England at the Manuka Oval, Canberra
Jan 10: v Prime Minister's XI
Learn about Australia’s culture, history and way of life in our nation’s capital. Explore our political past and modern democracy at Old Parliament House and Parliament House. Find out more about our sporting heroes at the National Institute of Sport and Science and see lightning being made at Questacon. Once you’ve exhausted the monuments and galleries, get into the great outdoors. This planned city – one of the few in the world - is famous for its lake, parklands and native bushland surrounds. Beneath the foliage, Canberra offers stylish restaurants, hip bars, boutique shopping and a non-stop calendar of festivals and events.
Five things to do in Canberra
- Sports galore: to watch or play
Tour the Australian Institute of Sport with an elite athlete. You can even test your skills at virtual rowing, wheelchair basketball and football at the interactive Sportex exhibition. Watch Canberra’s top rugby league and union teams sweat it out at Canberra Stadium or see a cricket or Aussie rules game at the historic Manuka Oval. If you are a motorsport enthusiast, there’s the annual Summernats car festival and the Subaru Rally. Itching to play some sport yourself? Tee off on one of Canberra’s outstanding golf courses, where kangaroos laze in the grass while you play. Or go paragliding, sky diving, bushwalking, abseiling, caving, canyoning and mountain biking in the bushland of Canberra Nature Park.
- Capital attractions: visit monuments to modern Australia
Contrast Australia’s political past with our modern democratic government at Old Parliament House and Parliament House. Or see Australia through the eyes of our artists at the National Gallery of Australia. For interactive, family-friendly fun, don’t miss the National Museum of Australia and The National Science and Technology Centre. You can learn about our military history at the Australian War Memorial or the secrets of green-and-gold sporting success at the Australian Institute of Sport. Pore over records, photos and stories at the National Library and check out Australia’s first constitution at the National Archives. You can explore Australia’s culture, history and way of life display in Canberra’s treasure trove of national attractions.
- Namadgi: a national park of riches
Follow the Yerrabi Walking Track into the rugged Bimberi wilderness, home to some of the least disturbed eco-systems in the Australian Alps. Or explore forests of snow gum and alpine ash on the Square Rock walking track. Four wheel to the top of Mt Coree, fish from trout-filled streams and cross-country ski the winter slopes. See kangaroos, wallabies and northern corroboree frogs and explore snow-gum woodlands, wetlands and wildflower-cloaked plains. See the campsites, ceremonial stone arrangements and rock art sites left by the Ngunawal people thousands of years ago. Then trace the trail of pastoralists and gold hunters and see the memorial to the Apollo space tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek.
- Food and wine: on the Poachers Trail
Follow the Poachers Trail to some of the 140 vineyards and 33 wineries dotting the tranquil countryside just outside Canberra. Take a gumboot tour through the vineyards and learn about the factors that shape the region’s diverse styles - from sangiovese to riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz. Stop in at a farm for cheeses, oils, chutneys, jams, wood smoked meats and homemade wine. Or team a bottle of last year’s vintage with a wood-fired pizza at a winery. Visit local studios and galleries showcasing handmade art, glassware and pottery. At the end of the day, rest your head in a boutique bed and breakfast, historic homestead or a luxurious country retreat.
- Fantastic festivals: from hot-air balloons to hotted-up cars
Start your year with the smell of burning rubber at January’s Summernats car show. Or celebrate Australia Day with two non-stop days of entertainment, including a cricket match and live music in the grounds of Parliament House. Watch Canberra’s skies fill with hot air balloons for the Canberra Balloon Fiesta in autumn. In spring, you can walk through parks alive with the colour and scents of Floriade, Australia’s largest floral festival. Or welcome in the new year in our nation’s capital with an awesome display of fireworks, entertainment and music. For a serious city, Canberra sure knows how to party.