There is so much to do when you visit Australia’s capital, Canberra! Whether it’s world-class wining and dining, iconic attractions or breathtaking outdoor activities, you will be thrilled to know that everything you’re after is just moments away. To help you get the most out of your visit to Canberra, here’s Part 2 of our bucket list of 100 Amazing Things To Do & Experience In Canberra, Australia recommended by VisitCanberra’s list in no particular order! You may want to check out 100 Amazing Things To Do & Experience In Canberra, Australia Part 1 too!
26. Visit a country pub for a hearty meal
Graze on delicious food in charming country surroundings at Grazing at Gundaroo, a 25-minute drive from the Canberra city centre. Located in the beautifully refurbished 1865 Royal Hotel, Grazing is an award-winning restaurant with a focus on the Canberra district’s very best food and wine. With an emphasis on seasonal and organic food, Grazing offers a range of local produce such as yabbies, Bungendore beef or locally farmed silver perch. Wash it down with an extensive wine list of Canberra region labels and Canberra-brewed hand-crafted beers.
27. Tour Australia’s Parliament House
See democracy in action at Australia’s iconic Parliament House high on Capital Hill. During Question Time see the country’s elected politicians make the big decisions on behalf of the nation. Take a guided tour, view historic documents and see an impressive collection of Australian art including one of the world’s largest tapestries based on an Arthur Boyd design. A visit to the building’s roof provides one of the best views of Canberra and the opportunity to get up close to the building’s iconic 81-metre high flag mast, one of the world’s largest stainless steel structures.
28. Get up close to Australian animals at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
See koalas, kangaroos, possums, reptiles and more in the natural setting of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, just 40-minutes’ drive from Canberra’s city centre. Keep an eye open for wandering wallabies and emus, and you may even catch a glimpse of an elusive platypus. Enjoy a scenic drive, take a hike on one of the walking tracks, or join in a ranger guided walk or activity. The kids will love the Nature Discovery Playground, and you’ll love the idyllic picnic spots and fresh open air.
29. Go horse-riding with Burnelee Excursions on Horseback
Saddle up for an adventure in the Australian countryside with Burnelee Excursions on Horseback. It’s located just 30 minutes from Canberra between Murrumbateman and Gundaroo. At Burnelee, a fully operational grazing property of 3,500 acres, you can enjoy the thrill of mustering sheep and cattle, or simply spot the native wildlife in the vast areas of natural bushland. Horses are available for all levels of rider, including beginners, with each ride accompanied by an experienced instructor. Regular two-hour rides are held most Saturdays, with day rides available on request.
30. Segway your way around the lake
Strap on your helmet and get set for a tour-with-a-difference thanks to SegGlideRide, Canberra’s Segway tour provider at Lake Burley Griffin. Discover Lake Burley Griffin’s foreshore, famous landmarks and iconic buildings in a fun and memorable way. These self-balancing personal transporters are easy to master – simply lean forwards to go forward, lean backwards to stop. After your personalised lesson in Segway skills, you’ll quickly find yourself gliding like an expert. Minimum age is 12 years old. Tours leave throughout the day.
31. Dine at the cosy Močan & Green Grout
Get cosy and comfortable at Močan & Green Grout, an ethical and eco-friendly café located in the arts and cultural hub of Canberra’s NewActon precinct. They serve fair trade coffee, source produce from local farmers, and grow their herbs in a planter at the front door. The diverse and innovative menu reflects Canberra’s seasons, and the homely fitout is warm and welcoming. And if making great coffee and food wasn’t enough, they also make bikes under the label Goodspeed Bicycle Co.
32. See Australia’s stories come alive at the National Museum of Australia
Australia’s stories come alive at the National Museum of Australia, on the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. The Museum’s stunning architecture provides an extraordinary place to explore the rich and diverse stories of Australia and its people. Take a guided tour or wander solo through the many exhibitions. Get to know the real, the treasured, the surprising and the inspirational objects from Australian history. At Kspace, the Museum’s new interactive kids’ adventure game played in teams of four, kids design a time-travelling robot and enter a Time Pod blasting them back to a mystery location in Australia’s past. With its waterfront café and quality gift shop, a visit to the Museum is a great way to learn about Australia’s land, nation and people. For a treat, why not book The Ultimate Museum Experience with a personalised tour, a meal and refreshments overlooking Lake Burley Griffin and more!
33. The truth is out there at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
Take a leap into outer space at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, a 45-minute drive from the heart of Canberra. Here you’ll discover NASA’s Deep Space Network, an international network of antennas that support interplanetary spacecraft missions. The impressively sized antenna dishes at the complex send and receive data from spacecraft exploring the solar system and beyond. For a great view of the dishes, as well as an insightful exhibit about Australia’s role in space exploration, head to the Canberra Space Centre on the complex grounds.
34. Wood-fired pizza and wine – a winning combination
Four Winds Vineyard cellar door in Murrumbateman is a perfect place to pull up a chair over-looking the vines, glass of hand-crafted wine in one hand and slice of wood-fired pizza in the other. Settle in amongst the scenic vineyards, an easy 30-minute drive from the Canberra city centre. If you’re looking for a perfect blend of tasty wine and food against an Instagram-worthy backdrop, this is it.
35. Marvel at Lake Burley Griffin from its edge or on it!
The masterful centrepiece of Canberra, the large and lovely Lake Burley Griffin is an ideal water playground, whether you’re into rowing, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or fishing. Cyclists and walkers are well catered for along the 40km shoreline, and nothing beats a picnic in its numerous parks and gardens. For those seeking a more leisurely experience, take a cruise, catch a ferry, or simply enjoy the water views from one of the many lake-side cafes and restaurants.
36. Boutique shopping on Lonsdale Street
Shopaholics with a weakness for designer clothing, shoes, jewellery and accessories simply must visit Rebel Muse, one of Canberra’s premier women’s fashion retailers. Step inside the Braddon boutique and you’ll see the patience and love that goes into curating their collection, which features the very best in Australian Designer Labels. Stock up on current season trends, or invest in wardrobe essentials such as quality basics, denim and leather. More than a retail outlet, Rebel Muse prides itself on a personalised and seamless shopping experience. Get ready to look fabulous!
37. Australia’s extraordinary National Library of Australia
See the beautiful, the rare and the unexpected at the National Library of Australia on the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. Enjoy unparalleled access to Australia’s documentary heritage including books, serials, maps, newspapers, music and ephemera. Search for online publications and unpublished material such as manuscripts, pictures and oral history. Take in an exhibition, join a tour, browse the bookshop, or enjoy a bite to eat at the café and take in the lake-side views.
38. Sample pub grub at Hopscotch
Great meals and good times abound at Hopscotch, a welcoming gastropub in the Canberra inner-city suburb of Braddon. Spacious indoors and out, Hopscotch features an expansive beer garden complete with outdoor spit, perfect for casual get-togethers. With the largest range of whiskies in Canberra, coupled with a variety of fine wines and craft beers, you’re sure to find the perfect beverage to enjoy with food cooked on their imported wood-fired Argentine Grill. If good vibes, good music and good fare are on your Canberra wish-list, hop over to Hopscotch.
39. Walk through Canberra’s tree museum – the National Arboretum Canberra
See the forest for the trees at the National Arboretum Canberra, with its 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world. Walk, drive or cycle around the 250 hectare site. You’ll be struck by the range of botanical beauty, including the living artworks in the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection. Enjoy free guided and self-guided tours, interactive displays, outdoor sculptures, Pod Playground, a café and shop, as well as picnic areas boasting some of Canberra’s most spectacular views.
40. Make a terrarium at Moxom & Whitney
With its sweet-scented bouquets and one-of-a-kind terrariums, Moxom & Whitney is a not-to-be- missed destination for those who relish the lovely things in life. Located in Canberra’s inner-city suburb of Braddon, this eclectic florist-with-a-difference offers beautiful bunches and custom-made terrariums; fascinating miniature worlds of lush green moss, ferns and indoor plants. Treat yourself, or a friend, to some whimsy of the botanical variety, or enrol in one of their classes to create your very own masterpiece.
41. Blokes alert – get Groomed in the hipster haven of Braddon
Groomed is an oasis of gentlemanly calm in Canberra’s inner-city Braddon, a haven amid the incessant distraction of modern life. It’s half-gentleman’s club, half-psychiatrist’s couch and 100 per cent self-indulgent. Recharge your chivalry and emerge afterwards as a slightly better you, with a dapper haircut or hot towel shave, smelling good, feeling tingly and ready to face your beckoning life once more.
42. Experience design-cool in the Nishi Building
The epitome of designer cool, the Nishi Building delivers award-winning sustainability, style and sociability from its prime position within Canberra’s NewActon precinct. A place of collaborative craftsmanship conceived of and made by artists, makers, designers and fantasists, the building’s stunning Hotel Hotel is a firm favourite for locals and travellers alike. Add in an art house film cinema, treats from mouth-watering chocolate salon Max Brenner and a couple of sneaky cocktails at Monster Kitchen and Bar, and you’ll easily fill a weekend without even leaving the building.
43. Hike up Mount Ainslie for a spectacular view
For picture-perfect views of Canberra, you can’t go past a visit to Mount Ainslie. Walk, cycle or drive to the lookout and enjoy the impressive scenery, lovely at all times but a particular treat at sunrise and sunset. Take in Lake Burley Griffin and many of Canberra’s national attractions, framed by picturesque mountain ranges, and see how Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for the city has been brought to life. A hotspot for photographers, the vista is complemented by the abundance of native birds and wildlife.
44. Head indoors to climb rocks!
Gear up for an exhilarating experience at Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced climber, all levels are catered for in this fun adventure sport that challenges the mind and body. Wall heights range from 6.5 to 8.5 metres and with locations in north and south Canberra, there’s a Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing gym near you. Grab the ropes, harness up, and climb for as long as you can handle it!
45. Duck pancakes to die for
Since opening in 1992, the Chairman & Yip has become one of Canberra’s longest standing and most highly regarded restaurants, receiving numerous awards. Now located in Barton’s vibrant Realm Precinct, the Chairman & Yip offers elegant Cantonese cuisine in spacious surrounds. It’s duck pancakes are to die for. Head chef, William Suen, has long combined the best of both the Oriental and Occidental culinary flavours, to create delicate and classic dishes. A fine and extensive collection of wines further enhance the dining experience in an exquisite and relaxing atmosphere.
46. Lakeside dining with a view
One of Canberra’s ultimate dining experiences, The Boat House by the Lake offers perfectly executed cuisine, memorable service and unmatched views across Lake Burley Griffin. Whether you’re enjoying a fine dining a la carte experience or a decadent degustation, The Boat House by the Lake is the perfect venue for a memorable meal.
47. Dine on Malaysian cuisine with a modern twist
One of Canberra’s best kept secrets, Lanterne Rooms is tucked away in Campbell’s shops just minutes from the city centre. Serving up original Malaysian cuisine with a modern twist, French- trained Malaysian chef Jeffrey Shim presents mostly European-style dishes with Asian influences. The popular restaurant consistently wins awards and recently received a chef’s hat in the 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.
48. Start your Murrumbateman wine tour at Yarrh
Yarrh Wines is located just 40 minutes from Canberra, past the quaint township of Murrumbateman, and is a great place to start your Canberra region wine tour. Yarrh Wines has received recognition for their quality wines, achieving medal status for their premium varieties of Riesling and Shiraz. They produce a range of exceptional cool climates wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Shiraz. The cellar door provides a spectacular panoramic view of the six-hectare vineyard, the Yass River Valley and the abundant native wildlife.
49. Dine among the vines at Flint at Shaw Vineyard
The Shaw Family first moved to Murrumbateman over 25 years ago, and in 1998 purchased “Olleyville” the historic 700-acre fine wool producing property dating back to the mid 19th
century. The picturesque and historic property is now home to Shaw Vineyard Estate and Flint at Shaw Vineyard. The vineyard restaurant has a smart yet informal ambiance, and visitors can unwind over a glass of wine while savouring a delicious meal and gazing over the vineyard.
50. Don gumboots for tour of Mount Majura Vineyard
You would not expect to find a winery located 15 minutes from Australia’s Parliament House. One of Canberra’s biggest secrets is that there are more than 30 cellar doors within 35 minutes drive of the city. As well as sampling local wine varieties at Mount Majura Vineyard, you can get down and get dirty by donning a pair of brightly coloured gumboots and following a self-guided trail through the vineyard. In winter, enjoy wine with a truffed brie from The Truffle Farm located next door.
We hope you enjoyed Part 2 of 100 Amazing Things To Do & Experience In Canberra, Australia. You may want to check out 100 Amazing Things To Do & Experience In Canberra, Australia Part 3 too! If you have done some of the above, do share with us your experience in the comments section below.