A-Z Challenge, Challenges by Sarah

U is for Underrated

Canberra is arguably, Australia’s most underrated city! If anything is gained from this year’s A-Z of Canberra, it is hopefully the realisation of this fact.

It’s time that Australians stopped rolling their eyes at the mere mention of the nation’s capital; and time that international visitors made a bee-line to Canberra instead of Sydney or Melbourne.

Far from it’s unfair reputation of being just a city of roundabouts, freezing weather and politicians, the nation’s capital offers game-changing hotels, a plethora of funky bars, cafes and restaurants, and an extensive menu of cultural and leisure activities.

Canberra is easy to get around, has minimal peak hour, lots of places to see and things to do, capped off with a heap of wide open spaces.

Here is my Top 5 things that Canberra gets right…

1. Wine. All the wine.

There are more than 30 cellar doors within a 35-minute drive of Canberra. One of them, Mount Majura Vineyard, is located within the ACT, just 15 minutes from the Parliament House. That’s a win, right there.

2. The weather is actually fantastic.

Yes, it gets a little chilly in winter, but Canberra is also Australia’s third sunniest city – sorry, Sydney and Melbourne.

In summer, Canberrans (is that a word?) get to enjoy long, hot days with low humidity (ie no hair frizz) and during spring and autumn nature turns it on, with pretty blooms and colourful leaves everywhere.

3. One word: Floriade.

Floriade is Australia’s biggest celebration of spring. Every year, more than one million flowers are planted in 13 (massive) flower beds for the festival, which runs from mid-September until mid-October. There’s great food, drinks and activities to keep everyone occupied and entertained and then, there’s Floriade NightFest. Refer to my post “F is for Floriade“.

4. Canberra can rock a festival.

Canberra has an annual hot air balloon festival. I’ll repeat that – they have a festival entirely dedicated to hot air balloons. How is that not worth a visit? The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is held in March and it is, indeed, spectacular.

There’s also Enlighten, which is Canberra’s answer to Vivid and sees the city lit up for 10 nights in autumn, while Skyfire is an annual March fireworks show held over Lake Burley Griffin. Refer to my post “E is for Enlighten“.

5. The classic attractions.

Questacon. Parliament House. Cockington Green. The Australian War Memorial. Yes, you probably saw them as a kid on a school excursion, but you’ll see them in a whole new light when you come back as an adult…

And if all of the above, fails to sway you that Canberra deserves to be on your radar as a must see destination, you can also sleep with lions. Really.

Canberra is the only place in Australia where you can sleep next to a tiger, lion or bear (with just a glass wall separating you). If animals are your thing, book a sleepover with a difference at Jamala Wildlife Lodge within the National Zoo and Aquarium.

A-Z Challenge – U

3 thoughts on “U is for Underrated”

  1. You’ve seriously sold me on the delights of Canberra. All five of your favorite things sound appealing to me, but the Wildlife Lodge sleepover and Floriade are deal makers. Lions and tiger and bears – oh my! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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