In less than a week, Enlighten will be upon us, illuminating the city and six of its…
It’s been a strange start to 2020, but there’s still plenty of summer to enjoy. And while ‘holiday season’ is coming to an end, you don’t need to leave Canberra to find something fabulous to do.
Canberrans have huge hearts. When our neighbouring regions were devastated by bushfires, we immediately rallied to provide assistance—and now that the emergency is easing, we’re flocking to affected areas to bolster their small businesses.
But we also shouldn’t forget that our own local tourism industry is feeling the pinch in the face of recent bushfires and lingering smoke haze.
That’s why VisitCanberra is launching a campaign to encourage locals to support Canberra businesses and explore sides of their city they’ve never come across before.
If you’re a regular reader of HerCanberra, you’ll know that we’re all about encouraging you to connect with your city, and there’s never been a better time.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 100 ways you can #holidayhereCBR—you don’t have to leave town to have an unforgettable experience.
Slide, climb and bounce at Canberra Aqua Park—Lake Burley Griffin’s newest summer attraction.
Want 20% off tickets? Just enter her20 at the checkout and thank us later!
Sip some delicious local vino at Canberra’s first Riesling bar—Rizla. Owner Andy Day can also sort you out with some different drops if Riesling isn’t your style, but don’t blame us if you leave a convert.
Soak up works from the masters at Matisse & Picasso at the National Gallery of Australia until 13 April.
A rivalry for the ages, learn the story of these two warring pioneers through some of their best-loved work.
Hello nostalgia! Grab a mate (or a whole tribe) and hit Lake Burley Griffin in a pedal boat. It’s not only great fun, but an awesome leg workout! Capital Paddle operates from the Regatta Point jetty.
Find out more here.
Take the family mountain biking at one of Canberra’s favourite spots.
Immerse yourself in one of Canberra’s most decadent day spas.
Escape the hustle and bustle at a quiet cabin or campground (just make sure you check closures before you go!).
Explore one of Canberra’s many places to swim that aren’t pools.
Take in an exhibition at Canberra Museum and Gallery, which celebrates the region’s social history and visual arts with dynamic exhibitions and unique community programs and events.
Check out one of Canberra’s freshest new precincts—Dairy Road in Fyshwick. Capital Brewing Co and Brodburger await with shady seating and refreshing brews.
Hunt for a new favourite at one of Canberra’s newest eateries.
Enjoy a Bellini with your blow-dry at Saloon in Braddon.
Take a trip to Italy at Amici, the city’s newest wine bar and deli.
Get cultural at one of the small galleries around town.
Feed a koala or pat a roo at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
Did someone say croquet and rosé? Take your summer events to the next level at Pialligo Estate’s luxe Pialligo Fields bar.
Keep cool at one of Canberra’s aquatic centres or pools—whether you like an indoor heated experience or an outdoor dip.
Head to Braddon’s biggest venue—Assembly—for breakfast, lunch, drinks, dinner—or all four.
Encounter a bettong at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary!
View the city from on high at Mount Ainslie Lookout.
See a piece of the Moon that’s over 3.8 billion years old at the Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla.
Drink in the views (and the cocktails) at Canberra’s first true rooftop bar, Howling Moon.
Learn the story of Canberra as the capital city of Australia at the National Capital Exhibition at Regatta Point.
Try Float Yoga (yoga in a pool on a float!) with Salti.
Head out on a self-piloted GoBoat for a day on Lake Burley Griffin for the chance to picnic on the water and shout ‘aye aye captain!’ (you know you want to).
Play tourist and visit one of our national institutions like the Royal Australian Mint, High Court or Australian Parliament House.
Take a llama for a walk.
Visit the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets and delight in the buzzy atmosphere and quality produce.
Get some serious retail therapy at Canberra Centre, where you’ll find everything from premium brands such as Husk and Sass & Bide to high street favourites like Zara and H&M.
Ring in 2020 at one of the New Year’s celebrations around town. From fireworks in Civic Square to sophisticated drinks with friends, there’s a party to suit your vibe!
Visit some of Canberra’s most stunning portraits at The Look, an exhibition of 68 stunning contemporary photographs, including snaps of Heath Ledger, Ian Thorpe, Layne Beachley and Marcia Langton. Showing at the National Portrait Gallery until 9 February.
Taste the Canberra Wine Region at more than 35 wineries.
Cool down on a hot summer’s day at Big Splash Waterpark.
Grab a book (or five) from one of our favourite book stores and escape.
Have the best (and perhaps the most wacky) Canberra-made ice cream you’ve ever licked at Frugii Dessert Laboratory.
See Australia’s leading glass artists in action or take part in a hands-on class at Canberra Glassworks and learn the secrets to flame-working, glass blowing, cold working, kiln forming and casting.
Get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing creatures at the National Zoo & Aquarium.
Enjoy fresh fish and chips on the lake’s edge while listening to live music on the weekend at Snapper on The Lake
Stroll along the Kingston Foreshore, catching drinks at The Dock or dinner at Molto Italian.
Seek respite from the heat in the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ Rainforest Gully.
See what makes the National Gallery of Australia so phenomenal.
Celebrate Australia Day with music, food and entertainment at Stage 88 on 26 January.
Take the lift to the top of Telstra Tower for 360° views of Canberra.
Spend a day browsing the beautiful independent boutiques of Lonsdale Street in Braddon.
Eat, drink, laugh and dance around the world at the 2020 National Multicultural Festival from 21 to 23 February.
Look beyond Canberra’s 106 years as an established city with Dharwara Indigenous Tours.
Brighten your morning with a sky full of colourful hot air balloons at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular from 7 to 15 March.
Explore The National Arboretum, an endless natural playground.
Chill out at Vertikal Indoor Snow at the funky Dairy Road Fyshwick precinct, where you can train for skiing and boarding and get snow fit in a simulated snow terrain (minus the snow!).
Take a ride on the magical carousel in Petrie Plaza—most of the horses and elephants have names; even Phar Lap has his place on the platform.
Walk or ride the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in the cool of the morning or evening.
Shop big brands on a budget at Canberra Outlet Centre.
Embrace your inner hoon at Power Kart Raceway.
Get amongst Enlighten Festival as the Parliamentary Triangle and city precinct are transformed into a vibrant arts precinct with free performances and exclusive events from 28 February to 15 March.
Snap the perfect picture of stunning architectural projections at the Enlighten Illuminations from 28 February to 9 March.
Enjoy a flourish of fireworks at Hit 104.7 Skyfire on Saturday 14 March.
Get popped at Lichtenstein to Warhol: The Kenneth Tyler Collection, featuring some of Pop Art’s best-loved artworks at National Gallery of Australia until 9 March 2020.
Watch the sunset accompanied by the perfect soundtrack at Symphony in the Park on Sunday 8 March.
Take a thrilling journey through the Dreamworks Universe in DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition – Journey from Sketch to Screen. At the National Museum of Australia until 2 February 2020.
Celebrate Canberra’s 107th birthday with local musicians, street food and more at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park on 9 March 2020.
Check out Sideway for late-night dancing, live music, great wine and pizza. All the cool kids are doing it.
Pull up a table for two at The Pop Inn at one of its events around town and enjoy a glass of wine and a charcuterie platter. Track it down via its website!
Get your gamer on at Game Masters: The Exhibition. Until 9 March, the National Film and Sound Archive has been transformed into Australia’s biggest video game arcade with the world’s greatest designers, characters and 80 playable games!
Learn all there is to know about coffee—tasting it, making it and more—at a cupping session at The Cupping Room.
Visit Craft ACT in Civic Square to check out one of their exhibitions of contemporary craft and design or browse the beautiful hand made and local products in their shop.
Become a Ghost Hunter on a torchlight tour illuminated with genuine stories of death, mysterious occurrences and dastardly deeds at Old Parliament House.
See Australia’s best female cricketers take on England and India in the Commonwealth Bank T20I Tri-Series at Manuka Oval from 31 January to 2 February.
Cool off at Phillip Ice Skating Centre—lessons and skate hire are all available onsite—and their outdoor pool is ready and waiting.
Delve into Canberra’s Secrets—Marg Wade offers everything from kangaroo spotting tours to walking food tours of the city.
See the handwritten journals of Burke and Wills, Australia’s first gold medal for women’s swimming, the landmark papers of Edward Koiki Mabo and more at the Treasures Gallery at the National Library of Australia.
Pat an alligator and see more than 50 species of reptiles and frogs at Canberra Reptile Zoo.
Head to Weston Park for family fun—ride your bikes on the cycle track, play Bocce or Pétanque or enjoy the water playground and wading pool. Or visit Yarralumla Play Station for a game of mini-golf, a ride on the train, or just to pat the animals at the mini zoo!
Try indoor bouldering at BlocHaus—think rock climbing, but without ropes or a harness, and on shorter walls, protected by padding on the ground to bounce off.
Take yourself out to the ball game! Get along to The Fort at MIT Ballpark in Narrabundah for one of the Canberra Calvary’s baseball games.
Pack up a hamper and head to one of Canberra’s most scenic spots for a picnic.
Catch the reigning WNBL champions, the University of Canberra Capitals, in action as they defend their title during the 2019-20 season.
The Old Bus Depot Markets are something of a Sunday tradition. Hit them up for more than 200 stalls offering unique handcrafted items, food and wine.
Remember the sacrifice at the Australian War Memorial. Each day at 4.55pm AEST, you can absorb the powerful and sombre Last Post Ceremony which honours one of the 62,000 who gave their lives in service.
Enjoy a drop of our very own Canberra brews with names such as the Barley Griffin, Mort’s Gold and Braddon Bitter at BentSpoke Brewing Co. in Braddon.
Explore Canberra’s food scene with one of EatCanberra’s food walking tours.
Get into axe-throwing at Axxe Urban Axe Throwing Canberra in Fyshwick. Sound dangerous? It’s truly not.
Each two-hour session begins with a lesson with an instructor, and after a practice throw session, you’ll get to battle it out to see who is the ultimate lumberjack.
Explore NewActon, making sure to head to Ovolo Nishi to dine at Monster Kitchen and Bar. Snap a selfie on the grand staircase in the Nishi building while you are there.
Take a hot air balloon flight and finish with a traditional champagne celebration at Hyatt Hotel Canberra.
Join a SegGlideRide tour around the Parliamentary Triangle and Lake Burley Griffin and master the art of riding this self-balancing two-wheeled machine.
Enjoy a drink at Australia’s Best—Bar Rochford—according to Australian Gourmet Traveller. While you’re there, stay for the food—it’s every bit as good.
Go for a dip in the historic Manuka Swimming Pool and enjoy the character and Art Deco style of Canberra’s very first public swimming baths.
Sample some of the region’s freshest produce at the Capital Region Farmers Markets at Exhibition Park, where you can buy fresh produce direct from the growers and makers.
Free-fall down a six-metre slide, freeze your own shadow, experience an earthquake or challenge a robot to a game of air hockey at Questacon.
Try out the Riddle Room or Escape Rooms to test your problem-solving abilities.
Go bush! Strap on the sneakers for one of Canberra’s best walks.
Head to the Actew AGL Royal Canberra Show from 28 February to 1 March 2020.
An old coat rescued. Sir Edmund Barton revealed. Discover an intriguing tale of power, prestige and Australia’s changing ties to Britain in Dress Code: Empire at Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.
Showing until 31 March 2020.
Visit one of the northside’s hidden treasures—and Canberra’s smallest gallery—The Gallery of Small Things in Watson.
Retreat from the heat and see a classic film at the National Film and Sound Archive.
Skydive over Canberra to enjoy stunning views of the capital city and the natural beauty of the region from a tremendous, and exhilarating, height.
Chow down on a burger, Peruvian pork belly or dumplings at COOP—Dickson’s new outdoor food court. You’ll find street food faves Brodburger, Mr Papa and MOMOS there during summer.
Corner of Northbourne Avenue and Morphett Street, Dickson.
Look beyond the usual sites to uncover Canberra’s secrets. Some are out in the open, while others are tucked away…
Indulge in the famous afternoon tea buffet in the heritage-listed Tea Lounge at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Scones anyone?
Learn the stories of espionage in the city that has more spies than anywhere else in Australia. Spy: Espionage in Australia is showing at the National Archives of Australia until 27 April 2020.
Be mesmerised as a spotlight shines on Canberra’s talented film-makers at Lights! Canberra! Action! On Friday 6 March.
Delve into the paintings, portraits and sketchbooks of seminal Australian artist Hugh Ramsay, whose brilliant career was cut short at just 28.
Showing until 1 March 2020.