Canberra: Welcoming politicians and pooches

Kristine Tarbert

With a gorgeous spring weekend on the horizon we decided to escape the daily grind and head off to the nation's capital for a quick weekend trip.

No longer soley seen as a meeting point for the country's politicians, Canberra's abundance of green spaces made us wonder if we could make the trip with our fur-baby in tow.

And so we set out on the three-hour drive from Sydney with Cattle Dog Benny and found a host of places both politicians and pooches are more than welcome.

We went on a weekend trip to Canberra with the dog. Photo: Getty

Here are our tips for a quick ACT getaway.

Mercure Hotel

Stay at the Pet-friendly Mercure Hotel Canberra. Photo: Mercure

At Mercure Canberra both guests and their pets can feel welcome, with pet friendly guest rooms designed to make pampered pets and their owners feel at home.

The hotel has a number of pet rooms where they provide bedding, food, a bowl, and even a toy your pet can take home. The rooms also have an eclosed courtyard perfect for letting your fur-baby stretch it's legs. But provided they remain on a lead they are also allowed into the hotel gardens.

The hotel provided bedding, food, a bowl and a toy for Benny. Photo: Be

Benny loved staying at Mercure, although he did make himself comfortable on the big bed.

The hotel also features two dining spaces where dogs are welcome to relax as their owners enjoy a delicious meal - inside by the fireplace or on the outdoor terrace overlooking the hotel’s extensive gardens.

Because it was still chilly outside we enjoyed a delicious meal inside by the fireplace. And most guests were thrilled to see the puppy dog behaving at our feet while we enjoyed our dinner - Even Benny got a treat to chew on.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner - Loin of Lamb - and dessert - warm chocolate fondant. Photo: Be

The Pampered Pets package is not just open to dogs, with the hotel having hosted a range of different pets to date including cats, birds, rabbits and lizards!

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Lerida Estate Winery

Lerida Estate is a great put stop on the way to Canberra from Sydney. Photo: Be

This Winery is the perfect place to make a pit stop on your way to the capital. Located alongside the gorgeous Lake George, near Collector, you can sit indoors or outdoors at the cafe and enjoy the most stunning views of the region.

Lerida Estate Wines is a premium producer of wine in the Canberra District producing high quality Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and other delicious bottles of bubbly.

Lunch was delicious and even Benny got a treat. Photo: Be

We enjoyed lunch in the sun and Benny was allowed to join us at the outdoor table and was even treated to a Pet cupcake. We'd definitely recommend the Cheeseburger Sliders. And if you're a sweettooth like us the Pink Moscato was delicious and their Amara a blend of Viognier/Pinot Gris/Chardonnay.

A walk around Lake Burley Griffin is perfect pet exercise. Photo: Be

Lake Burley Griffin
No trip to Canberra is complete without a stroll along Lake Burely Griffin - a huge artificial lake in the centre of Canberra. Of course there is no better place to take your dog for a walk to tire them out.

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Sunsets by the lake. Photo: Be

The walk at sunset was spectacular, just beware of the rabbits and the bike riders, they're everywhere.

Yarramalla dog park
If walking is not your pets thing then a visit to Yarramalla dog park is the best way to get in some great exercise and play time. The park is about five minutes from the centre of town, the State Circle, and right by the lake as well.

Surrounded by tall trees and separated into fenced areas for smaller and larger dogs it's a great park.

Lunch at Farmers Daughter café
Close to the dog park is the Farmers Daughter cafe, a great place to stop for lunch because you can sit outside with your pooch and the lovely staff will bring out a doggie bowl for what will likely be a very thirsty dog after all that exercise.

Farmers Daughter cafe provide doggie bowls. Photo: Be

The cafe offers great coffee and brunch classics served and hip sewing machine tables. We enjoyed the chicken sandwich - toasted of course. And if you like your bacon crispy, this might be the place to visit. Best bacon we've ever had!

Dessert at Patissez
If you're not rolling back to the hotel just yet and keen for one last treat, no visit to Canberra is complete without a stop at the original home of the FreakShake. Situated in the suburb of Griffith this is where you will get your sugar hit. And you pup won't have to wait in the car as there is plenty of outdoor seating and staff are super accommodating. We tried the classic Pretzella shake and it was devine.

Home of the Freakshakes Patissez in Canberra. Photo: Be

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