if you are lucky enough on the day you might see Platypus in the river.

Gibraltar Falls, did not disappoint. Just look at that breathtaking view looking out amongst nature. Be mindful of the parking situation as it was extremely crowded that day. Bring along your swimsuit, if you can manage a dip, you won't regret it!

Did you ever think there was so much to explore in the education hub of Australia, also known as the Bush for its nature reserves & mountain ranges. Don't forget about our capital, although admittedly it was by chance we decided to discover what it has to offer, I would definitely return as there is still more to see and uncover!

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