With Sydney and Melbourne getting most of the tourist attention. Canberra has historically been regarded as a center for bureaucracy, borning politicals, and legal wrangling that is only entertaining to the legal community.
While all this might once have been true, Australia’s capital has transformed, rebuilding itself with some amazing hotels, fantastic cafes, hip nightspots and plenty of other stuff to do.
In this article, we’ll be looking at how you can spend a fantastic weekend in Canberra, enjoying all the city has to offer in an atmosphere that lacks the mad tourist rush of some of Australia’s better-known cities.
Where to Stay
Accommodation can make or break a holiday and, thankfully, Canberra is full of amazing places to stay. If you want a place that remains entertaining even when you are in your room, then the QT Canberra is the place to stay.
They offer in-room cocktail bars, a private rooftop members’ lounge, a speakeasy called Lucky’s that has off the menu drinks and food, and even a Capitol prime grill right next door.
The East Hotel in Kingston offers a more hipster take on the capital, with bikes you can rent to ride around the city, the ‘Ox’ bar with its more than 100 whiskeys, and some lovely contemporary rooms.
If you are vacationing on a budget, the Little National Hotel has some charming spaces to rent, despite its rather unprepossessing appearance. A favorite with business travelers, this hotel offers exceptionally comfortable rooms for a very reasonable price.
Where to Get Your Coffee
Australia is world-renowned as the best place outside of Italy to get an excellent cup of Joe, and Canberra doesn’t let the side down on that front.
The Cupping Room is widely regarded as one of the best coffee shops in Oz and is run by World Barista Champion, Sasa Sestic, and his assistant, two times Australian Barista Champion Hugh Kelly. So find every form of coffee known to man, made perfectly by a pair of real coffee artists, and some amazing food to go with it. The halloumi fingers are particularly amazing.
ONA Coffee is situated in Manuka, a grassy and relaxing spot for you to enjoy what the staff describes as their “relentless passion” and some fantastic coffee blends.
If you like your coffee with a conscience, then heading down to Red Brick Espresso is a must. All their coffee, imported from countries such as Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, is ethically sourced. Red Brick works with whatever crop is currently in season, so their menu is constantly changing.
Things to Do
Canberra is packed full of activities to spend your weekend doing, from your best James Bond impression at the casino to taking a bath with a bear!
Casino Canberra is a festival of glitz and glamour, and it can be a little overwhelming. If you want to have a go at the table games, but you’re a bit that you don’t know the rules, you can always practice online first.
On a different note, almost no one associates Australia with skiing, but there is a ski slope hidden in the Brindabella mountain range at the Corin Forest Alpine Resort. During the ‘winter’ months, snow machines carpet the side of this tiny mountain recreation area and allow people to ski, snowboard, and sled. It’s even got the longest alpine slide in the Southern Hemisphere.
Ever fancied taking a bath with a bear? What about a Bengal tiger? Well, if reenacting a Lil’ Wayne video is on your bucket list then we know exactly where you can cross it off. The Jamala Wildlife Lodge, inside Canberra’s National Zoo and Aquarium will genuinely let you take a bath with only some reinforced glass between you and an apex predator if that’s your idea of relaxing.
A Weekend in Canberra
So there you have it, far from being a boring center for bureaucracy Canberra is a vibrant and exciting city, perfect for a fantastic weekend getaway.