Canberra is known for being the central spot for all things educational, not to mention its close proximity to some of the best wineries around. We’ve put together some of the best road trips around the ACT.
1. Canberra museum road trip, ACT
The most culturally enriching road trip on offer in Australia is one that takes you around our very own capital city, laden as it is with world-class museums and galleries that are all easily accessed via its wide, uncongested roads.
National Gallery of Australia & National Portrait Gallery
Start at the National Gallery of Australia on Parkes Place for a roam around rooms filled with everything from abstract masterworks to the affecting Aboriginal Memorial at its entrance (the National Portrait Gallery is a three-minute walk from the NGA so leave the car where it is for this).
National Museum of Australia
Next, head to the National Museum of Australia (six minutes’ drive along Parkes Way) to wonder at Cadel Evans’ bike, the 1866 Melbourne Cup and civil rights campaigner Faith Bandler’s gloves among (lots of) other things.
The CSIRO Discovery Centre & National Dinosaur Museum
The CSIRO Discovery Centre is a five-minute drive from the museum via Clunies Ross Street, with an extra shot of science served up at the National Dinosaur Museum, 14 minutes away in Gold Creek Village.
Australian War Memorial
After that, it’s 18 minutes to get to the Australian War Memorial (via Barton Highway). And if you can squeeze it in, Calthorpes’ House in Red Hill (off Mugga Way) is a hidden gem: a historic house that recreates 1920s life with the Calthorpe family.
2. Canberra’s cold climate wine region, ACT
Spending even the briefest time exploring the area that stretches between Yass and the ACT will instantly make you understand why there is an “it’s mine, no it’s mine” debate about which region can rightfully lay claim to it: technically it is part of NSW’s Southern Tablelands, but the whole area is also affectionately claimed by Canberra. The reason? Because it’s a picturesque, productive cold-climate wine region, with a burgeoning gourmet foodie scene bubbling along nicely in the background.
The shining gem of the region is Murrumbateman, which is best explored on two wheels and pedal power (the sleek, accommodating Abode Murrumbateman has bikes for guests to borrow), cruising between cellar doors at Clonakilla, Shaw Wines, Helm Wines and The Vintner’s Daughter. Fill your basket with a few top drops and grab the fixings for a perfect picnic: treats from Robyn Rowe Chocolates, fresh produce from Murrumbateman Village Market (every second Sunday) and a sourdough loaf or a sausage roll at Clementine Bakery in Yass.
50 kilometres from Yass to Gundaroo.