Best things to do in Canberra, Australia

Everyone take notice of Canberra! Australia’s capital is having a moment right now and you need to check it out. Gone are the days where it was just the place to go on grade six camp to learn about the country government. It now joins the ranks of Sydney and Melbourne and here are the best things to do in Canberra.

I had one amazing month in Canberra during autumn and man I was impressed. The city now has beautiful outdoor landscapes, cool café culture and a hipster scene giving Sydney and Melbourne a run for their money.  These are the places you can’t miss while visiting Canberra.

Parliament House

This is iconic Canberra protruding right from the middle of town. It is our version of the Capitol Hill, with less security.

Find the Roo’s

So there are actually Kangaroos that rove around Canberra, go figure. For years I would tell people we rode our roo’s to school to anyone who would ask if we had pet kangaroos (We didn’t). I mean in Sydney, this was not the case, but then I came to Canberra, and blow me down there they were in Yarralumla Park.

Freak Shakes in Manuka

Known world over, Patissez was the bakery responsible for creating these monster freak shakes before the craze even made its way to foodie cities such as New York and London. Definitely save your visit for cheat day. Its worth the extra calories.

Find a Rainforest Gully in country Australia

For a pretty rural city, you’d never believe there’s a misty rainforest right in the middle of Canberra at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

The gardens are broken up into different ecosystems representing various Australian flora and fauna including Rainforest, Red Rock, Eucalypt Lawn and a daisy garden.

History Lesson – Australian War Memorial

Admittedly, I have not ever been a history buff, but the Australia War Memorial is very special place to remember the sacrifice Australians made in participating wars.  The Roll of Honour, adorned with red poppies, has over 102,000 names inscribed for those who died during or as a result of war. The Pool of Reflection is spectacular in the late afternoon.

Refuel at The Cupping Room

This place knows a thing or two about coffee, so you java drinkers are in for a treat at this Melbourne-esk café, but as a non-coffee drinker I came for the food displayed like art. And what better breakfast to get to photograph than French Toast.

Mount Ainslie Lookout

So maybe many wouldn’t compare it to the Hollywood Hills or Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak but I reckon it just hasn’t had its heyday yet.  Curl up the mountain to the top and get an expansive view of the whole city. 

Steph_profHerstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.

Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.

Connect with her on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

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