Scott McRae has been proving us wrong again, having a great time in Canberra. This issue he explores beyond the “big ticket” attractions and finds that Canberra really isn’t boring at all!
For some reason a lot of people I know have always had it in for Canberra. ‘’Oh the weather sucks”, “Dude there’s nothing to do”, “It’s boring as”, “You know I just don’t like it.”
Yeah okay, I do understand that our country’s politicians are ensconced there and that is enough to unsettle even me. But it’s not like they are running the hotels, wineries, restaurants and cultural precincts. They wont be showing you around town, and they certainly won’t be hanging out with you and the family for dinner or at the zoo.
On further investigation I find out that the majority of the people that bag Canberra have never actually even been there!
Preconceived impressions from the grapevine probably passed on by others that have never experienced Canberra either.
Well I have visited Canberra on many occasions. I have filmed travel shows there. I have played tourist with my family there. I have also performed there. So I have experienced many different flavours of Canberra and I must say those flavours seem to be expanding and cultivating more and more on every visit and for the most of it, it seems to be in the positive.
Of course you have the standout ‘tourist’ attractions in The War Memorial, Questacon, The National Gallery and for those who are that way inclined even the Old Parliament House gets a run. These are in a sense the bread and butter attractions and all have strong points in their own right. The War Memorial is one standout in my eyes. Engaging, moving and ever changing and of course it pays homage to the men and women who have served our country so bravely. A visit here is a must for the younger generation I believe.
Questacon is fun for the kids and the kid that still lurks in you, and you can certainly spend a few fun filled hours there. The National Gallery will appeal to anyone who has a passion for fine art. Simply some of the greatest Australian and International works on show and there is often a touring exhibition that takes the experience to an even higher level of sophistication.
There is enough reason just there alone to #VisitCanberra, but I want to give you a little insight into some of the not so well proclaimed offerings. The inner city Canberra suburb of Braddon continues to attract exciting talent and ambitious new dining ventures with an eclectic mix of homeware stores, vintage op shops, pop up art, fashion and design shops.
Canberra’s food and wine offerings are really starting to turn some heads and tantalise some taste buds as well. One such establishment, and possibly leading the charge, has to be the Bentspoke Brewery Co situated in Mort St Braddon – unassuming and somewhat unadorned from the outside, once you pass through the doors it’s a totally different story. A mix of classic timbers, glass, mirrors, bicycle rims and exposed stainless steel beer pipes it has a funky brewery feel with an inviting essence throughout. The brainchild of Richard Watkins and Tracy Margrain it is a venture they were always destined to attempt, and so far the cards have come up trumps. 18 different boutique beers, some with a distinct bent edge to them, which is exactly what Richard aimed to achieve. For the locals, this place serves as the perfect after works drinks arena, but for the inquisitive traveller it serves as the perfect spot to enjoy a nice lunch or maybe that pre dinner drink experience, or you might want to milk Richard for some insights into making that killer homebrew yourself?
The fare at Bentspoke lends itself to the callings of the brew also, with the most delightful Hot Wings and a Barley grist crusted snapper that will blow your taste buds’ little sensors! For the keen beer aficionado, Bentspoke have a unique take away option in their stainless steel mini keg which is refillable and re-gas able and one now adorns my bar at home, a super idea.