Destinations / Travel

Soaring to new heights with Enlighten Canberra

The Ovolo Nishi, Canberra

Stay

The true heart of our nation, Canberra. It’s a small city, but you’re not left wanting for luxurious places to stay including destinations like The Midnight Hotel and The East Hotel. My pick? The Ovolo Nishi, a quirky and artistic space inspired by the nearby Nishi Gallery

Every room is a feast for the eyes, especially the lounge area which is a dining space, outdoor terrace and a library.

 

Take

Jeans and your walking shoes. There is a lot to see and do in Canberra, and since the major attractions are all rather close together, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. I lived in my Nobody blue jeans. A sturdy boot is a must, these R.M. Williams will take you anywhere you want to go.

A day of sightseeing calls for a broad-brimmed hat like this wide-brimmed fedora from Helen Kaminski. Not only will it shield you from the sun, but it will instantly elevate whatever you’re wearing. Tick, tick.

You'll need a carry-all satchel like Helen Kaminski's Carilla S Reve - because it's big enough to stash the essentials; a face mist, water bottle and a camera - you’ll be taking lots of photos. Bring a jacket to help with Canberra’s frosty morning, especially if you’re getting up at early to see the sights.

Where the Crawdads Sing was my book of choice for chilled out moments at the hotel. I always throw a set of eye masks in my bag to enhance the r&r.

Don’t forget a flirty dress for dinners out and a striking lip to match.

 

Enlighten Canberra

 

Do

If you can, head to Canberra during the Enlighten Festival that runs across February and March. This 17-day long calendar includes true delights like the Canberra Balloon Spectacular which sees dozens of hot air balloons launch and decorate the sky at sunrise. Also, Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle comes alive at night, with artistic displays of light decorating the cityscape.

Of course, pay a visit to Parliament House. But also make sure to explore the Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia - the latter of which is currently playing host to the Botticelli + Van Gogh exhibition.

Lovers of nature will want to take a walk through the Canberra Botanic Gardens and the Arboretum.

 

Taste

One thing Canberra is certainly now short of is fabulous dining destinations. The famed Monster is the restaurant at the Ovolo Nishi. This unique, vegetarian restaurant has accumulated a number of impressive awards.

For artful modern Australian, try 86 - and make sure to get the tasting menu to experience it properly.

Queenie’s is the place for up-market bar food with a twist.

Raku is the best spot for Japanese

And if you just want a good pizza to go with some good vibes, it’s got to be Grease Monkey.

 

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