Canberra is a great destination for a holiday or for a stopover if you’re heading further afield. Our helloworld Travel team set off for a weekend trip on Singapore Airlines’ Friday evening service from Wellington which gets into Canberra at 10.05pm local time.
Singapore Airlines uses an older Boeing 777-200R on the route but it still has the same fantastic Singapore Airlines service and good entertainment and meal options you expect. You can also enjoy a Singapore Sling!
Canberra Airport is small and easy to manage with quick taxi and Uber transfers to accommodation. A good alternative is to hire a car as the city is quite spread out.
AM: We stayed at the beautiful East Hotel in Kingston about 4km from the centre of Canberra. It’s an apartmentstyle property suitable for business and leisure guests and includes a couple of family apartments complete with bunks, bean bags and PlayStations.
Our first stop on Saturday morning was for brunch at Pâtissez about five minutes’ walk away in Manuka where we experienced their famous FreakShakes as well as their amazing food.
Next we caught a taxi for the 15-minute (AU$20) ride to the National Museum of Australia in Acton. Its focus is on Australia’s social history and we particularly enjoyed the extensive indigenous Australian collections and the building’s very interesting architecture.
PM: A 40-minute walk around Lake Burley Griffen took us to Canberra Central where we indulged in some retail therapy including visits to David Jones, Myer, Zara and Target.
For dinner, we headed over to Manuka again to Bellucci’s, one of several very good local Italian trattorias where we enjoyed modern Italian cuisine washed down with BYO wine.
AM: This morning we jumped on our bikes! East Hotel offers complimentary bike hire to its guests but as the bike numbers are limited we also hired some from Spinway Canberra. We cycled down to and around the lake to the weekly Sunday markets which are held from 10am to 4pm at the Old Bus Depot Market in Kingston. There are stalls full of arts and crafts and lots of different food offerings and there is also entertainment in the form of singing and dancing. We then biked back around the lake to Parliament grounds and Capital Crescent before heading back to the hotel.
PM: We headed off by Uber for more retail therapy at IKEA. Dinner that night was pizza at Agostini’s, the very chiclooking restaurant at East Hotel (yes, there is a bit of an Italian theme going on). And then after a busy weekend it was time to pack our bags for next morning’s trip home.