When my editor briefed me on this article, to come up with ten terrific things about Canberra, I was initially nonplussed. However, after some decent research I am happy to declare that the nation’s capital is brimming with cool cultural things to do and see. Canberra has become a mecca for galleries, monuments, important buildings, institutions and museums. Art and significant cultural stuff lines the walls and floors of many architecturally inspiring buildings throughout this city of, just under, half a million people. Long derided by residents of real cities, like Sydney and Melbourne, Canberra is coming alive as a place to visit and hang out.
Mingle with Pollies Starved of Contact with Ordinary Aussies
The National Parliament House has to be the first cab off the rank when considering ten terrific things about Canberra. It is a decidedly different kind of structure and uniquely Australian in design. Mingle with pollies who are starved of contact with ordinary Aussies and stalk the halls of parliament for the sheer fun of it. Next, is the National Gallery of Australia and Blue Poles (the most famous painting in Australia). Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series are well worth a look too. The National Portrait Gallery demands a squiz as well, as you check out some of this country’s most iconic faces.
Divine Temple to the Muses
Some say that Canberra is just another regional city like Geelong or Port Macquarie, but I reckon these folks have not perused the capital lately. It may not have the sheer chutzpah of a Sydney but it ticks all the boxes when it comes to food, drink and Art. In Canberra you can ponder the meaning of being Australian. Do it at the Australian War Memorial on ANZAC Day. Do it at the Aboriginal Dreaming Gallery. Do it at the National Museum of Australia. Did you know that a museum is a divine temple to the muses?
If Your Taste Stretches to Crass Things
Check out the Australian National Botanical Gardens, when you are galleried out. It is spectacularly beautiful and a healthy place to take deep breaths. If your taste stretches to crass things, then, the National Dinosaur Museum might be your thing. Alternatively, the Canberra Glassworks is a blast and will blow your bottle aglow. My last of ten terrific things about Canberra are the National Archives of Australia, where you can digest some of our unique history in image and text.