When you think of Canberra, what comes to mind? The first images might be Parliament House and the National Library, but there's so much more on offer in the nation's capital.
If you're one of the more than two million domestic visitors to Canberra this year, or even part of the group of more than 170,000 international guests, take a look at some of the following hidden gems you can explore during your stay.
Beaver Galleries was established in 1975, and stands as the largest privately-owned gallery in Canberra. It has a strong local and national program, with an impressive international presence that involves promoting local artists overseas. Visit to enjoy four separate gallery spaces with both displays and exhibitions, a sculpture garden, licensed cafe and gallery shop.
Hot Air Balloon over Mt Ainslie
Take to the skies to look out over this spectacular city with a hot air balloon ride. Balloons regularly take flight in Canberra, making it one of the only places in the world where this happens frequently. Get a bird's eye view of the city's unique architecture and indulge in a champagne celebration and gourmet breakfast to top it all off.
The First World War Collection at the War Memorial
See the boot of famous German pilot Baron Manfred von Richthofen ('The Red Baron') in the Australian War Memorial's First World War Collection. Take in the Gallipoli gallery, which features original diaries, letters and photographs, and take in the 'Man in the mud' diorama that highlights the Western Front during this time.
The National Arboretum Canberra
Be one of the first in the world to enjoy the National Arboretum Canberra, which has only been open since February 2013. It aims to be one of the world's best arboreta, consisting of natural beauty and scientific value.
Explore 94 forests of trees from around Australia and the rest of the world, with more than 48,000 trees throughout the arboretum.
Mount Majura Vineyard
Indulge in a glass or two of premium wine at Mount Majura Vineyard, located on the stunning eastern slopes of Mount Majura where kangaroos roam freely. Visit the cellar door to taste some of the character-filled single vineyard wines.
Where to stay
Stick close to all the action at the newly-refurbished Mantra on Northbourne, located just a block away from Canberra's CBD. Stay in a hotel room or one- or two-bedroom apartment, and take advantage of the heated indoor pool.
Breakfree Capital Tower and Peppers Gallery Hotel are also nearby and provide several fantastic accommodation options. BreakFree Capital Tower is located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin and has panoramic views across the Parliamentary Triangle, and boasts a fully-equipped gum, squash court and tennis courts for the whole family to enjoy.
Peppers Gallery Hotel offers boutique touches such as rain showers, marble finishes and original art. Stay in one of 80 exquisitely appointed hotel rooms and apartments with a sculpture garden setting near Lake Burley Griffin.
http://tourism.act.gov.au/images/documents/research/ivs/IVS Results - Mar 14.pdf