Your essential guide to what’s on in Canberra this weekend! Every Monday for more than five…
Want to know what’s open and what you can do around town? Here’s just a taste of what’s open.
Due to restrictions on gatherings currently being set at 100 people in the ACT within physical distancing guidelines, we recommend booking ahead to avoid disappointment.
Parts of the Australian National Botanic Gardens have reopened, with one-way walking paths and sanitising stations located around the Gardens.
Pick up a coffee from Pollen onsite as you make your way through the gardens. You can dine in at Pollen Cafe but seating is limited.
Australian Parliament House is once again welcoming visitors to explore its stunning building. Parliament is on a winter break, so it is a pollie-free during July.
The ever-popular Australian War Memorial has reopened to the public with a ticketed booking system in place.
Book a Brompton Bike from the Canberra Region Visitors Centre and cycle your way around Lake Burley Griffin’s bridge-to-bridge circuit.
The bikes come with helmet and bike lock, so you can stop off at spots along the way. You can also stock up on local produce, art and an impressive selection of Canberra beer, wine and spirits not to mention helpful tourist information.
Can’t get enough of reptiles? The Canberra Reptile Zoo at Gold Creek in Nicholls is operating with limits of 20 people and visits offered on the hour. Bookings essential by phone to 02 6253 8533.
Camping is permitted at certain campgrounds but you must book online and practice social distancing of gatherings up to 20 people.
Blue Range, Kowen and Northern Border can be booked online while Cotter Campground is open and operating on a first in, first served basis.
Want to see the works of talented artists and creatives from Canberra? Craft ACT shop and gallery is available for all your shopping and perusing needs!
Rug up and head to Corin Forest near Tidbinbilla for snow play and to ride their alpine slide. At this stage, the facility is open for snow play only (with man-made snow supplementing any natural snowfall) but not yet open for hiring of snow gear and skis/toboggans. Remember to book online before you go and to always check road conditions if snow is forecast or has fallen.
Glimpse the world in miniature at Cockington Green Gardens at Gold Creek Village. Wander the stunning gardens and admire the intricate designs. You might even spot a streaker on the cricket pitch.
What better way to warm up than sipping Canberra’s cool climate wines and enjoying a lunch at a vineyard. See Canberra Wines for some spots to eat and sip in an appropriate, physically distanced way.
Vintage collectors and creatives will love Dirty Janes Canberra, a 1600 square metre indoor market of vintage wares, art, fashion and more. It’s just opened and modelled on the popular Dirty Janes Bowral and is located behind the Domayne carpark in Fyshwick.
Food, glorious food. A trip to Canberra would not be complete without food from one of our fabulous cafes or restaurants.
Fancy steering your own boat on Lake Burley Griffin? You can with GoBoats. These electric powered picnic boats based at the Kingston Foreshore are best experienced with a group of friends or family. Pack a picnic or order some food to take with you before you go. Bookings essential.
You can wander the trails around the National Arboretum Canberra, check out the Bonsai Collection, play on the Pod Playground and grab a coffee and bite to eat from the Ginger at the Arboretum café (limited seating applies).
The Curatoreum gift shop will also be open for those needing a retail therapy fix. All guided talks, walks, educational groups and public events have been cancelled.
The National Archives of Australia is open however bookings are required to access its Research Centre.
The National Dinosaur Museum is offering ticketed sessions for bookings made in advance online. Prepare your budding archaeologist’s career by booking online.
Missing your art fix? The National Gallery of Australia has opened its International Art Gallery space along with two exhibitions, Belonging: Stories of Australian Art and XU ZHEN®: ETERNITY VS EVOLUTION.
All other galleries remain closed. Visits will be timed and bookings are essential.
Pre-booked ticketed access is available for the National Library of Australia to the unique collections and eResources, for three-hour sessions.
The National Museum of Australia is open in a reduced capacity with its new exhibition Endeavour Voyage: The Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians open for viewing (pre-bookings essential). The Museum Shop and café are open.
National Portrait Gallery is offering pre-booked hourly sessions, including free entry into the National Photographic Portrait Prize, the inaugural Darling Portrait Prize and Shirley Purdie’s exception exhibition Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe (From my women).
Lions, tigers, bears… oh my! The animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium are excited to welcome visitors back in groups of no more than 20 people. Jamala Wildlife Lodge is also open for those looking for a luxe experience.
The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House has reopened with two exhibitions: Truth, Power and the Free Press and the Behind the Lines 2019 cartoon exhibition. Pre-bookings is essential.
Unfortunately, the kid’s spaces such as Dress Up and Play Up remain closed, but you can catch online Play Up sessions on their website.
Q is for Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre. Blast off and discover Questacon Mission to Mars. There is limited capacity for this exhibition and pre-booking your 90-minute session is essential to avoid disappointment.
The usual self-guided experience at Questacon is not available at this time.
R is for the Royal Australian Mint. The main gallery, the Mint shop and cafe are open, however Gallery tours are not currently running.
Little kids and families will love a walk through the Walk-In Bird Aviary at Gold Creek Village where there are around 500 birds in a 1000sqm area. Feed, photograph and observe these amazing creatures. You’ll have to social distance (the 20 person rule applies) but there’s no guarantee the birds will!
S is for still shut and we’re sorry to say that a few of our attractions are not yet open but they are gearing up to reopen over the coming month.
These include the Australian Institute of Sport (closed until later this year), the National Film and Sound Archive (opens 1 August) and the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex.
Join a guided segway tour around the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin. It’s a fun way to see the sights.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is now open, however, parts of the reserve and Namadgi National Park that are undergoing upgrades after the infrastructure damage by fire and flood remain closed.
Within Namadgi, Mt Franklin Road including the Bendora and Coree areas of Namadgi have reopened but Namadgi south to Mt Franklin Chalet remains closed for bushfire recovery.
Yarralumla Play Station at Weston Park, Yarralumla, is a great spot for kids. Ride the miniature railway, play a game of miniature golf and see farm animals.
Grab a bite to eat from the onsite Station Stop Café. Afterwards, let the kids burn some energy off at Weston Park and then pop into the Yarralumla Nursery—pick up a plant or gift from the shop.