House Sitting in Canberra
You'll find house sitting in Australia's center of power quite exhilarating amid many of the country's major social and cultural institutions. In Canberra, aside from Parliament House and the High Court, you have the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery, National Museum, National Library and the National Defence Force Academy among others.
But, Canberra is also where you'll find colonial villages, natural treasures like the Namadgi National Park, vineyards, gardens as well as picturesque fishing and camping grounds.
Namadgi National Park
A 45-minute drive from Canberra, Namadgi National Park in the Australian Alps takes up almost half of the Australian Capital Territory. It's a world of awesome sights and silent bushland with a rich Aboriginal heritage. Here, you can climb or scale granite rock outcrops, bike to the top of Mt. Coree, go trout fishing from crystal-clear streams and ski cross-country on winter slopes. Or, you can walk into the Bimberi forest and explore ancient Aboriginal stone arrangements, rock art and artifacts. You'll run into kangaroos and wallabies, corroboree frogs, the broad-tooth rat and many other species unique to Australia.
Home-grown Shopping and Weekend Markets
Canberra is a great place to shop for things Australian. There are stalls, boutiques and markets that sell regional handicrafts and local food and wine. Discover Australian-themed toys, handcrafted jewelry, kitchenware, rugs, clothes, furniture and artwork. Every Sunday, the Old Bus Depot Markets along Kingston Foreshore has over 200 stalls with all types of wares, food and wine, with busking musicians to entertain you while you snack. On Saturdays, at the Gorman House Markets in Braddon, you'll find heirlooms, used books, houseware, fashion items and international foods in the middle of beauty salons and restaurants. Walk along Lonsdale Street and discover quirky gift shops and hip fashion boutiques.
A year in Canberra is one festival after another. In Autumn, there's the Canberra Balloon Festival with nine days of colorful hot-air balloons rising from the lawns of Parliament House. Spring brings with it the Floriade, 30 days of colorful blooms amid green spaces and native gardens. The floral exhibits on Commonwealth Park are held amid bustling market stalls, workshops, concerts and exhibitions. The Fireside Festival is the high point of Winter. It's a month-long celebration with food, wine and performances to keep you warm.