Canberra’s had a spate of new hotels opening over the past couple of years, but Jamala Wildlife Lodge certainly has the wildest neighbours. The luxury hotel is situated in the National Zoo & Aquarium. Your adventure starts with a quick tour of the leafy seven-acre site that is home to tigers, meerkats, and tree kangaroos, amongst others.Then comes the main event: the bedroom. Or, to be more specific, just outside it. In uShaka Lodge, your companions on the other side of the glass can include ring-tailed lemurs or hyenas, while guests in the nearby Giraffe Treehouses feed a resident giraffe (nicknamed Hummer) from their balconies. Upping the adventure stakes, if you book into a Jungle Bungalow your neighbour will be either a big cat or a bear. Your animal companion is a surprise until arrival, and most leave happy as each enclosure has a collection of windows looking onto the animal in question.
There’s nothing like a capital city for world class museums, architecture and galleries. But Canberra’s charms go beyond monuments and institutions. From a local creative scene that’s unfurling with increasing speed to businesses taking full advantage of Canberra’s space and scenery.