The ideal getaway destination, Canberra offers a wide diversity of attractions and scenery.
Australia's capital is often thought of as structured and predictable, but further out from the city you will be pleasantly surprised by the mountainous scenery and winding country roads leading you to some of Australia's premium wineries, ski fields, beaches and historic villages. All you need to do is jump into a hire car and drive you and your family there.
There is a completely different experience based on which direction you take. All seasons are experienced in this region, with hot and dry summers, cold winters, wet springs and dry autumns. However, any time is a good time to enjoy the best the entire region has to offer. Come prepared with warm clothing and or sunscreen depending on which time of year you choose to travel.
There are many camping grounds throughout the surrounding district. Closer to the city, the Capital Country Holiday Village is a fantastic base to venture further, and can be found just off the Federal Highway at Queanbeyan. Once again, it is a good idea to research before you leave and plan a route marking possible caravan parks if you do want to explore a lot further from the city.
Lake George can be reach by the Federal Highway north east from the city. Being the largest freshwater lake in Australia, there is a lot of natural beauty and places to set up camp and relax. Some of the region's most well known wineries are also found here such as Madew Wines, featuring a popular restaurant and panoramic views across the lake.
Yass is a picturesque town lined with art galleries, coffee shops and surrounded by country that beckons to be driven through slowly, enjoying the peaceful, winding roads. Young is further on, and then Goulburn and the southern highlands. Bush walking, golf and fly fishing are some of the highlights this region has to offer.
Head to Murrumbateman, a town as unique as its name. With plenty of restaurants that fill up quickly, it is a central place to visit for locals and tourists alike. The winery and art gallery are worth visiting, and there are a number of great spots to pull over for a picnic and wander.
Visit Hall and you will be in for a treat. Located west of the Barton Highway and not far from the capital city, the adjoining Brindabella Ranges seem to go on and on. There are bush walks and scenic drives that capture the heart of this incredible national park. Bungendore is also a great village to check out, with a wood works gallery and plenty of interesting shops, and then you can hop into your car and head towards the south coast to visit the coastal towns, and watch the dolphins and whales along the coastline.
Mogo is definitely worth a look, with its amazing zoo and goldfields park. It is a central location to visit the rest of this beautiful area, which is located about two hours east from Canberra. Two hours south and you will end up in the Snowy Mountains, which is where many travellers head after visiting the capital city. There is so much to offer here amongst the snow capped peaks, with horse riding, fishing, bush walking and caving some of the well known activities. The drive through this mountainous region is breathtaking, but be careful in the colder months as the roads get slippery.
A driving holiday brings you the freedom to plan your own itinerary to make the most of your time away. As the region surrounding Canberra is so large, it is best to plan the distances between towns well to make the most of your travelling time. You can choose a holiday that suits your budget and flexibility, whether it is a few days visiting the abundant wineries or heading for the mountains, there is something here for everyone.
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Jenny Brewer is a travel agent whose passion is writing. For more of her articles visit Car Hire Australia