Parliament House. Image by Jpp
Recently, Mr Floral and I decided to go on a road trip to Canberra. Neither of us had been since our primary school excursion days, and we were actually really excited to rediscover the town and see it with a fresh perspective. We had a fantastic little trip, and it wasn’t until we were on the way back home to the ‘big smoke’ that I realised… you could honeymoon in Canberra AND have a fab time while doing so! Some of you might not be so convinced, seeing as Canberra has a reputation of being… well… a bit on the dull side. But it’s really not the case if you whip yourself up an awesome itinerary and select a nice place to stay.
So here are my tips!
1. Be a tourist
That’s right; even if you’re Australian you can still play the tourist in Canberra. There’s stacks to see and do, and if you’ve never been or haven’t been for a while, it will be an even better experience. Although it can be tricky to navigate at first (hello circle roads!), you’ll soon get the hang of it and notice that lots of the sights are really close by. My favourite places have to be:
- The National Library of Australia: books galore! What’s not to love? They also have fascinating events and exhibitions, a well-stocked bookshop and a scrummy café.
- Old Parliament House: so much history… if only the walls could talk. Sure, Parliament House is pretty impressive, but Old Parliament House is beautiful and takes you back to where it all began.
- Royal Australian Mint: see where money is made and for the novelty factor, mint your own coin!
- Australian War Memorial: it’s pretty emotional walking through the ground and the museum, yet it can’t be missed.
Australian War Memorial. Image by John Torres
2. Take a cruise
There’s just something about Lake Burley Griffin! Head on down and follow the signs to the lake cruise. Don’t expect something grand – the little boats might not be impressive, but the operators sure are. They’ll show you where everything is and give you a concise history of Canberra. This is especially handy if you need to get your bearings.
Lake Burley Griffin. Image by Adam Carr
3. Stay in style
Deluxe room at Rydges Capital Hill Canberra. Image by Rydges
4. Pick your time wisely
Canberra is quiet compared to the bigger cities in Australia, so even peak times like the Christmas holidays are bearable (although it can get quite hot, and if you’re there on a public holiday or just after new years, it can be a bit of a ghost town), believe it or not! Canberra gets busier when sporting matches, Floriade and other events are on, so do some Googling before you go to find all this out.
Flowers from Floriade, and the National Library of Australia in the background.
Image by John O’Neill
5. Branch out
If you’ve done all the main things in Canberra, try exploring its outer suburbs. There’s DFO in Fyshwick (yay, shopping and bargains to boot!) and Cockington Green in Nicholls (very cute and a cool place to take lots of happy snaps), as well as the wine regions and the Snowy Mountains not too far away.
Cockington Green. Image by Ms Floral
So don’t let anyone tell you Canberra is uninteresting! You won’t be bored here and you’ll relish how laid back and quiet it is.
Ms Gingham says: OK. I have to admit out of all the Australian honeymoon locations that spring to mind Canberra is probably not at the top of my list. Having said that, this makes me actually interested in exploring our Nation’s Capital so I have to thank you Ms Floral!