From Melbourne airport, we rode off the plane thru Tiger Airways and landed to Canberra Airport after 1 hour and 20 minutes. We will just be staying here in less than 24 hours and then hop off to Sydney which is only 3 hours bus away from Canberra. Here are our 7 Things To Do in Canberra!
1.) Stay at Canberra City YHA
We arrived at a cold night in Canberra Airport. We took the Bus 11 which drops you off directly to the Bus Interstate Terminal where the Canberra City YHA is near. The hostel is just few minutes away from Canberra’s main attractions which is very ideal for us since we are only staying in the city for less than 24 hours.
Canberra City YHA receptionist, Callum, informed us about the Tourist Bus Loop where for 10AUD you can go to Canberra’s main attractions such as the War Memorial, National Convention Centre, Acton Park and Regatta Point, Parliament House, National Museum, ACTATSI Cultural Centre, National Zoo and Aquarium, Arboretum, and Botanic Gardens. We cannot complete all in a day, thus just chose 5 spots to visit among them.
2.) Meet Eugene Holzafel at the War Memorial
First in our itinerary is the War Memorial. I had the chance to chat with octogenarian group of ladies whose husbands have been war veterans while waiting for the tourist loop bus. I also met Eugene Holzafel, the most famous person in the War Memorial, who toured us around with his high-tech wheelchair. He is a very good story teller and some of the audience even had their tears out because of some sad stories about the wars Australians have participated.
3.) Parliament House
Before 11:58am, we have to be at the bus stop near War Memorial for our next itinerary. If you will find difficulty following the schedules of the tourist bus loop, I suggest you just rent a car. In my case, since renting a car is a bit costly, I just opted to cut my time and adjust to the schedule of the tourist loop. We did not get off the bus stop at the Parliament House but just took a shot of it. We did not have much time if we will tour its inside. But at least, we saw it once in our lifetime! (We will certainly be back though)
4.) National Zoo & Aquarium
We also did not get off but just took a shot of it. We would love to see Kangaroos and Koalas but we are not ready to pay around 20AUD and then not savor the time to roam around the zoo. We only have less than 24 hours here in Canberra. So, off we go to our next itinerary.
5.) Australian National Botanic Gardens
Here, we get off the bus stop and decided to spend around 30 minutes to one hour. We thought we would see flowers such as tulips. Unfortunately, we did not see any flowers but trees in a rainforest setting. If you are not a botanist, nature lover, or if you are already from a tropical country like me (the Philippines!), it would be best that you skip the Australian National Botanic Gardens. I am already used to see rainforests in my country so I will skip this stop next time we come back to Canberra.
6) Autralian National University
From the Australian National Botanic Gardens, we just walked 10 minutes to reach the Australian National University. (The next scheduled arrival of the Tourist Bus Loop is at 2:17pm. We still wanted to eat lunch before we ride the Bus to Sydney at 4pm. So we walked but enjoyed the scenery.) We saw a lot of rich kids driving their maserati, intelligent students enjoying their books and coffee, professors jogging, and trees! Australian National Uiversity is one of the top universities in the world and it is such an achievement to visit such big campus. Callum (the receptionist from Canberra City YHA) advised us that if we exited from that campus, we will reach back Canberra City YHA (so we did that). We nearly got lost but is is such a wonderful experience!
7.) Ride Murrays Bus to Sydney!
After getting our luggages from the Canberra City YHA, we had lunch at the Two Sisters Restaurant serving Thai and Lao food. There are not much people in the restaurant and we enjoyed the food so much (It was our first time to try Lao food!). The restaurant is very much near to the Canberra Centre where the Murrays Bus Terminal is located. I suggest you book your bus tickets in advance. Callum from Canberra City YHA assisted us on the booking, and informed us that once you are a YHA guest, you are always entitled to discounts such as the Bus fare discount to Sydney!
For 3 hours and a half, we did not get bored on Australia’s countryside scenery. We loved seeing sheep! Sheep are not native to my country. We only see those on foreign movies. Thus, we are very happy to see unlimited number of sheep before we hit another wonderful city, Sydney!
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