Yes, that headline is 100% real. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Canberra, the nation’s capital, just got named as one of the world’s top cities to visit; scoring a ranking on an annual list that not even Melbourne or Sydney has been able to attain.
Lonely Planet just released its annual Best in Travel list for 2018, and Canberra features at number three – not just in Asia or Oceania, but overall.
Canberra’s ranking in the list is the only Australian city to appear in this year’s top ten, and represents a ranking that exceeds the best prior efforts of Melbourne and Sydney. The last time an Australian city appeared on the list was in the 2016 iteration, with Fremantle scoring the seventh position. Prior to that, Adelaide came in at number 9 in 2014, Hobart scored seventh in 2013, and Darwin came in at tenth in 2012.
Other than the plethora of roundabouts and pubs with entirely affordable beer, the new guide noted Canberra’s surprisingly rich history and cultural highlights, singling out things like the region’s 140 vineyards with 30-odd cellar doors, or Bar Rochford which was named Australia’s Best Bar in the 2017 Gourmet Traveller Awards, or even the intimidating Patissez, creators of obscenely decadent and precariously balanced milkshakes.
The ACT’s Tourism Minister Andrew Barr called the ranking a “significant acknowledgement of the evolution of our city in the past few years” in a statement celebrating the city’s listing.
Canberra has a lot to offer tourists from around the world – we have Australia’s best national attractions, world-class food and wine and unprecedented access to some of the best natural settings Australia has to offer.
Lonely Planet’s Chris Zeiher, who authored the upcoming guide’s Canberra chapter, labelled the city a “hidden gem,” and particularly praised the plethora of family-friendly options, as well as the nearby natural wonders and host of nation-leading food and drink.
Canberra is a bit of a hidden gem that has been hiding in plain sight. Rich with history, culture and entertainment, it offers something for every kind of traveller.
Recent revitalisation efforts have given Canberra a new lease of life, establishing a truly contemporary and unique sense of style, with boutique precincts emerging throughout the city, bursting with cool bars, cafes and restaurants. With endless family-friendly and adventurous activities, opportunities to connect with nature or indulge in a range of gastronomic delights, along with a smorgasbord of cultural, artistic and sporting events, Canberra should be on everybody’s 2018 travel wish list.
Well there you bloody go, folks. Canberra. A travel destination the envy of the world.
Wonders never cease. Never, ever, ever.