Skyfire and Enlighten Festival converge on the ideal weekend to visit Canberra in 2018

It’s looking like March will be the ideal time for Aussies and international visitors to head along to Canberra, which was recently – to a lot of shock and curiosity – named one of the world’s top ten cities to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet. Why? Well two our Canberra’s best events are on in March: the spectacular Skyfire and the increasingly popular Enlighten Festival, both converging on the weekend of March 16-18.

With the recent popularity of festivals that light up entire cities, Enlighten is in a good position to become one of the east coast’s most popular destination events, sticking out greatly on a yearly calendar that also includes the spectacular Floriade, National Folk Festival and the new Canberra Writers Festival. Plus, it’s a good way to highlight that our nation’s capital contains some of the country’s brightest creatives; a community which is taking the often unfairly portrayed city and making it much more exciting than its stereotypically political image would imply.

Perhaps it’s no surprise then that such an authoritative travel guide would pick Canberra as its highest ever listed Australian city, especially with just one look at how Enlighten transforms the national capital’s Parliamentary Triangle, turning the wide area into an energetic, open-minded and forward-thinking arts precinct framed by engaging projections on the city’s most iconic buildings.

2018’s edition of Enlighten will also see the festival stretch north of the lake and into the city, sending forth armies of four metre tall glowing jellyfish installations to brighten up areas like Garema Place, ANU and Petrie Plaza. And just to bring something interactive and playful to the installations, each jellyfish is covered in more than 1,000 microscopic lights that will react to human movement.

The vibrant festival will surely remind visitors of the much more renowned Vivid Sydney, spread through Canberra with the same creativity and energy that has made the harbour city’s multifaceted winter festival a globally recognised destination event.

Then you’ve got Skyfire on 17th March, a city institution featuring a fireworks spectacular set to music, flying high above the shores of Lake Burley Griffin’s central basin. As always, it’ll be preceded by free live entertainment at Regatta Point to bring the local community and visitors together.

For those planning the essential visit, the arts-minded East Hotel & Apartments in Kingston has done up a weekend getaway package for the nights of 16th and 17th March. An apartment for 2 adults and 2 children is going for $250 for one night, and $400 for the weekend. They’re also throwing in free parking, internet and two glasses of Beppo’s Blend (from local winery Ravensworth)at their on-site Joe’s Bar for the adults. For bookings head on over to their official website HERE.

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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