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Eight Ways To Enjoy Canberra This Weekend

Canberra Enlighten 2016

When was the last time you took a family trip to Canberra? Never? Then this weekend would be your perfect initiation into Australia’s national city. Not only is the landscape slowly unfolding in a wash of flaming autumn hues but the city is also turning up its lights for the annual Enlighten festival.

It is time to shed the outdated image of Canberra being a yawn and start getting acquainted with its new, hip side. woman with drive has put together eights ways to have a fabulous family holiday.



Jamala Wildlife Lodge

How often can you feed a giraffe from your bedroom balcony or open your eyes to a brown bear watching you from the other side of a thick glass wall? Located inside the National Zoo & Aquarium, Canberra’s newest luxury lodgings will be the talk of your family for years to come. Whether you spend the night in the Giraffe Treehouse, uShaka Lodge or Jungle Bungalow, one thing is for sure – it will be hard to go back to a “normal” hotel room after one night at the Jamala Wildlife Lodge.


Hotel Realm

If sleeping amidst wildlife is not your cup of tea, then Hotel Realm will gladly welcome you into its quarters. Its two-bedroom Atrium Residence is outfitted with all the modern luxuries including goose down bed toppers and a coffee machine. A big plus is its proximity to the Parliamentary Triangle and the six iconic buildings that will be the backdrops for Enlighten’s stunning architectural projections.




Urban Pantry

Located in the posh suburb of Manuka, this light-filled dining venue boasts delicious food, good coffee and most importantly, staff who make their young customers feel just as important as their paying ones. Despite not having a kids menu, the Urban Pantry staff provide great recommendations and ensure the food arrives at your table way before the young and restlessness get low on patience.


Little Brother at Red Hill

As an offshoot of the fancier Onred, this newcomer to Canberra is perfect for a family meal with a fantastic view. Play I Spy during lunch as you look out to the city’s landmarks or enjoy the twinkling city lights over dinner. Little Brother at Red Hill has a kids menu, kid-friendly staff and ample room for prams.




For the sixth year running, Canberra will transform the Parliamentary Triangle, National Zoo and Aquarium and Australian Botanic Gardens into a nocturnal playground of architectural projections, unique experiences and premier performances for 10 extraordinary nights beginning March 4. This year’s Enlighten highlights include the Projections, Gantry Bike, Back In Black and Intrude. Many of the city’s national attractions will also be keeping their doors open after-hours to host exclusive events and unforgettable experiences.


Welcome The Dawn

Hustle the kids out of bed at an ungodly hour to climb into a hot air balloon and watch the soft morning sun fill Canberra’s lakes and valleys. Once your feet are back on the ground, the adults get to toast the magical adventure with a glass of champagne.


Wild Shakespeare

The National Zoo & Aquarium celebrates the 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare on March 4 and 5 with a theatre performance that brings to life his work amidst the natural setting of the zoo. As dusk falls, guests will be led through the zoo and treated to live performances based on Shakepearean quotes on human nature and the environment. Tickets are limited to 100 people.


Autumn Glory Tour

Canberra is not called a city in a park for nothing. Take a rare stroll through the courtyard gardens of Australian Parliament House on March 4, 5 11 and 12, and fall under the spell of the stunning autumn foliage. The tour takes you through hidden gardens and unique sculptures on the private grounds and will leave you with a completely different impression of this iconic building. Get your tickets here.


Image credit: Enlighten

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