Canberra travel guide and things to do: Nine highlights

Picnic on a Swedish boat, swim in an art deco pool and visit a new wine bar dedicated to riesling. Canberra proves its far more than museums and monuments.

THE ONE OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE

Locals and visitors alike flock to Canberra's National Arboretum – a tree museum - to go bush walking. mountain biking, to fly kites over grass hills or let the kids loose on the incredible POD Playground. A bonsai exhibit includes the country's oldest living bonsai while Instagrammers love the 35-metre-long "Wide Brown Land" sculpture based on Dorothea Mackellar's famous poem and inspired by the author's handwriting. Stroll the nearby Himalayan Cedar Track for some forest bathing. See nationalarboretum.act.gov.au

THE ONE ART GALLERY

If, heaven forbid, you only have time to visit one Canberra gallery make it the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). It's home to Australia's largest collection of indigenous art and other must-see works including Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles, Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly paintings and works by Monet, Matisse, Warhol and Albert Namatjira. Explore light and shadow in James Turrell's dramatic Skyspace 'Within Without' and go soon to take in the "Know my Name" exhibit showcasing female artists from 1900 to now. Drawn from the NGA's collection and loans from across Australia, it's the most comprehensive presentation of art by women assembled in Australia to date (until January 31, 2021). See nga.gov.au

THE ONE POOL

Be transported to the roaring 30s at Canberra's oldes public pool which opened on Australia Day 1931. Originally named "The Swimming Pool" (it literally was the only one in town) the heritage-listed Manuka Pool's striking art deco style was designed by principal architect E H Henderson and has recently reverted to its original Brunswick green and salmon colour scheme. There's an outdoor 30 metre pool as well as a separate kids' pool surrounded by grass and shady eucalypts. Heritage signage includes the amusing "running and spitting prohibited". See manukapool.com.au

THE ONE EMERGING HOTSPOT

New life is being breathed into Fyshwick, an industrial hub best known for its car yards, government warehouses and red light district. Brainchild of NewActon's Molonglo Group, Fyshwick's Dairy Flat Road area is now a thriving entertainment hub, home to the impressive Capital Brewing Co with its line-up of a dozen pouring beers and Brodburger (arguably Canberra's best burgers). You'll also find indoor climb centre BlocHaus Boldering, Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports, the Grainger Gallery, Barrio Coffee Collective and an organic grocer and café. The Designer Op Shop Emporium, Harry Potter themed shop Quizzic Alley and new Dirty Janes outlet (the original is in Bowral) are also in Fyshwick. See dairyroad.com.au; dirtyjanes.com

THE ONE HOTEL

Family owned and run, the welcome is warm at the stylish 140-room East Hotel with a mix of studio, apartment style rooms and suites. Onsite is a Negroni-centric bar, signature Italian restaurant Agostinis designed by Kelly Ross (don't miss the tiramisu), lobby with fireplace and popular bookshop and eatery Muse (book for breakfast as it's a local favourite). The hotel is in the capital's fashionable Manuka precinct, a stone's throw from the Parliamentary Triangle, take one of East's complimentary bicycles for a spin around Lake Burley Griffin or flash your room key for free entry into Manuka Pool nearby. See easthotel.com.au

THE ONE WINE REGION

Award winning cool climate wines, 30-plus cellar doors and boutique restaurants are on the capital's doorstep. Savour a glass of award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon on the alfresco terrace of Shaw Wines' recently redesigned cellar door. Canberra's wine region is also home to Helm Wines and Clonakilla where you can taste its revered Shiraz Viognier in a light-filled space overlooking rows of picturesque vines. See visitcanberra.com.au

THE ONE SUGAR RUSH

Sydney has Gelato Messina; Melbourne, Gelato Papa and Bico to name but two. Canberrans flock to Frugii where gelato alchemists tinker with inventive new flavours, mostly made from scratch. Located in Braddon's Ori building, Frugii offers staples like salted caramel and dark chocolate however you'll sometimes find the weird and wacky on the daily changing menu too, like butter chicken or black truffle. See frugii.com

THE ONE LAKE

Keep an eye out for jogging pollies along landmark Lake Burley Griffin's bridge-to-bridge walk. Start at Commonwealth Bridge and wend your way along the five kilometre route to Kings Avenue Bridge taking in vistas of Capital Hill, the National Library, Reconciliation Place, the High Court and the National Gallery. Alternatively, cycle the lake's perimeter on a foldable bike from the Canberra Visitors Centre or take to the water on a self- captained vessel with Go Boats (now offering picnics). See visitcanberra.com.au canberra.goboat.com.au

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THE ONE HOT SPOT

Fabulous restaurants, boutiques, music and martinis are found along Braddon's hip Lonsdale Street strip. Discover original Canberra designers, Australian fashion, handcrafted gifts and homewares and the new Midnight Hotel. Highlights include gift shop and gallery Hive, Rizla, a wine bar dedicated to Riesling, the buzzing eightysix restaurant, Kyo Coffee Project and White Chaco for Japanese meets Taiwanese bites accompanied by local tipples. See visitcanberra.com.au

AND ONE MORE THING

Canberra is served by daily direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne while new direct flights are being offered on Mondays and Fridays with Canberra-based Link Airways from Newcastle's Williamtown Airport. Due to Covid-19 many of Canberra's attractions, galleries and museums  require you to book. Parliament House is open for visitors but you must pre-book a free tour. See visitcanberra.com.au; linkairways.com

Sheriden Rhodes was a guest of Link Airways and East Hotel.

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