Canberra – Enlighten 2016

So we started our drive bright and early at 6:30am to arrive in Canberra at 9:30am. I was dropped off by Lake Burley Griffin to be more specific at Mr Spokes Bike Hire.

I hired a bike for 2 hours for $25 and set off East. I was on a mission to conquer at least half of the lake.

As it was supposed to be a stinking 35°c I decided to take the ride easy. As I past Robert Menzies I had my pace set and continued along the lake taking in our beautiful Capital City.


By the time I rode all the way to the airport I was a little confused and asked Google for help. Turns out I misread a sign and turned the wrong way.

Never fear when Google is near. I was back on track in no time riding through Jerrabomberra Wetlands and then the lovely Kingston.


As I got closer to the High Court I no longer had the track to myself. There were people everywhere, walking, cycling and on segways.

With a few quick stops for photos I was only gone an hour and a half and was happy for a drink and some food.

It was amazing to see how much room Canberra has to grow, not to mention the sun burnt countryside.

We then headed off to see the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia at the National Arboretum Canberra. Opened 9am to 4pm daily.


The Bonsai room had about 80 different trees on display and each were amazing in their own right.

Now you’re wondering where this place is? Well, it is where some fires were a couple of years back and it could be known as Stromlo Forest.

After the fire they have slowly been restoring the forest by planting 48,000 different trees in 94 different forest species. The trees are endangered or symbolic to Australia.


They have set up walking tracks in the soon to be forest and the views from the village centre over Canberra are amazing.

There was no cost to enter but the parking was $2 for an hour.

We had dinner at a little Italian restaurant called Mama’s Trattoria on West Row. It was very nice!

We then headed across the bridges to the Old Parliament House for Enlighten.

We enjoyed the live music outside Questacon where we waited for the light display to start. We were amazed at the displays on the National Library of Australia, Questacon, National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery of Australia and absolutely loved the Old Parliament House.


Due to rain we missed out on so many other lights and displays to see but there is always next year. Enlighten runs from 4 March 2016 to 12 March 2016. The buildings in the Parliament triangle are lit from 8pm to 10pm every night.

We drove and found plenty of parking behind the Old Parliament House. As we were leaving at 8:30pm there were cars still coming in and if they were patient would get a spot.

The best thing about events in Canberra is that they put on a free shuttle bus from the civic centre to the main venue.

On this visit to Canberra I was over the moon to have been able to partially complete one of my lifelong goals being riding around the lake.

Next year I would love to explore Enlighten more, so until next trip!

Check out more Canberra Adventures! 

Great Illawarra Walk


3 thoughts on “Canberra – Enlighten 2016

  1. Pingback: A day in Canberra – A Pal's Corner

  2. Pingback: Day 8 Christchurch – A Pal's Corner

  3. Pingback: A light show like no other – A Pal's Corner

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