Canberra has kind of been the punching bag for Australian cities for decades, often classed as boring and rarely as a travel destination. But the city has had a huge revival in the last few years, becoming a mecca of great food, fantastic culture opportunities and chic hotels.
It’s certainly time to put Canberra back on the weekender menu, especially if you’re a foodie or love a spot of history and art. We spent a weekend in our nation’s capital and have selected our picks for the perfect mini break.
STAY: A By Adina
One of the newest hotels in Canberra, A by Adina take everything you love about serviced apartments (think: a proper fridge, cooking space and room to move about) and takes it up a level. It’s like a luxury hotel / serviced apartment hybrid, really.
The location also can’t be beat – a stone’s throw from popular restaurants and in walking distance to the main shopping hub, you can also wake up and take a stroll along Lake Burley Griffin, if you like.
BRUNCH: Arc Cafe
Literally next door to A by Adina is Redbrick’s newest Canberra venture, Arc. The architecturally-pleasing interior is matched with delicious food – and some damn fine coffee, which has it’s own detailed menu offering different blend options depending on your palate.
VISIT: National Gallery Of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia is magnificent, and while many visit to see the permanent exhibition of Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles, or Yayoi Kusama’s The Spirit Of The Pumpkins infinity room, the gallery’s temporary exhibits are always outstanding. When we visited, the gallery was championing female Australian artists from 1900 to present.
VISIT: The National Arboretum
Even if you’re not a landscaping or plant enthusiast, the National Arboretum is stunning enough visually to pop in on. There are living artworks in the Bonsai collection, plus a 20km jogging and cycling track if you feel like getting athletic.
DINNER: Monster Kitchen & Bar
Monster is a crown jewel in the Canberra foodie crown, and for 2021 has gone completely vegetarian. Located inside the Ovolo Nishi hotel, the restaurant is both a culinary and architectural masterpiece, with great mood lighting if you’re after a romantic night out.
DRINK: High Jinks Bar
High Jinks is conveniently across the road from Monster, making it the perfect spot for a pre (or post) dinner beverage. A sultry cocktail bar located in a basement, the drinks are delicious and the atmosphere very cosy.