14 Reasons Why Canberra is Cooler Than You Think
Canberra is Australia’s largest inland city and the eighth largest city overall. As Australia’s capital, Canberra is famous for its seat of government and unique design influenced by the garden city movement.
Don’t start yawning – Canberra is so much more than politics and architecture. While exploring this bustling city you’ll come across…
Canberra is home to some truly spectacular and FREE events, including the National Folk Festival, Floriade and the Canberra Balloon Festival.
Floriade is the city’s signature event and has been a continuing annual event for more than 30 years. Each year it gets better and better. Over a million bulbs and annuals are planted and displayed, covering 8, 000 square metres of parkland easily accessible in the inner city. The ever-expanding program of events includes artistic displays, market traders, music, cultural celebrations, entertainment and recreational activities.
The best food
Canberra has been waving the foodie flag for some time, but with new additions like Agostinis, Circula, Highroad and the Tipsy Bull, the city has been firmly placed on the gastronomical map. Lonsdale Street is the capital’s main dining strip, but no matter where you go there is great multicultural food to try. For example, you could eat lunch and dinner at Marketplace Gungahlin every day of the week and still not try every cuisine. The shopping centre is home to Japanese, Mexican, Portuguese, Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Korean, Modern Australian and more!
Nature and wildlife
In Canberra, you can’t look anywhere without seeing flora. No concrete jungle here, this is a city that carefully incorporates nature into every building design. You’ll probably even see kangaroos bouncing around the city – they’re literally everywhere. Bounding around highways, getting cash out at ATMs, peering over your shoulder as you read your book at the bus stop, they’ll soon become a typical part of your day.
Canberra has an endless list of interesting places to visit including, the Australian War Memorial, the Museum of Australian Democracy to the National Museum, the National Gallery of Australia and the Royal Australian Mint just to name a few. These are world-grade attractions beautifully put together, and no matter which attraction you choose to visit, you’ll feel undoubtedly more knowledgeable and far superior to your peers after visiting.
Ease in getting around
Canberra is easy to get around, and with a population of less than 400,000 people, peak hour consists of three cars and a line of ducks. As a planned city, Canberra has tons of open space, wide roads, an excellent cycle path network, and reliable, cost-effective transport. Be it on two wheels, four wheels or no wheels at all, jetting around the city is easy. You can even hire segways to get about on.
Canberra’s cool climate makes it home to more than 30 wineries, including Mount Majura Vineyard, a solar winery that powers more than 250 Canberra homes. Boutique cellar doors are everywhere around Canberra and offer the opportunity to meet the vignerons, share a yarn and taste local creations. If whiskey or beer is more your style, Canberra is also home to a whiskey distillery and a niche microbrewery hub.
World Champion barista, Sasa Sestic calls Canberra home and his bold ideas and respect for coffee have transformed Canberra into a coffee lovers paradise. Recognised as one of the most influential visionaries in the coffee industry, you can try Sasa’s specialty coffee at a range of cafes, including The Cupping Room, ONA Coffee House and ONA Manuka.
The people of Canberra are younger, earn more and marry less, and as such, it’s home to some great nightlife. Grouped in funky precincts and tucked away in suburban centres, you’ll find a stylish mix of beer gardens, lounge bars, clubs and pubs. Hippo Co is voted the #1 bar and club on TripAdvisor, but locals know there’s no limit to night time fun. Bars and clubs cater for everyone, with inclusivity being the common thread. Venues are thriving because diversity is celebrated massively in Canberra.
The ACT is the only Australian state or territory vying for 100% renewables by 2020. This absolutely smashes the next states in line, SA and QLD, who are both going for 50% renewables by 2025 and 2030 respectively. For Canberrans, this means jobs and economic benefits stemming from $400 million in local investment, clean power from wind and solar sources, and that all electricity will be delivered using renewable energy by 2020.
Canberra’s burgeoning music scene has fostered a new wave of musicians both national and international. Groups Peking Duk and SAFIA are making electronic waves, proving small cities can indeed boast impressive music scenes. Wives are the politicians of punk rock, while Hands Like Houses have Aussie Rock covered.
Look past the show-pony politicians at Parliament House and you’ll see a special building full of rich symbology and meaning. Did you know that the green of the House of Representatives was chosen to represent the eucalyptus of the Australian bush? Or that the pinks and reds of Senate represent the red earth of Australia’s outback? This meeting place is more remarkable than you might think.
Canberra’s shopping scene is bursting with boutique homewares, fashion labels and local creations. It’s also home to big department stores, quaint markets, and Marketplace Gungahlin – a one-stop shop for fashion, accessories, homewares, gifts and everyday needs. Marketplace Gungahlin even has a kids club if you’ve got little ones in tow.
The Australian National University might lack the sandstone grandeur that some other Australian universities enjoy, but it more than makes up for it with outstanding education. A world-leading contributor to public policy formation and debate, it’s a celebrated centre of research. Brains over beauty if you will.
Vibrant autumn colours
Nothing says autumn like throwing colourful leaves up in the air on a crisp morning. Take a Colours in the Courtyards tour, visit the 250-hectare National Arboretum, or head to the city’s botanical gardens for a burst of vivid colours courtesy of Japanese maples, Gleditsia, Magnolia, Birch Trees, Male, Linden Trees and Dogwood.
Still not convinced?
Want more proof that Canberra is a special place? Last year, Lonely Planet named Canberra the third best city in the world to visit in 2018. Find out why yourself and come explore all that is Canberra. If kids might be holding you back, think again and read about even more things to do in Canberra, perfect for families.