Canberra is one of Australia's hottest spots for music, fashion, art and theater. It features a thriving nightlife scene and plenty of fun events for visitors of all ages. Best of all, Canberra remains one of Australia's best-kept secrets. You'd think the nation's capital city would attract a whole lot more tourists, but most uninformed foreigners spend all their time in Sydney. This means that you won't have to worry about wading through hordes of obnoxious tourists. It will also make your hotel search a whole lot easier.

Trying to find good hotel deals in Paris, London or even Sydney is a tiresome task, but there are plenty of cheap hotels located within walking distance of Canberra's biggest festivals and events. Once you've booked one of those fabulous Australia hotels, you'll find that you don't need to use it very often. You'll be too busy enjoying yourself at one of Canberra’s exciting upcoming events.

1. Australia Day

January 25th, 2012

You might not be a native of Australia, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the founding of a great nation!  Australia Day events take place throughout the entire country, but the most exciting celebrations occur in the capital city. Festivities include the Australian of the Year Awards and a fantastic Australia Day live concert. The joyous occasion ends with a stunning display of fireworks.

2. Prime Minister's XI vs Sri Lanka

February 3rd, 2012

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Australia, so it should come as no surprise to learn that Australians are getting very excited about the upcoming cricket match between Prime Minister's XI and Sri Lanka. Every year, the Prime Minister of Australia picks an Australian cricket team to play a team from outside of the country.

3. Canberra Festival

March 2nd to 18th, 2012

Other cities reserve a single day for honoring themselves, but Canberra is nothing like other cities. The events of the Canberra Festival progress over the course of seventeen days and include a symphony concert and a balloon launch. If you're interested in attending the Canberra Festival, you'll want to start your hotel search ahead of time. Visitors come from all over Australia, and hotels near the festival start filling up as early as January.

4. Lights! Canberra! Action!

March 16th, 2012

Professional and amateur filmmakers from around the world flock to Canberra for its renowned film festival. The contest is a tough one, with filmmakers getting just 10 days to write, shoot and produce a film on a given Canberra theme. On March 16th, film enthusiasts will gather in Gareme Place to view the top 12 finalists of this competitive event.

5. National Folk Festival

April 5th to 9th, 2012

Experience the unique culture of Australia at the 46th annual National Folk Festival. Held in Canberra's Exhibition Park, the National Folk Festival keeps visitors and locals busy with over 200 shows and acts, including traditional storytelling, dance, theater, music and poetry.

6. Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival

April 14th to 15th, 2012

The Canberra District Wineries make some of the finest wines on Earth. At the Canberra District Wine Harvest Festival, you can sample a range of these wines for yourself. Visitors staying in cheap hotels can still enjoy the luxury of good wine at the Harvest Festival.

7. Stonefest

October 29th, 2012

As one of Australia's longest running music festivals, Stonefest has been attracting illustrious musicians for years. Held at the University of Canberra, Stonefest is the place to see talented artists before and after they've made it big.

8. Melbourne Cup

November 1st, 2012

Appropriately nicknamed "the race that stops a nation," the Melbourne Cup is a thoroughbred race limited to horses over three years of age. You'd think that Australians might find something better to do than watch a bunch of over-the-hill horses meander around a racetrack, but since when do Australians take the expected route?  

9. Canberra Country Music Festival

November 18th to 20th, 2012

Country music is not limited to the United States. Plenty of Australians are happy to add their own unique take on the popular genre. The Canberra Country Music Festival features over fifty local and international artists, as well as several workshops, team challenges and talent competitions.

10. New Year's in the City

December 31st, 2012

Ring in 2013 in the beautiful city of Canberra!  Australia's capital city will be hosting a street party and live entertainment at Civic Square. If your tots can't stay awake until midnight, they'll still be able to see the fireworks above City Hall at 9 pm. And remember, New Year’s Eve falls in Australia’s summertime, so you can enjoy the holiday festivities without all the chills!

The events listed above are only a small sampling of the activities Canberra has to offer. With such a diverse array of things to do, you'll definitely want to start booking Australia hotels now so that you can experience the excitement and beauty of Australia's capital city for yourself.

This guest post article was written and provided by Erica Gustafson who is a freelance writer for Expedia, yearly traveler to Australia and part time online media consultant.