March 11, 2019 / By Ellie Schneider
There’s good reason why Canberra was awarded Lonely Planet’s third best city to visit in 2018. The Australian capital boasts a thriving arts and design scene, must-try restaurants and cafes, and a packed calendar of exhibitions and events. Here’s my guide to the best of what's cool in Canberra this autumn.
Enlighten Festival (1-17 March) - above
See the city up in lights during this year’s Enlighten Festival when the city becomes a hive of activity with a range of free and ticketed events. See the Parliamentary Triangle come to life after dark with moving, large-scale projections illuminating iconic institutions including Parliament House, the National Portrait Gallery and National Library of Australia. Wake up to the view of hot air balloons floating gracefully above the city during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular (9-17 March), and then, when the sun sets, tuck into Asian street food at Canberra Night Noodle Market (1-10 March).
Beer and cider enthusiasts should make a beeline for Batman Street on March 16 to take part in the annual Canberra Craft Beer & Cider Festival. Showcasing breweries from across the country, over 200 beers and ciders will be available for tasting, including emerging local breweries BentSpoke Brewing Co, Capital Brewing Co and Jono’s Jerkey as well as renowned Australian labels Young Henry’s, Mountain Goat Beer and James Square. Funds raised on the day will be donated to the ACT Cancer Support Rise Above organisation, which provides support for more than 950 cancer patients.
Canberra Wine Week (5-14 April) - above
The Canberra region has well and truly cemented its spot on Australia’s wine map. During Canberra Wine Week, novices and connoisseurs can take part in a series of events to celebrate all things wine – from vineyard tours to fine dining dinners and wine tastings. The event kicks off in the beautiful leafy courtyard of NewActon on March 30, where guests can enjoy tastings of more than 50 wines.
Foodies can eat their way through The Forage, a delicious display of street food from Canberra’s restaurants and cafes, food trucks, wineries and breweries. Held at the Dairy Road Precinct in Fyshwick, the event encourages local businesses to get creative and feed the community. Take your taste buds on a journey from Peru to France – carnivores, vegans, vegetarians and sweet tooths will be well catered for.
Wine Machine (13 April) - above
Staged at the picturesque Lake George Winery, Wine Machine is a medley of great wine, food and live music. The massive all-Australian lineup will be headlined by The Presents and Hayden James, with performances by Confidence Man, GRAACE, Sunshine & Disco Faith Choir, Kinder, Happiness Is Wealth, and of course festival co-founder Hot Dub Time Machine. Set against a background of luscious vines, revellers can expect a tasty spread of wine of gourmet fare.
Celebrating traditional and contemporary folk life, National Folk Festival presents an impressive lineup of Australian and international entertainment alongside grassroots and community-minded activities. The festival offers a multi-disciplinary program with more than 750 performances across blues, roots, bluegrass, world, country, Celtic, gypsy and acoustic, in a diverse program that spans music, dance, film, circus and traditional crafts. Held at Exhibition Park, this is truly a family affair with fantastic food and market stalls and a host of kid-friendly events. For more information check out visitcanberra.com.au.
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