7 Heritage Festival events that take you on a journey of Canberra’s history

Posted 4 Apr 2019

Story by CBR Canberra

Think ‘heritage’ is something old and dusty that you only find in a museum? Think again.

As part of the Canberra Heritage Festival (13 April – 4 May) over 200 diverse events will take place across the Canberra region. These events will take you on a journey from the first galaxies of space through to modern Canberra culture. We’ve curated a selection of our favourite events.

Take a step back into the 50s at the Modernist Market or stop and smell the roses at the National Rose Gardens which were first created in the 1920s. Connect with thousands of years of culture at an Aboriginal bush painting class or learn about the scale of the universe through art at Namadgi National Park. Celebrate modern classics like Canberra’s iconic bus shelters or the ever popular Stars Wars. 

  1. Be captivated by a million stars at Namadgi

Nature never fails to inspire us, and never is this truer than when surrounded by a million stars. Award-winning photographer Ari Rex will have an exhibition (13 April – 5 May) of his nightscape images at the Namadgi Visitors Centre. Pair your trip to the Visitors Centre with a hike through the Namadgi National Park. Be inspired to join a Milky Way photography workshop and help set a record for the most people snapping this impressive galaxy at once.

  1. Stop and smell the roses at Old Parliament House

No trip to Old Parliament House is complete without a stroll through the National Rose Gardens. Join the green-thumbed gardeners who cultivate these gardens for a behind-the-scenes look (18 April) at the love and care that goes into each bloom. Participants will learn valuable pruning techniques during this practical session.

  1. Get creative with Aboriginal bush painting for kids

Learn the art of Aboriginal bush painting with Githabul woman Kristi Lee. The lesson (15 April) stars with a short adventure through Jerrabomberra Wetlands to collect your paintbrushes and learn about the area before you create your very own masterpiece to take home. This art experience is suitable for those aged 5-15.

  1. Step back in time at the Modernist Market

Do you love all things mid-century? Then the Modernist Market (14 April) is the place for you. Expect foodie fun, entertainment and stalls of clothing, jewellery, home-wares, furniture, books, records and more.  Discover your inner pinup with the Miss Cherry Bomb best dressed competition or enjoy a vintage car show.

  1. Discover Canberra’s iconic bus stops

Canberra is famous for its iconic bus shelters and artist Trevor Dickinson is equally famous for his comical take on them. Filled with character and art, bus around these icons with Trevor and mystery guests. We hear there will be surprise activities along the way and a chance to take home a momento of the event!

  1. Go boat spotting on Lake Burley Griffin

Classic boats will sail across Lake Burley Griffin as they journey from Lotus Bay to Commonwealth Place to Kingston Foreshore. Admire the shining brass and varnish, and listen to the sound of steam whistles.  Talk to the skippers who have built or restored their classic boats at this Traditional Boat Cruise (14 April).

  1. May the 4th be with you at the National Carillon

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away, carillonists discovered their love of the music from Star Wars. The Force will be with them when they once again present a concert at the National Carillon (4 May) to celebrate these blockbuster films. There is something magical about the National Carillon – and it almost makes you believe that lightsabers and spacescrapers exist.

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