A couple of months ago, I saw an ad on Facebook from Australian Capital Tourism, asking for applicants for this cool new thing called a “Human Brochure”.
human brochure canberra mikaela

WHAT’S A HUMAN BROCHURE?

We think the best way for you to learn about Canberra is through the eyes of people who have been here.

So we invited 500 humans, just like you, to come and
experience our city first hand and spread the word online
about all the great things they got up to.

That’s how the Human Brochure was created. Here you will
find real travel experiences shared by humans for humans.
They prove that when you look closely, there are loads of attractions, experiences and fun you can have here.

Whether you’re a foodie, family, adventure seeker, lover of art and culture, or all of the above, you’ll find plenty of like-minded humans on this site whose journeys you can follow. Then you’ve got all the information you need to plan your own amazing getaway in our nation’s capital.

We hope to see you soon.

A free holiday to my own City, with free accommodation, free adventure activities and free range to post on instagram, twitter, facebook, flickr and tumblr about all the awesome stuff to do in Canberra?

YES PLEASE.

So I applied, and a few weeks later received an acceptance email, woop woop! I was coming to Canberra! From Canberra.

Mikaela Human Brochure Canberra

The best sort of holiday when you have a one year old is one where you can pack an hour before needing to be somewhere. Add to that the fact that I left home, drove the baby to his grandparents house, drove to our accommodation, checked in, got changed and was ready to leave the hotel for our “Welcome Event” in one hour. Just one of the perks of living in Canberra – no long commutes, hardly any traffic, easy transportation from one end to the other, in no time at all.

@Spifffmeister wants to make stupid faces in all the photos#humanbrochure #doingitwrong

Upon arrival at the hotel (The Mantra on Northbourne Ave) we were greeted with a Welcome Pack, and a nice mini cocktail, and a parking space (for those with a car). We dumped our stuff in our (massive) room, got changed, and went downstairs to meet our group and head off to the Australian War Memorial for the Welcome Event.

Mikaela Human Brochure Canberra

So happy at the thought of canapés #humanbrochure War Memorial here we come!

Ian Hill of Australian Capital Tourism (along with others from the War Memorial) welcomed us, and explained how Canberra was designed with a vision in mind of how the people here would be living their lives in this City (the design of Canberra is by Walter Burley Griffin). I love living in Canberra and raising my child(ren) here, and I appreciate it as a City more and more as I get a bit older and wiser. And I think old Walt was spot on, so good job on that one, buddy.

We were shown inside, and whilst the other participants were tweeting up a storm about the Pool of Reflection, the WWI fighter planes, the movie we were shown directed by Peter Jackson and the stories of the men and women who sacrificed everything for our Nation… I tweeted about the food.

Mikaela Human Brochure Canberra

Mini tandoori sliders, well played #humanbrochure organisers! I’d like some more please.

Mikaela Human Brochure Canberra

Mini burger number 2 = winning #humanbrochure

Once I realised there was enourmous mountains of food being brought around, I was happy to look at the exhibits more closely, and JA and I found this little gem:
australian war memorial canberra playing cards

Which was a set of playing cards, hand drawn and made from cigarette packets.

I also really appreciated the descriptions of the medals awarded to soldiers, these being my favourites:

For matchless leadership, bravery and skill
For courage, steadiness and utter disregard of danger
For courage, coolness, skill and dogged determination
For cold-blooded bravery in saving life at the cost of his own
For courage, endurance and fearlessness beyond praise
For contempt of danger

I’ve been to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra several times with school (my old highschool is directly across the road), so I think in some way the experience has become a little bit, um, boring for me. There is lots of cool stuff to look at, and endless interesting stories to read, and our hosts who were dressed up and explained things were amazing, and the actual building itself is very beautiful. But… if you’re seeking a bit of physical adventure in Canberra, you probably won’t find it here ;) History buffs and any one interested in War, planes, old machinery, architecture or photography will really love it.

It was then time to retire to our hotels for the evening, and though some people were keen to kick on, I knew we had to be up at 6.30am for our adventure to begin, so we were tucked up snug in bed by 11pm.

Stay tuned for day 2!