I Love Canberra

Friday, December 22, 2017

Smack dab in the middle of no where (aka the Australian bush) lies the capital city of Australia: Canberra.  Sydney and Melbourne couldn't agree on a location, so it ended up somewhere around the middle, with a blank slate of possibilities.  The ACT Government has been brilliant with the development of this city--I have never seen another city like it, not even close. 

Adam and I try to make it down to Australia annually, and are starting to plan our fourth trip for 2018.  Whenever we fly to Sydney, we spend most of our time near Wollongong, visiting my husband's family and friends.  For the past two years, however, we have taken the time to stay a night or two in Canberra, and I think someone once said two times makes a tradition.  Both times we have visited Canberra, we have discovered something new, and I'm a big fan. 

This past spring (which was fall in AUS), we discovered the National Arboretum Canberra and can't wait to return, as we only had a couple of hours the morning we visited, which wasn't nearly enough time.  It will be spectacular one day, once the forests mature.  There were bush fires in 2003, wiping out many of the pine plantations that grew there.  A few still remain, but in large part, this land needed a new vision and purpose.  Because the ACT Government is genius, they decided to dedicate the land as the site of a future national arboretum. 

The forests are young: beautiful in their youth, and easy to imagine how much more beautiful they will become with time.  You can read more about the forests of Canberra's National Arboretum here.

Roundabout after roundabout are beautiful neighborhoods with interesting shops, restaurants, and parks.  The last time we went, we stayed at the top of a hotel overlooking Lake Burley Griffin--it was beautiful in the morning with the sunrise watching the hot air balloons drift over the man-made lake, landing in fields beyond.  I hope to ride on one of their hot air balloons one day.  The city design is idyllic and smart in every way.  There are kangaroos everywhere (did I mention that Canberra is right in the middle of no where?); a short drive in any direction will leave you in a remote and rural setting--the sky is the limit!  It was a short distance outside Canberra that I saw my first red-tailed black cockatoo--a real treat!

This post is only a snippet of why I love Canberra.  When I visit Canberra, I ALWAYS go to Lonsdale Street Roasters, on Lonsdale Street, of course.  They have the BEST coffee, and since Portland is home to some of the best coffee EVER, I feel a little more at home drinking their coffee, as I think it's even BETTER than Portland's coffee.  Plus, they make a KILLER fruit, honey, and granola parfait.  I'm looking into getting my Australian family a blend roasted in their honor, complete with branding and naming rights.  There really isn't a better Christmas present, now, is there?

P.S.  Look for more Canberra posts on Beetles and Bees in the future!


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