With Canberra celebrating its centenary this year – it has now been 100 years since the city was named – the nation’s capital has been showcasing its culture with a variety of new attractions and exhibitions designed to lure tourists. If you’re planning to visit Canberra in the next six months for a holiday, for work, or to see family and friends, fit in some time to attend some of the latest events in the city. From the new 250-hectare National Arboretum to the opening of the National Gallery of Australia’s Peruvian art exhibition or the National Multicultural Festival held each February, there are various options available to suit any culture buff’s taste. Read on for details of five of the best new events to attend in Canberra over the coming months.
If you’re ready to find a hotel in Canberra and want to enjoy an educational activity unlike anything else in the country, you can’t go past the National Arboretum, the city’s newest attraction. A living museum set on a 250-hectare site, the Arboretum provides tourists with a unique visitor experience. The facility includes 100 forests of native Australian plants and trees as well as many rare and endangered species. Visitors to the site can enjoy guided or self-guided tours, plus interactive displays, sculptures, an on-site café and shop, and a picnic overlooking amazing views of Canberra. The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia is also housed at the facility, featuring some of the best miniature tress and forests from around the world. Children will also be entertained at the National Arboretum, which houses a fun Pod Playground with acorn-themed cubby houses, rope tunnels, nest swings and climbing nets.
National Library of Australia’s “Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia” Exhibition
Open from 7 Nov. 2013 to 10 March 2014, the new “Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia” exhibition at the National Library of Australia features over 100 atlases, maps, globes and scientific instruments. The items have been sourced from the library’s collections as well as lenders in Australia, plus overseas providers such as the British Library, the Vatican Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to see priceless and rare cartographic treasures from all over the planet. The exhibition includes highlights such as the Boke of Idrography that was presented to Henry VIII, a detailed world map by Andreas Walsperger, a Benedictine monk and some original manuscript charts by navigators such as James Cook and Matthew Flinders.
Parliament House’s ‘25 Treasures From the Parliament House Art Collection” Exhibition
Art lovers shouldn’t miss the “25 Treasures from the Parliament House Art Collection” exhibition that’s now on. Put together as a way of celebrating the 25th anniversary of Parliament House, the exhibition includes 25 pieces created by some of the country’s most celebrated artists and runs until 16 Feb. 2014. Featured artists include Arthur Boy, Sidney Nolan, Rover Thomas, Gloria Tamerre Petyarre and Grace Cossington Smith. Tourists can work their way around the building to admire the various artwork, and children can also enjoy a specially designed art trail called the 25 Treasures Hunt.
National Gallery of Australia’s “Gold and the Incas: Lost Worlds of Peru” Exhibition
Opening on 6 Dec. 2013 and running until 21 April 2014, the upcoming “Gold and the Incas: Lost Worlds of Peru” exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia is sure to be a hit with locals and tourists alike. The first-ever exhibition of Peruvian art staged in Australia, the international exhibition is exclusive to Canberra and will showcase the artefacts of the ancient, pre-Hispanic Peruvian cultures. Visitors will see more than 200 objects from this important collection, including gold pieces handmade for nobility, fancy embroidered and woven cloths, detailed ceramic sculptures and intricate jewellery.
National Multicultural Festival
In the New Year, visitors to Canberra can enjoy a variety of events at the National Multicultural Festival, running from 7 Feb. until 9 Feb. 2014 in the city centre. Tourists can have fun celebrating multiculturalism by eating, drinking, dancing and laughing their way around the world as they watch performances. The festival will feature many food and wine stalls with international cuisine, street parties, performance art, comedy acts, live music, circus performers and information stands.
About the Author: Kate Matthews is an art blogger who loves to explore Australia’s finest galleries and other cultural exhibitions.