We are starting to feel the autumn in the South of the world welcoming fresher days and change of in Nature. The place where I could feel this season at its most was Canberra, the Capital of Australia. A year ago I went to make some paperwork in the Mexican Embassy. Expecting a political and administrative city, we surprisedly found ourselves experiencing gladly a modern, beautiful and arty place characterized by its fabulous collection of history, culture and arts, extensive natural park lands, and thriving food and wine scene.
We arrived after an easy, straightforward 3 hour drive from Sydney to Canberra. The QT Canberra hotel was perfectly located in Northern Canberra, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. This hotel is magnificently stylish with a sleek designer look. It incorporates the spirit of this diplomatic/ governmental city through pictures and quotes of politicians in the typical QT quirky and ludic style. Besides, the views from the rooms are lovely and the special touches in the amenities are unique.
Follow a quiet walking trail through the bush, past native plants and trees by the huge artificial lake, Lake Burley Griffin. At this time of the year the trees form splendorous curtains of foliage and the colorful leaves create magical carpets on the pathways.
This short stroll got us to the National Museum of Australia, home of the Australian story. The museum shows the nation’s history, culture and way of life by different eras. Don’t miss the revolving theatre, Circa, which offers a staged audiovisual experience, presenting diverse perceptions of contemporary Australia through the key themes of land, nation and people. I loved the “First Australians “ gallery because of the stories that “speak of diversity and connectedness, antiquity and continuity of identity, and the central nature of spirituality in Australian Indigenous people’s lives.” Try to go with enough time, this gallery is located at the end of the Museum and it’s the largest.
Head to the Parliamentary Triangle to explore Australia’s premier historic landmarks. You can find the Parliament House and Old Parliament House on Capital Hill and many other buildings (archives, libraries, galleries, etc.) We just looked at the Parliament from the outside, but if you are interested in learning more about the birth of Australia’s political system, you can take a guided tour of the unique building. Instead ,we spent more times walking on the other side of the lake, checking out the worldly flags, the red, yellow and orange deciduous trees a and enjoying the fresh sunny day.
The Art Galleries
Browse the nation’s finest collection of Australian art at the National Gallery of Australia to see the 200-odd years of paintings and sculpture from around the world. Right next door, my personal favorite, the National Portrait Gallery The purpose of the National Portrait Gallery is to increase the understanding and appreciation of the Australian people – their identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity – through portraiture.
Climb to Telstra Tower for a coffee and 360 degree panoramic views of Canberra’s monuments and planned streets. Telstra Tower is Canberra’s iconic telecommunication tower rising 195.2 meters above the summit of Black Mountain.
The Restaurants/ Bar
- When night falls, enjoy some cool live music and an inviting after-office like vibe at Public in the trendy Manuka precinct.
- We then went back to the city centre for a homely dinner at Jammie’s Italian. It got cold at that time, so take a jacket while you wait to get a table at this busy restaurant (they don’t take reservations).
- To end the night, we checked out the Lucky’s Speakeasy, which is “secretly” located behind The Barber’s Shop at the QT Hotel and offers great classic cocktails and 20’s inspired performances and DJ music.
Photos and content: Josefina Luna