Australia & NZ
24 Hours in Canberra
Fact #1: some national capitals are lame. Fact #2: some purpose-built national capitals are even lamer. Not so Canberra. Sure, the administrative heart of Australia teems with politicos, bureaucrats, lobbyists and cub reporters but it is not all dull parliamentary machinations in the Garden City. For visitors with a day or more to spare, Canberra and the ACT unfurl a parade of fine museums, cultural hot spots, landmarks, stellar restaurants, pubs, bars, tidy villages and a trove of natural wonders.
Lake Burley Griffin
Canberra’s most iconic geographical feature may be artificial but the recreation potential of Burley Griffin is most definitely not. Walk it, bike it, row it and make some time for the National Carillon on Aspen Island.
Where to stay: Hyatt Canberra – A Park Hyatt Hotel
National Museum of Australia
Is it the best museum in Australia? Arguably yes. For Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles and exhibits on Aboriginal heritage, reason alone to visit the ACT.
Where to stay: Diamant Boutique Hotel Canberra
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Frolic with flora at the foremost botanical garden complex in the country.
Where to stay: Rydges Lakeside Hotel Canberra
Australian War Memorial
The Anzac Parade opens on to a tasteful and top-drawer national war memorial and museum devoid of over-the-top, rah-rah histrionics. Powerful stuff.
Where to stay: All Seasons Olims Hotel Canberra
National Film and Sound Archive
Audio and cinephiles take note: the National Film and Sound Archive has a spectacular collection that makes history come alive.
Where to stay: BreakFree Capital Tower Canberra
National Gallery of Australia
You need more than 24 hours to take in some 120,000 works of art but give it a shot. From Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art to a marvelous sculpture garden, the National Gallery is a triumph.
Where to stay: Rydges Capital Hill Canberra
One of the most expensive government projects ever built, the Parliament of Australia is impossible to miss and deserves a bit of your time.
Where to stay: Forrest Hotel & Apartments Canberra
Namadgi National Park
It behooves Canberra visitors to explore the wonderful ACT if they can manage it. Namadgi National Park is a good place to start, since it covers almost half of the territory.
Where to stay: Country Comfort Greenway
Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre
Finally, a science museum that enthralls adults as much as wee ones.
Where to stay: Burbury Hotel Canberra
Black Mountain Tower
One of the best panoramas in the country, bar none, is from the very top of Black Mountain Tower. Grab a perch and point and click to your heart’s content.
Where to stay: Novotel Hotel Canberra