From Wine Tasting To Wildlife Experiences, Anshula Kapoor Talks About Her First Solo Trip, Visiting Canberra- The Capital Of Australia

Truly, she is in love with Canberra in a way she never thought possible.

by Tejashee Kashyap
From Wine Tasting To Wildlife Experiences, Anshula Kapoor Talks About Her First Solo Trip, Visiting Canberra- The Capital Of Australia

Anshula Kapoor had always been drawn to the allure of travel, but her first-ever experience in Australia exceeded all expectations. Strolling through the picturesque streets of the country’s capital city, Canberra, Anshula was captivated by the seamless blend of modernity and natural beauty. She found herself marvelling at the architectural beauty, delving into the city’s rich tapestry of museums and galleries, cafes, food scene and wildlife. Truly, she is in love with Canberra in a way she never thought possible.

“The city has everything a large city like New York or London would offer you but at a more relaxed pace. You really can stop, take a breath, and just enjoy the day. There is no rush!” Anshula expresses. Upon her arrival, she wasted no time exploring the beauty of Canberra. We caught up with the entrepreneur to delve into her unforgettable experiences and how she carries with her the enduring spirit of Canberra:

1. As your first trip to Canberra, Australia, what motivated you to explore this particular destination?

I’ve always been interested in learning about culture and political history. For my first trip down under, Canberra was the perfect choice. Since it is home to the best museums and galleries, the Australian Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial the National Gallery of Australia etc., I got a lovely understanding.

2.  Jamala Wildlife Lodge at the National Zoo & Aquarium offers a distinctive experience with its immersive wildlife encounters. Could you describe your wildlife experience there?

Unlike other zoos, the National Zoo in Canberra emphasises conservation and animal welfare, and they aim to minimise stress on the animals as much as they possibly can. The animals are well cared for, with lots of space, and every zookeeper I interacted with was extremely passionate about every single animal, they even knew the names of the animals, all of them. A lot of their animals are also rescued from across the world, and most were born in captivity, so being in the National Zoo in Canberra, they are living a better life in terms of being looked after.

My favourite part was that the zookeepers and tour guides focused more on educating us on the animal’s history, current conservation or extinction threats, mitigating those. etc. The animals I interacted with were extremely well-fed and looked after, they were not being forced into areas or into interacting with humans. Or even to breed for that matter. 

The zookeepers are respectful of the animals. I noticed this even during my cheetah encounter, all of these happen owing to the comfort of the animal. I loved that the animals were not sedated or forced into meeting with humans. I had the opportunity to pet a cheetah named Asani, but the minute he was startled by an external noise, we moved away and gave him his space. He lay back down and started purring within minutes, but the zookeepers were always mindful of him and his needs. I seldom find this much care anywhere else. Most places prioritise the human experience over the animal. Not in Canberra. 

3. What were some of the most memorable moments from your stay at Jamala?

My selfie with an Ostrich! Being able to stay in a room in the cheetah enclosure, and see my first wallaby, zebras and giraffes in person! Feeding celery and carrots to the deer in their enclosure! But just being able to watch the cheetahs in their home interacting with each other, literally from my room, had to be the highlight. I could have just stayed there watching them for hours! 

4. Moving on to your hot air balloon ride, what were your initial thoughts as you ascended above Canberra’s landscapes?

The hot air balloon ride experience is going to stay with me for life! Core memory for sure! Again, a first for me and something major that I’ve checked off my bucket list. Going in, I didn’t know what to expect from the actual ride, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so smooth! It’s like you’re gliding in the air, no bumps, nothing! The safety briefing as well as the nuggets of trivia the Balloon Aloft folks shared with us pre-flight helped me feel at ease. My first thought once I was in the basket was “Anshula, you better not get scared or drop your phone to the ground” – but I really didn’t have to worry! The thrill and excitement of being in the air in a balloon, as well as the experience of our pilot, just made sure that it was all smooth sailing! 

5. Did you have any favourite spots or landmarks you visited during your time in Canberra, apart from the well-known attractions?

I loved being able to visit the Parliament House and get an up-close look at the political history as well as visit the actual Senate & the House of Representatives. Space Kitchen and Akiba were my two standout restaurants for the food, vibe and desserts. They are definitely on my list of places to revisit when I’m back in Canberra. I would also very much recommend venturing into wine country since it’s such an easy drive from the city. And where else can you experience a glass-blowing workshop that lets you make your own creation to take home? Jamala Wildlife Lodge is another incredible experience, especially if you can stay in a Jungle Bungalow or Giraffe Treehouse. Strolling around the Braddon Precinct, discovering cool local stores like Pop Canberra and even discovering the amazing cafes in the neighbourhood was a highlight for me as well. And how can I forget the Alpaca Farm just outside the city in the wine region! 

6. What surprised you the most about Canberra’s culinary scene? Any standout dishes or restaurants you’d recommend to fellow travellers?

The diversity of cuisines in the restaurants and cafes across the city did surprise me in the best way. Every establishment had incredible food, coffee, ambience, and desserts! A fun fact I learnt while in Australia – they call most baked goods (like pain au chocolat or a Lamington for example) pastries! For us, pastries are just slices of cake. So, this cute fact was endearing to know. I think one of my favourite things to do was venture into a bakery for a mid-morning coffee & pastry “pick me up”! Silo was such a good bakery that we went to for a quick bite!


My standout dishes are a very long list! Everything we ordered at Akiba was top notch, that was maybe my best meal, but the Miso Eggplant and the Prawn Fried Rice with the Chilli Egg were the two standouts from the menu! The Bomb at Space Kitchen was perhaps my favourite dessert on the trip. The Pan Perdu & Sugar Snaps at Onzieme were incredible!! Even, the Lamington from Sonoma Bakery is worth mentioning.

7. 5 food spots Anshula would fly back to Canberra for?

-Space Kitchen



-Silo Bakery

-Sonoma Bakery

I had my first Lamington cake ever from Sonoma Bakery and it was exceptional! I don’t think any other Lamingtons will match up to it because the bar is really set high. 

8. Did you discover any unique wines or winemaking techniques during your trip that stood out to you?

At first, I was sceptical. I’m not much of a wine enthusiast, but you can only find a favourite with more wines you taste. Glad I kept an open mind to trying out different wines. My tour guide Laura from Van du Vin Tours taught me the entire step-by-step process of how to do a tasting – right from seeing the colour of the wine in the glass against a plain white surface, to sniffing it before you swirl, then swirling it and sniffing it again–and this is what blew my mind–just that simple swirl in the glass changed the aroma of the wine so much! I was blown away. Then comes the sipping and swirling of the wine in your mouth, and then you taste it! 

I loved learning this process. And that’s why, I fell in love with the 2023 Riesling & the 2022 Shiraz Viognier from Clonakilla wines!

9. Canberra Glassworks offers a different kind of artistic experience. What was your impression of this attraction, and how did it compare to other art venues you’ve visited?

Again, a first for me! This was also on my bucket list of experiences to do at least once in my life and I’m so glad I did it in the hot shop at Canberra Glassworks. They were so patient with me through the whole process, the safety precautions were top-notch. The entire process is incredibly awesome, but the actual blowing of the glass through the pipe is harder than it looks! I loved that I got to learn a new skill and take home a memento from my visit to Canberra! 

10. As a first-time visitor to Canberra, what advice would you give to someone planning their trip to the city?

Canberra has something for everyone. Based on what interests you, plan your itinerary accordingly. It is beautiful during Autumn, which is when I visited, with the changing leaves and the chill in the air. I loved being able to even get a bird’s eye view of the changing colours from the hot air balloon ride. But if you are someone who enjoys summer or spring more, keep that in mind when planning your trip as Canberra has a bit of chill in the air during fall and I hear, in winter too. Check out the museums, galleries, culinary experiences, bakeries, and restaurants in the Braddon Precinct. Moreover, it’s a haven for coffee lovers! Every café has its blend and beans from smaller producers. The coffee scene is top-notch.

All image credits: Visit Canberra

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