Find holiday accommodation in Canberra, Australia
In Canberra, Australia’s capital city, past and present come together in the most stunning of fashions. An entirely planned city, Canberra was laid out in a pioneering geometric design that showed off the natural landmarks of the landscape on to which it was carved. Today Canberra is the hotbed of Australian politics and the cultural and historic centre of the nation. Its appeal to visitors is evident in the many museums, historic venues, superb shopping and nightlife, and travellers will find a vast selection of holiday accommodation to make their stay a welcome one.
A capital idea
Australia may be a relatively young nation but even fledgling democracies have to deal with inter-state rivalries and so in 1908 the idea of Canberra was conceived because those two powerhouse cities – Sydney and Melbourne – could not agree on which should be the nation’s capital. The compromise was to create Australian Capital Territory from a corner of New South Wales and develop a brand-new metropolis. Today Canberra is the seat of national government, home of the Australian Parliament and site of the High Court and many major government departments. Its bars and restaurants are filled with politicians and special advisers, journalists and lobbyists, all discussing the big news of the day.
Canberra can provide many different types of accommodation, including serviced apartments and self-contained accommodation, all offering a terrific base from which to explore this vibrant but chilled-out city.
In fact, the city centre is relatively compact and ideal for exploring on foot. Head for Old Parliament House, the original seat of government from 1927 until 1988 and now the Museum of Australian Democracy where you can discover more about this nation’s most recent past. For democracy in current action, Parliament House is a must-visit, particularly its rooftop providing panoramic views of the city. Free, guided tours will explain how Australia’s parliament operates and reveal more about the building’s design.
Another beautiful building is the Australian High Court, the constitutional court and highest court of appeal – its stunning design has earned it a place on the National Heritage List. Canberra is home to some of Australia’s best museums and art galleries, including the National Museum of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Library of Australia, making the city a veritable feast for culture lovers.
Shop til you drop
If retail therapy is your idea of a great time, then you’re in for a treat in Canberra. Around the Central Business District in the city centre, you’ll find boutiques, designer stores and arcades, as well as major shopping malls. For antiques, designer labels and gourmet food, check out the shopping centres at Manuka and Kingston, while Canberra-designed products can be found at Braddon close to the city centre. Those who love to browse in a market should not miss the Old Bus Depot Markets that take place every Sunday, selling food and wine, clothing, jewellery and art. Saturdays are for the Capital Regional Farmers’ Market – pick up some outstanding local produce to make a typical Australian meal at your holiday accommodation.
If you’d prefer to eat out, Canberra’s restaurant and café scene is second to none, thanks in no small part to the presence of the nation’s legislators. Check out the tastings at local vineyards and sample some fabulous locally-made beer and ale at some of the city’s many breweries.
Into the valley
The climate in Canberra is a continental one, which brings hot summers and cool winters. The summer months from December to February tend to be warm and dry – expect average daily temperatures of around 27?C. Winter months tend to be chilly and you might even experience the occasional frost. Average daily temperatures then are around 11?C. Summer also brings thunderstorms but Canberra is much less humid than Australia’s coastal cities, although you might still look for holiday rentals offering air conditioning to alleviate the worst of the summer heat.
UK travellers heading to Canberra are likely to fly direct to Sydney from London’s Heathrow Airport. From Sydney, a connecting flight into Canberra will take around an hour and there are also regular train and coach connections, or you can rent a car to make the journey to your holiday accommodation. Public transport in Canberra is thorough and reliable so getting around won’t be a problem.