There is always plenty to see and do when visiting Canberra. The week with Canberra Day in it, held on the second Monday of March each year, is extra special as there are many events on celebrating the naming ceremony of our national capital.
Last year we visited Canberra during Festival Week with two aims – one to check out the new National Arboretum, with the second and main aim to see the hot-air balloons take off.
The ballooners are early starters so that meant staying close to where they were taking off, scheduled for the lawns of Old Parliament House at around 6:00am. Wouldn’t you know it – not enough wind, so the take-off area was shifted to next to the lake across from the entry to the Arboretum. Just as well we had visited the previous afternoon so we knew where to go – but we still got lost going around circles in Yarralumla!
We turned up just as the first balloons were starting to inflate.
The overseas stars of the show last year were Yoda and Angry Bird. They arrived a bit later than the locals, as no doubt they had trouble with Canberra roads too! But they were soon firing up with the rest.
Our first reaction when we arrived was ‘Wow!’ due to the size and colour of the balloons. It brought smiles to our faces that didn’t leave until we had seen off all the balloons – just a fabulous experience watching them get going; maybe next time a trip in one of them should be on the agenda!
By the way, a visit to the Arboretum is recommended, even though the trees are at an early stage. It’ll be great to call back in over the years to see developments. And the bonsai pavilion is terrific, as is the coffee and views at what they are calling the Village Centre.
This year, 2016, the Canberra Festival week really gets underway on 12 March, with the public holiday on Monday, 14 March. A good link for more information is http://balloonspectacular.com.au , which has a ‘Tips for Spectators’ page.