Your far-flung cousin is flying into Canberra Airport next weekend. So what parts of the nation’s capital are you showing off?
Region asked and here’s what you told us:
1. The usual suspects
Canberra’s place as the nation’s capital means we’re home to the biggest and the best of Australia’s institutions – Parliament House (old and new), the Australian War Memorial, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of Australia and the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
But there are others that are unique to Canberra.
The National Arboretum was created after the Molonglo Valley was razed by bushfire in 2003. The Cockington Green Gardens manages to condense the world into almost two acres of miniatures. The Cotter and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve cement our place as the bush capital, both just a short drive from the city. And then, of course, there’s Floriade.
Reader Peter said he would take a visitor to many of these places but adds Tulip Top Gardens on the Federal Highway and a walk around Lake Burley Griffin.
“The list goes on,” he said. “The ACT really has amazing hidden treasures!”
Eric said he would take them around all the garden-themed attractions if that was their thing.
“Also, the lookout at Mount Ainslie, Kambah Pool if they like freestyle swimming, Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets on the weekend for a much cheaper feed.”
Lynnmarie added the Canberra Walk-in Aviary at Gold Creek, Erika the Lanyon Homestead, and Colleen the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex near Tidbinbilla.
“Bike paths around the lakes with lunch stops, dinner in Civic, movie at Dendy’s, Macquarie water slides and an open-air movie night,” Colleen goes on with her dream day.
Heather throws in Quizzic Alley in Fyshwick, described as Australia’s most magical store with the widest range of official Harry Potter merchandise anywhere in the country.
“Spitshak, Canberra Outlet Centre and my horse paddock,” she adds.
Janna lists Gus’s Place (formerly Gus’s Cafe), one of Canberra’s oldest hospitality venues, dating back to 1967 and the first cafe to introduce outdoor dining.
Priscilla mentions Haig Park Markets and Mount Majura Winery, finishing off with dinner at Raku.
Kate says it: “I always think we would just take a visitor to the top of Mount Ainslie and Kingsley’s! My, the rest of the country suffers without Kingsley’s.”
Kingsley’s has gathered a local cult following for its (unbelievable) chicken and (awesome) chips but only ventured into the rest of Australia as far as Queanbeyan.
For Jack, it’s Capital Brewing and then Kingsleys. For Rowie, it comes after “something touristy”.
“Always, always have a feed of Kingsleys.”
It’s not without reason.
In 2021, Kingsleys missed out on the best chips in the nation according to Wotif’s Uniquely Aussie Awards, but only by two places. The best chips “have that crunch factor while remaining fluffy on the inside” and are “not too thin, but not too fat”.
However, Region’s Max O’Driscoll wasn’t sold when he tried them …
3. Telstra Tower (if it wasn’t closed)
“Well, not Telstra Tower,” Jason says.
“Still can’t believe we can no longer visit Telstra Tower,” Rachel says.
The iconic telecommunications tower rises 195.2 metres above Black Mountain, offering spectacular wraparound views of Canberra and beyond, but it’s “currently closed while Telstra upgrades the building interior”.
Obviously, readers were referencing Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, Quizzic Alley and, if you had a big weekend, the Container Deposit Depot in Barrier St. Otherwise, this one’s a mystery …
5. Not Canberra
It seems not everyone loves Canberra as much as we do.
Daniel says: “Turn them around and put them in/on the bike, car, bus, train or flight right back home.”
For Karen’s ‘cousin’ it’ll be “straight out the other side”, and it’s “back to the border” for Michelle’s relos as well.
Matt sees Canberra as a springboard to Maroochydore, and Queanbeyan (or Quangers) and Batemans Bay also came up.
Was it something we said?
Have we missed any?