Trying to soak in all the beauties of a unique city is a thankless task, especially if that city is Canberra. The capital of Australia has a very unique layout and architecture – it is a planned city, built as such from the ground up. Large artificial lake, impressive monuments and colossal buildings give the impression you are on a sci-fi set inspired by neoclassical design. If, unfortunately, you have a short window of two days to enjoy this unique city, here are some tips about hotels, restaurants and places to visit for 48 hours in Canberra.
Canberra has an impressive assortment of different hotels. Where you decide to stay depends heavily on your sensibilities and your budget. If you are financially well-prepared you can enjoy two nights in Hyatt, an “outpost” of the famous hotel line on Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla. Other options include Hotel Kurrajong and Hotel Realm, both on National Circuit (the name of the street), Barton. For relatively reasonable fees, you can stay in Rydges Eagle Hawk Resort on Federal Highway or other Rydges facilities – Lakeside Canberra and Capital Hill. Novotel Canberra Hotel on 65 Northbourne Avenue has rates that range between $150 and $250. If you are on a tight budget, you can stay in Tall Trees Canberra Hotel or Pacific Suites Canberra.
A bit of info you should probably know – most restaurants in Canberra are closed on Sundays. This means you will probably have to take a hotel arrangement with three meals if your 48-hours visit happens to be during the weekend. Otherwise, if you’d like to eat out on a budget, Burmese Curry House in Sydney Building on Alinga Street offers Burmese curries with rice for a mere $8. If you are in the mood for Asian kitchen overall, Civic Asian Noodle House (which is also in the Sydney Building), Dumpling Inn and Griffith Vietnamese Restaurant will be right up your alley. For a classical diner-like assortment of a meal, visit Kenny’s on 19 Woolley Street Dickson. Belluci’s Restaurant and Blue Olive Café are fine establishments with mid-range prices and Aubergine, Courgette, Rubicon and The Artisan are for those who do not mind to spend a bit more for their meals.
Place to visit
Naturally, there are countless enjoyable things you can do in Canberra. Of course, you can spend hours exploring Lake Burley Griffin and enjoy a lot of aquatic activities such as paddle boat riding, kayaking etc. If you have the time, visit Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, which is about a 40-minute drive south of the city. You can take a hike with a ranger guide or rent a mountain bike and go on one of the trails. If you are in the mood for something more educational, visit a renowned Mount Stromlo Observatory for a session of stargazing. Also, do not forget to visit National Zoo and Aquarium, and if you want some adrenaline-induced excitement, you can go skydiving with Skydive Canberra. And, of course, Kosciuszko National Park is waiting for you with so many recreational opportunities in the Snowy Mountains above Canberra.
Be mindful about the pricing! Australia is generally very expensive overall so always seek out activities that are (mostly) free. On the one hand, you can handpick hotel for yourself if you are traveling independently, but if you have made arrangements with the travel agency, this will probably be a fixed part of the “package”. If you want to avoid excessive credit debt you actually have a lot of options and a sort of an afterpay holiday arrangement financial plan where you end with locked price and exchange rates. Even fast-food street restaurants in Canberra are amazing and most sightseeing comes with no fee whatsoever.
The giant man-made lake in the middle of Canberra should tell you all you need to know about the appeal of Canberra – it is as distinctive as cities can be, an expansive landscape filled with marvelous sights and activities to enjoy. Thankfully, the city is so well connected and easy to traverse, you can end up soaking in most of its major beauties and sights in a short time-window of 48 hours. However, the devil is in the details so make sure to return as soon as possible to discover new things to enjoy that are not that easy to spot at the first glance.
About the author
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She spends most of her free time at home walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.
All photos by Steve Bittinger. For more of his amazing work, visit his portfolio at: https://unsplash.com/@sbittinger