Image: Jodi Clark
ACT: Ask anyone about our nation's capital and chances are high that they’ll mention Parliament House and the War Memorial… but take our word for it, there’s plenty of cool stuff simmering beneath Canberra's surface. So, here are our top picks for a fun and frivolous girl’s weekend away.
Australia’s official festival of Spring, Floriade, might not be in full bloom this year, but Canberra’s cherry blossoms are still spreading plenty of seasonal cheer.
For those that love to plan their breaks down to the last second, the spring blossom map is a must. For those that don’t, pack a picnic and a bottle of Collector wine and head to Lake Burley Griffin or Lennox Gardens and take advantage of the spring blossoms in Nara Peace Park.
Insider Tip: Tulip Top Gardens are currently offering digital subscriptions including tours of the garden and time-lapse footage for tech-savvy garden lovers.
The Town of Collector
Blink and you could miss it! The town of Collector is a small village that packs a big punch, just off the Hume Highway about half-way between Goulburn and the ACT border.
The town’s main claim to fame centres around The Bushranger Hotel, where a member of Ben Hall’s gang shot the local police constable back in 1865. Collector wines are a must-try and the Some Café offers yummy baked goods and a delicious specials board.
Insider tip: If you’re passing by in May, make sure you call in to the colourful Collector Pumpkin Festival and get your fill of pumpkin scones and soup.
Cockington Green Gardens
Some flock to Cockington Green for the 35,000 colourful azaleas, tulips, roses, and spring flowers that are meticulously planted each year. Others come for the manicured gardens share which centre stage with miniature monuments and houses from 30 different countries from Argentina to Venezuela and beyond.
Museums and Galleries Galore
From the National Museum to the Gallery of Small Things, there’s a painting and portrait and performance to suit all artistic tastes. An eclectic line up of exhibitions – like the Design Canberra Festival (9-29 November) - are held at the larger galleries and museums.
Who knew a spur-of-the-moment decision to drive and see Canberra’s 80 Embassies and High Commissions would turn into a trip highlight? Situated in Yarralumla, almost a stone’s throw from Parliament House, Embassy Drive is a bit of must-do on any visit to the nation’s capital.
Each of the embassy buildings incorporates traditional architecture and design – the tribal art from Papua New Guinea; the distinctive Cape Duty architecture for the South African High Commission or maple trees out the front of the Canadian Embassy - and this, combined with the flags flying out front, turns it into a pretty fun guessing game. If you love architecture or just miss travelling, then add this to the list.
Eat, Drink and Stay
Eat: Chef Saju Rajappan cooks up a continual storm at Chifley’s Bar & Grill within The Hotel Kurrajong at Barton (it's also a fab place to stay), whilst the talented chefs at Ottoman serve up Gourmet Turkish meze in a swanky art deco pavilion.
Drink: Molly was dubbed Canberra’s top cocktail bar last year and is a must-do for those that can locate the non-descript wooden door on Odgers Lane. This cosy, dimly lit club serves barrel-aged cocktails and hundreds of whiskies from around the world with a side of live jazz on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
Insider Tip: Alfie’s Bakery – a rich concoction of dark rum, brown butter, raisin toast and demerara is a must drink!
Stay: For Apartment-style holiday living, you can’t go past the spacious apartments at Adina James Court, smack bang in the centre of town. The hotels’ one and two-bedroom apartments feature a spa bath, full kitchen, and laundry facilities. A heated outdoor pool, spa pool, sauna and barbecue facilities are perfect for lazy days.
Peace of mind when you stay with us: Introducing Clean Touch.