Canberra is fast emerging as a popular tourist destination

22 Jan 2019 / 14:26 H.

Mention Canberra, and aside from the small number of people who can name it as Australia’s true capital city, most others know little else other than its status as the administrative centre of the nation – much like our own Putrajaya – where the majority of its citizens consist of civil servants.

However, over the past several years, Canberra has sought to transform this image.

A rapidly growing and evolving population has added a vibrancy to the city that has made it a prime tourist destination. It’s no wonder Lonely Planet named it the third best city to visit in 2018.

So what exactly is there to do in Canberra? For those eager to immerse themselves in nature, there are several parks and gardens on both sides of Lake Burley Griffin that are ripe for exploration or for relaxing.

Around the lake there are a number of national icons for those who are interested in Australian art and history – the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Library of Australia – all within walking distance from each other.

For something a little different, travel to the Royal Australian Mint to see how Australian coins are made, or learn about the sacrifices made by Australian servicemen and women at the Australian War Memorial.

For foodies, the city’s CBD has plenty to offer. There is a wide variety of cuisines served at outlets ranging from fine-dining restaurants to cosmopolitan hipster coffee bars and family-friendly diners.

Animal lovers and families will be delighted with the National Zoo & Aquarium, where they can hand-feed lions, tigers and rhinos.

There are also the National Arboretum and the Australian National Botanic Gardens – two of the city’s must-see living gems.

For those who want to spot native wildlife, just 40 minutes south of the city lies Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, an extensive nature reserve with numerous walking trails and guided tours for visitors.

Another great place to explore and enjoy nature in all its glory is Uriarra Crossing, where visitors can walk, picnic and fish in a section of the Murrumbidgee River.

You can also use Canberra as your base to travel even further, especially if you are visiting during the winter months from June to August.

Head to the Snowy Mountains, just two-and-a-half hours away from the city. There, you can explore the highest peaks in Australia and enjoy some skiing or snowboarding.

If water activities are more your thing, a two-hour drive to the South Coast will let you enjoy whale watching, kayaking, swimming, surfing and sunbathing on the beach.

Discover for yourself the many sheltered beach coves and heritage towns, and see nature at its very best.

Book a trip to Canberra onboard Singapore Airlines, which flies daily from Singapore to Australia’s capital city via Sydney.

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