There is so much more to Canberra than extreme temperatures and politics and it doesn’t take much digging to discover some of its stunning natural features and stories waiting to be shared with the Nation.
10 years ago if you’d said that I would fall in love with Canberra I would have laughed and clinked my wine glass with yours. Before living here I thought it was nothing more than a city full of roundabouts and pointless cold winters as it never snowed. However, my ignorance proved me wrong and I am so glad it did.
I am consistently surprised and fascinated by what Canberra has to offer. I am engrossed in its stories hidden within alleys, behind cafe windows, within art pieces and discovered in events shared among the local people.
Read on to find out some of the reasons why I love Canberra and why I have no plans to be leaving this intriguing little territory any time soon.
Canberra is nestled within the Brindabella Mountain Ranges providing a picturesque backdrop to the Capital. The snow-covered mountain caps are an impressive sight during the winter providing locals with justified reasoning to our cold days and freezing evenings. The Brindabella’s are also an awesome area to go hiking and camping all year round… if you are game. To find out more on hiking in Canberra check out my article Hiking Australia’s Capital to get the lowdown.
We are lucky to live within close proximity to Tidbinbilla and Namadgi National Parks and where rolling hills and nature parks are embedded within the residential communities. These October school holidays, Tidbinbilla will host Wildfest, a glamping opportunity for the family to be immersed in nature, so be sure to get your tickets to this unique local event. Mt Ainslie is the perfect hill to climb for a rewarding view of the city. However, my favourite would have to be Black Mountain with Telstra Tower standing prominent above it acting as a homing beacon from anywhere in Canberra.
If mountain climbing is not your thing then perhaps you will enjoy the flatter areas of the ample lakes that the region has to offer. Lake Burley Griffin, being Canberra’s most renowned lake, is the centre point of Canberran culture providing the setting for Canberra events such as Enlighten and Festivals such as Wanderlust108 and Floriade. The lakes are surrounded by bike tracks and are also home to many health and fitness groups providing opportunities to improve yourself and explore the area on foot and tyre.
Events and Festivals
In Canberra, you can always find something to do. I am flawed by the number of Events & Festivals, especially free events for the whole family, that are on offer all year round.
Canberra has been home to some hot Nationally and Internationally Music and Comedy acts such as Lorde at the 2017 Spilt Milk Music Festival (held Late November-Early December), Duke Dumont at Groovin the Moo (held in April) and Touch Sensitive at the recent Hot Dub Wine Machine at Pialligo estate in April. The Canberra Comedy Festival consistently showcases quality national and international performers with 2018 highlighting Ross Noble (UK), Urzila Carlson (NZ) and Stephen K Amos (UK). If you missed out never fear as June will see the Melbourne Comedy Roadshow hit town at the Canberra Theatre Centre.
Canberra provides ample free family-friendly events and festivals, celebrating the cultures that make up our community such as at the annual Multicultural Festival. Enlighten,our very own Vivid, highlights the Capitals landmarks each March whilst the Balloon Spectacular runs simultaneously offering an alternative view of our vibrant city. Floriade is a festival of flowering colour welcoming spring and free for the whole family. This year it will be held between 15 September – 14 October so be sure to pencil this in your diaries for some school holiday fun.
There is plenty available in the capital for the party-goers and gastronomes at events such as; Loaded Laneway, Wine and Food in the laneway hosted by Liquid Geography who also host multiple wine events throughout the year along with the Beer and Cider Festivals and events such as Oktoberfest. If you find yourself with an event-free weekend then be sure to check out some of Canberra’s fabulous bars such as the rooftop bar Howling Moon at the Rex Hotel.
I love the presence of Arts and culture within the city with the Canberra Theatre Centre being the hub of Arts Entertainment in the Capital. Recently I had the pleasure of witnessing the raucous performance of Blanc De Blanc providing Moulin Rouge style entertainment but not for the faint-hearted.
The Canberra Theatre Centre has some captivating acts coming up soon and I would recommend taking the opportunity to watch the transformation of The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time from book to play along with Bangarra’s Dark Emu.
The M16 Artspace is a fabulous little space showcasing local artists and multi-modal talent with Jenny Blake‘s upcoming Block by Block exhibition sure to be a hit. Be sure to be at the opening at 6pm on Thursday 14 June. The region is riddled with gorgeous little art galleries and centres encouraging creativity within the community for the young and old. Check out Strathnairn, Belconnen Arts Centre offering kids classes too & Tuggeranong Arts Centre for more opportunities to express yourself and witness the local arts and culture.
I love having the opportunity to meet and greet new people. I thrive on learning about their stories, how they got to be in Canberra or why they never left. This speaks volumes as so many people I have met have remained in Canberra or have returned after studying elsewhere. After being here some time myself I too understand why no one wants to leave.
The city is vibrant and full of activities, there is ample opportunity for adventure and always something to do no matter what your interests are. I encourage you to get out and explore the local area and make sure you strike up a conversation with one of the locals and learn more about their story.
We love hearing from you- What is your favourite thing about living in Canberra? What is your favorite thing to do in this area?