Canberra’s local tourists

Tourist information centres aren’t just for tourists, they’re great for locals too, and the one in Canberra is a particularly useful resource, especially if you’re new to town and don’t quite know what’s on offer.

We discovered Canberra’s tourist information centre by accident when we were on a research trip to the city a couple of years ago. We left laden with enough reading material to give us cause to check our baggage allowances, and nearly all of it came in handy as we planned our permanent move. In fact, most of the brochures that appear in the CBRbound header came from that impromptu visit.

Now, as fully-fledged Canberra residents, we still make regular trips to the office, which is just north of the city centre, on Northbourne Avenue.

In our first few weeks, it equipped us with bus maps and timetables, information on where to walk Mr Pup, as well as all of the coming attractions. As a direct result, we’ve seen museum exhibitions, concerts, theatre shows, sporting events and many other things that we possibly wouldn’t have known about without the availability and guidance of the tourist office.

Yesterday’s return visit was a case in point. We learnt that there will be a grand Easter egg hunt at Old Parliament House, a wine harvest festival, showcasing 20 local vineyards, while Canberra Theatre will be welcoming Cirque du Soleil, and Ruby Wax, which got Mrs CBRbound all excited. And that’s to say nothing of the short courses on offer at the city’s various universities, or the music at the National Folk Festival, the International Music Festival, or the Groovin the Moo festival, which is more my cup of tea.

The kids came away happy because they got free Canberra Raiders posters, and because we were on our way to see a production of Mary Poppins, which we found out about the last time we dropped in.

With Nanny-CBRbound about to become our first overseas visitor, we came away with plenty of Canberra highlights to dazzle her with, plus (shhh, whisper it quietly) a guide to what’s on in Sydney while she’s here.

We still feel like tourists in our own town, but the tourist information centre feels as much of a resource for locals as it does for out-of-towners. We’ll be back to top up our list of things to do in a few months time. In the meantime, if this list of Canberra’s autumn events doesn’t make you want to come here, nothing will.

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