So much to see and do in the nation’s capital

The Crowne Plaza Canberra.
Share this story

Despite it being in a different state entirely, getting to Canberra from western Sydney can sometimes be quicker than a trip to the city, making it the perfect destination for a weekend away.

Earlier this month, I headed down to Canberra for a two-night stay at Crowne Plaza Canberra.

Located right in the middle of Canberra’s CBD, Crowne Plaza Canberra offers the perfect blend of luxury and affordability.

Upon entering the hotel, you are immediately greeted with an open and impressive reception area and 24-hour Business Centre – complete with premium facilities including computers with Internet access, printer, fax and photocopier – that perfectly encapsulate the feel of the rest of its amenities.

The Crowne Plaza Canberra.

Whether you’re visiting for business or leisure, Crowne Plaza Canberra well and truly has it all, with everything from meeting and event spaces to an outdoor pool and fitness facilities.

This is also reflected in their rooms, with ours consisting of all the necessary conveniences to make your stay as comfortable as possible, in addition to a sizeable desk just in case you’re working on the go, meaning you have no need to leave the hotel.

Thankfully for me, this wasn’t the case, providing the perfect opportunity to go out and explore.

Of course, we’ve all heard what they say about Canberra – it’s boring! But, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that there are plenty of things to see and do.

The Crowne Plaza Canberra.

As far as tourist attractions go, things like Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and Questacon are necessities in a trip to Canberra. There are also plenty of art galleries and museums to visit, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, and National Library of Australia.

Currently, Crowne Plaza Canberra is offering a Discovering Ancient Egypt Package, which includes complimentary tickets to the must-see ‘Discovering Ancient Egypt’ exhibition at The National Museum of Australia. So, we had to head down and check it out.

Just a five-minute drive from the hotel, The National Museum of Australia is home to a number of exhibitions which bring to life the rich and diverse stories of Australia, including ‘Great Southern Land’ and ‘First Australians’.

These exhibitions are all very well done, utilising interactive elements, galleries and animations to keep visitors engaged from start to finish.
Though the newest addition, ‘Discovering Ancient Egypt’, is contrasting in subject matter, the style is no different.

‘Discovering Ancient Egypt’ exhibition.

The exhibition features objects from the remarkable collection of the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, including ornate sculptures, rare Book of the Dead scrolls, exquisite jewellery, and 10 coffins.

Though it isn’t something I’d recommend taking young children to, given the gravitas of some of the pieces, I found ‘Discovering Ancient Egypt’ to provide great insight into into the everyday life and culture of the ancient Egyptians.

Crown Plaza Canberra’s location means it’s also central to plenty of other amenities and attractions, including the National Zoo and Aquarium.
Located just outside the city in Yarralumla, the National Zoo and Aquarium is set on 19 hectares, and is Australia’s only combined Zoo and Aquarium.

As someone who goes to the zoo or aquarium just about everywhere I visit, I can well and truly say that this is one of the best. Though the aquarium is on the smaller side, the zoo itself is beautiful and incredibly well laid out, guaranteeing an enjoyable few hours.

The National Zoo and Aquarium.

As far as food goes, there are also plenty of great options nearby.

For craft beer fans, or anyone who just wants a good feed, I can’t recommend BentSpoke Brewing Co. more. We went here for dinner one night, and left with full bellies, and a few six packs.

But, we couldn’t head back to the hotel without stopping off at Messina, which is apparently the place to be in Canberra on a Saturday night, with the line extending out the door and onto the footpath.

If you do want a night in, however, I highly recommend dining at Crowne Plaza Canberra’s signature Redsalt Restaurant. It’s convenient, reasonably priced, and the casarecce is to die for. This is also where you’ll find a stellar buffet breakfast in the morning, complete with plenty of delicious hot and cold options, and a cook to order station if you’re feeling fancy.

Though Canberra isn’t everyone’s dream holiday destination, take this as your sign to give it another go, with Crowne Plaza Canberra the perfect home base.

Cassidy Pearce

Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.

Share this story