lifestyle

9 reasons why Canberra is seriously underrated.

Floriade
Thanks to our brand partner, Floriade

Pack your bags, stat.

I’m ashamed to admit it now, but once upon a time, I was a bit of a Canberra sceptic.

I’d only been there once as a bratty teenager – but that didn’t stop me from thinking it was too cold, and too filled with politicians, roundabouts and office buildings for my liking.

But wow, was I wrong.

Fast forward a good decade or so, and now my sister and a whole bunch of my friends call ‘Berra’ home.

As a consequence, I’ve now spent a LOT of time in our nation’s capital – and guess what? It’s pretty damn amazing.

Here’s why.

1. Wine. All the wine.

Until recently, I had no idea that there were more than 30 cellar doors within a 35-minute drive of Canberra. One of them, Mount Majura Vineyard, is located within the ACT, just 15 minutes from the Parliament House.

That’s a win, right there.

2. The weather is actually fantastic.

Yes, it gets a little chilly in winter, but Canberra is also Australia’s third sunniest city – sorry, Sydney and Melbourne.

In summer, Canberrans (is that a word?) get to enjoy long, hot days with low humidity (ie no hair frizz) and during spring and autumn nature turns it on, with pretty blooms and colourful leaves everywhere.

Your Instagram followers will be jealous.

3. One word: Floriade.

Floriade is Australia’s biggest celebration of spring. Every year, more than one million flowers are planted in 13 (massive) flower beds for the festival, which runs from mid-September until mid-October.

I was there two years ago with my friends, and it’s Just. So. Pretty. And clearly I’m not the only one who thinks that, because each year, it attracts almost half a million people from across Australia and the world.

There’s great food, drinks and activities to keep everyone occupied and entertained and then, there’s Floriade NightFest.

This year it will be held from September 23-27 and each evening there will be a variety of live performances including stand-up comedy, roving entertainment and musical performances plus night markets.

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“There’s great food, drinks and activities to keep everyone occupied and entertained and then, there’s Floriade NightFest.” Images via Instagram @floriade_australia

4. Canberra can rock a festival.

Canberra has an annual hot air balloon festival. I’ll repeat that – they have a festival entirely dedicated to hot air balloons. How is that not worth a visit? The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is held in March and it is, indeed, spectacular.

There’s also Enlighten, which is Canberra’s answer to Vivid and sees the city lit up for 10 nights in autumn, while Skyfire is an annual March fireworks show held over Lake Burley Griffin.

5. The classic attractions.

Questacon. Parliament House. Cockington Green. The Australian War Memorial. Yes, you probably saw them as a kid on a school excursion, but you’ll see them in a whole new light when you come back as an adult.

“Yes, you probably saw them as a kid on a school excursion, but you’ll see them in a whole new light when you come back as an adult.” Image via Instagram @heathdomanphotography

6. You can sleep with lions. Really.

Canberra is the only place in Australia where you can sleep next to a tiger, lion or bear (with just a glass wall separating you).

If animals are your thing, book a sleepover with a difference at Jamala Wildlife Lodge within the National Zoo and Aquarium.

7. It is ridiculously family-friendly.

Don’t believe me? Lonely Planet ranked Canberra ahead of the Gold Coast in terms of being a family-friendly destination, based on its diversity of experiences.

“Lonely Planet ranked Canberra ahead of the Gold Coast in terms of being a family-friendly destination, based on its diversity of experiences.” Image via Instagram @floriade_australia

8. Canberrans are a bunch of foodies.

I have it on good authority that Brodburger might just deliver the best burger you’ll ever eat.

Canberra’s food scene is on point, as are its small bars, which are trendy enough to make Melbourne hipsters weep with envy.

And, fun fact: the current World Champion Barista hails from the capital.

9. It has a cheeky side.

Kambah Pools, I’m looking at you.

It’s a natural swimming spot, and popular with locals during summer. Go in one direction, and you’ll find it filled with happy bathers dressed in, you know, bathers. Go in the other? You’ll find Canberra’s only authorised nude bathing spot. Oh la la.

Have you been to Canberra? What did you enjoy the most? 

Here are some more highlights courtesy of Canberra:


Want more? Try these:

JAMILA: Canberra: Not as dull as you think. *ducks*

Why my family fears holidays (and why I took one anyway and got stranded in Bali).

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