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14 Things That Prove Canberra Is Cooler Than You Think

It's time we gave the capital more credit.

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Canberra has just been ranked third in the top cities section in Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel 2018" list . Here's just a few reasons why...

1. Segway Tours

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I know what you're thinking, but hear me out. Segways have recently been made legal to ride around the many paths and walkways of Canberra, and honestly it's a fantastic way to see the city. It only takes a few minutes to get your balance and your bearings, and then riding them is a breeze. Your tour guide is alway close by to help, and I assure you it beats WALKING!

2. Hot Air Ballooning

Balloon Aloft Canberra

OK, so this is a little more luxe and pricey than the other activites, but you will not be disappointed. Weather permitting, this is by far the best way to take in the sights of Canberra, and don't stress if you fear heights, because the ride is so smooth you'll feel like you're floating on air. The sun rising over the surrounding ranges and reflecting onto Lake Burley Griffin is just beautiful. I promise the exhaustion of waking up so early to be there quickly dissolves. Plus, a glass of champers at the end isn't all bad.

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3. Breweries

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Craft beers and microbreweries seem to be all the rage atm, and Canberra is no exception. Tours like Dave's Brewery Tours take you to some of the city's best (including a gin distillery). If you're a beer-lover than you're going to wet yourself learning about grains and hops, while not only seeing the beer being brewed, but sampling it too! The biggest surprise is the Wig & Pen Tavern & Brewery located in the middle of ANU! Lucky students.

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4. Wineries

Facebook: Clonakilla

OK, so if beer is not your thing, no worries. Canberra is surrounded by some of the country's best wineries. An easy half-hour drive out of the city and you'll find Clonakilla, home to one of Australia's most awarded wines – The Shiraz Viognier. You may also want to sample some drops at the newish Yarrah Wines or the boutique Dionysus Winery.

5. The Hamlet

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Are you a foodie? Then you're gonna love The Hamlet. This urban village is full of great food trucks and market stalls. It's currently located in Londsdale Street in Braddon, but is set to relocate in the coming months. Either way, it's the perfect place to have a wander and indulge a little bit. 😉

6. Coffee culture

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Hey Melbourne, sit down... Canberra has got this. If you want to sample some of the best coffee the city has to offer, head to The Cupping Room. Head barista Isaac takes his coffee very seriously through the technique of cupping. Don't be rude! Cupping is how roasters and growers judge coffee, and I guarantee you'll have a greater appreciation sipping your next latte! Also, check out the Lonsdale Street Roasters and Barrio Collective while you're in town.

7. The Glassworks

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If you're thinking that the Canberra Glassworks is just a place that's full of displays of glass ornaments, then you're kind of right. But there is more to it. Sign up for the weekend class where you can make your own souvenir. The process takes about half-an-hour and is fully supervised. It's completely hands on and watching small shards of glass transform into a beautiful ornament is like something out of Hogwarts.

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8. Brodburger

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You really haven't lived until you've had a burger from Brodburger. It's a Canberra institution that now boasts three locations across the capital. But be prepared, because these babies are big, and are best washed down with a serving of onion rings! Yes, I will go on the record and say it's Australia's best burger.

9. National Parks

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I mean, take your pick. Canberra is surrounded by beautiful ranges and national parks, so you don't have to travel far to find yourself completely immersed in the serenity of the Aussie bush. Whether it's kangaroo spotting in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve or hiking in the Namadgi National Park... there's something for everyone.

10. Paddle boarding

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Stand-up paddle boarding isn't just reserved for the beaches and harbours. In fact, there is no better place for beginners to find their feet than the quiet waterways of Canberra. Pristine spots like the Molonglo River are the perfect place to relax, take your time, and hone this craft.

11. Festivals and events

Graham Denholm / Getty Images

The calendar for Canberra is jam-packed tbh. What are you looking for? The night noodle markets in March? Perhaps the magnificent colours of Floriade in September? Or do you wanna dance to the silent disco at Oktoberfest? I've literally just listed the tip of the iceberg, so make sure you check out what's happening around your next visit.

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12. Bicycle-friendly

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Canberra is a bicycle-friendly city. And because riding on the footpath is still legal here, there's no fear of riding in amongst traffic. The city is relatively flat so it's honestly the best way to get around. Do it as part of a specially guided tour and learn the secrets of the city. Hot tip: book a twilight tour and make sure to stop by the war memorial for the daily playing of the last post. Seeing and hearing it is something truly special.

13. Freakshakes

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Sure, the whole over-the-top, fit what you can on top of milkshakes have been around for a couple of years now... but the Freakshakes at Patissez is where it all began. With a few new flavours and a couple of ~healthier~ additions to the menu, they're not to be missed! Take it from me!

14. Symbolism

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Canberra is a planned city and, man, is it planned well. It's full of so much symbolism it's hard to list it all here, but here's one example: the Australian Of The Year plaques along Lake Burley Griffin look a little off center at first, but on closer inspection you'll see that they sit on a staff and represent musical notes. If you were to play them in order, you would hear "Advance Australia Fair".

Travel was provided by Tourism Australia. BuzzFeed writers do not guarantee coverage.