Saturday, November 17, 2012


On a sunshiny Friday morning three weeks ago, my partner in crime and I packed our swag and flew down to Canberra to partake in Australian Capital Tourism’s ‘Human Brochure’ weekend. While Australia’s capital city is not synonymous with being an ideal tourist destination, the purpose of the campaign was to offer non-Canberra residents a fresh perspective of the city – one that debunked its cliché politics-parliament-poor weather image.

125 fortunate winners were divided into their chosen categories – food and drink, family fun, adventure and, our pick, art and culture. In return for being set up in luxe accommodation, excessively fed and watered and chauffeured to and from the city’s key attractions, it was our duty to shine an honest light on our experience through social media.

Upon arrival in Canberra, we were met by some of the organisers and driven to our accommodation. Art and culture designated folk were allocated to the Diamant Hotel, an “80 room, award winning boutique meets art gallery hotel boasting elegant interior design showcasing an eclectic collection of emerging and established artworks”. After being warmly welcomed by the wonderful hotel owner and ushered to our rooms, we mutually agreed that we didn’t want to leave. Ever. Check it out…

After a convenient lunch at nearby organic eatery Urban and a round of celebratory champagne (it was International Champagne Day, after all), we were taken to the Australian War Memorial for the campaign’s official welcome ceremony. Amidst the hustle bustle of news cameras, photographers and fellow “humans”, we were invited to tour the premises before a welcome presentation and the unraveling of the evening’s shenanigans. It was hard not to be moved by what we saw. After the proceedings, attendees were relocated to the ANZAC Hall for a short film and unlimited canapés, sweet treats and beverages. There were no complaints on our behalf.

With food comas, sugar highs and tipsy-induced deliriousness, the weary humans were dropped back to their relevant hotels to sprawl out on cloud-like beds. Day two and three coming at you soon. X