During my Spring Break 2013 trip to Sydney I took some time to visit Canberra, Australia as well.
Many people think that Sydney is the capital of Australia, however, that is not the case. Canberra is the capital, it’s located in the Australian Capital Territory also known as ACT throughout the city (and country). Canberra isn’t like most capital cities, it isn’t overly populated and filled with touristy things to do. It isn’t vibrant and hopping. On the contrary, Canberra is very dull and the only thing to do there seems to involve the government and some art museums.
I spent three days in Canberra (I suggest going only for one day), it was nice visiting the Australian Parliament, High Court and War Memorial. The Australian Mint was also pretty cool. The Parliament, High Court, War Memorial and Mint are all free. The Old Parliament House, however, is not free. If you wake up early enough (9am) you could practically do all the attractions in one day. Unlike Washington, D.C. and London, Canberra is not that popular or foreign-friendly, making it easy to see everything in a day.
I stayed at the Ibis Styles Canberra, a horrible hotel. I DO NOT recommend this hotel. The carpet was dirty, stained and the halls looked as if they hadn’t been cleaned in years. The first room I was in had ants crawling around so I had them move me. The second room was a little better, but not worth the hassle or the money paid. They advertise free breakfast on some websites, that isn’t true – there was no free breakfast. The ‘free’ internet they offer has a cut-off threshold which is quite easy to use. The food here also sucked, it was worse than microwaveable food you can buy at the grocery store.
To get to Canberra from Sydney I rented a car from Sixt Rent A Car. It was my first time renting from Sixt since I always rent from Hertz. Sixt was nice, they try to add-on some extras when you pick up the car but they were friendly at the Sydney office. The car was clean and in good condition. I’m not sure if its Australian law or just how Sixt works but a minimum insurance policy is already included in the reservation for ‘free.’ I would recommend giving Sixt a try out, they were about $150 AUD cheaper than the top rental car companies.
- Australian Parliament
- Old Australian Parliament ($2 adults, $1 children, $5 families – AUD currency)
- Australian High Court
- Australian War Memorial
- Australian Mint
- National Museum of Australia
- National Gallery of Australia
Where To Eat:
- Saffron Restaurant & Mezze House (Mediterranean, delicious!!!)
- Chai Time Cafe & Takeaway (Lunch – not Asian food)