It’s time to start ticking these experiences off your #CBRbucketlist!
FOOD AND WINE
Indulge in sweetness
Tempt your tastebuds with the famous Freakshakes creating worldwide intrigue and envy at Patissez Cafe in Manuka. These desserts-in-a-glass are designed to make you want go viral on social media before you indulge. Don’t stop there! You can get your shake hit at The Cupping Room, where they also run cupping sessions to learn all about making coffee.
If sweet is your thing, you’re also going to want to try the caramel popcorn sundae at eightysix in Braddon. It’s so spectacular that it has graced the cover of Gourmet Traveller magazine. It’s almost too pretty to eat. Resistance is futile.
Hops to it
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, or try Capital Brewing Co.’s uber cool tap house at Dairy Road, Fyshwick.
High tea time
Indulging in the famous afternoon tea buffet in the heritage-listed Tea Lounge at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra is an established tradition for visitors and locals alike. Tea and scones anyone?
Make your way along the vibrant Kingston Foreshore, stopping into restaurants and cafes to sample some of the incredible food and drinks on offer in this lively precinct.
Visit more than 30 boutique cellar doors in Canberra’s premium wine growing region and be sure to taste a local Shiraz Viognier or Riesling.
Only 25 minutes’ drive from Canberra’s centre and up a rural road is the popular smokehouse and cafe Poachers Pantry. Enjoy a tasting plate or their signature dish of smoked lamb cutlets, accompanied by their Wily Trout wines.
Why not make a day (or two) of it with a wine tasting tour?
Wander through the hip precincts of Braddon and NewActon for an eclectic mix of cafes, bars, pop-up stores, galleries and people watching. You’ll easily get caught up in the sheer urban cool of it all.
While exploring NewActon, head to the sophisticated Ovolo Nishi to dine at Australian Hotel Guide’s best bar, Monster Kitchen and Bar. Be sure to snap a selfie on the extremely photogenic grand staircase in the Nishi building while you are there.
Go big (Brod) or go home
Finish the biggest burger at Kingston’s Brodburger. The Broddeluxe, consisting of two half-pound beef patties, your choice of gourmet cheese, two eggs, lots of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, homemade aioli and tomato relish is not for the faint hearted. Go on, we dare you!
Hunt for truffles
During the annual Canberra Region Truffle Festival, join a truffle hunt at local truffières or take part in a cooking class and learn all about this delicious delicacy. What are truffles, you ask? Here’s ten things you didn’t know about truffles.
Sample special noodles
Tuck in to the Night Noodle Market during the Enlighten Festival to combine delicious Asian eats from street-style hawkers with awesome light projections, live music and roving entertainment.
OUTDOORS AND NATURE
Balloons and bubbles
For the best view of Canberra, take a hot air balloon flight over the nation’s capital and finish with a traditional champagne celebration at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra. During the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, you can browse these wonderful, unique aircraft either up close on the lawns of Old Parliament House or float up in the air to take a drifting view over Canberra’s iconic national attractions.
Look out from atop Mount Ainslie
Walk up Mount Ainslie on a warm summer’s evening and watch the sun set in spectacular fashion, then see the city lights slowly come up as you descend.
Take a segway tour
If you’ve never ridden a segway, Canberra is the place to give it a try. Join a SegGlideRide tour around the Parliamentary Triangle and Lake Burley Griffin and master the art of riding this self-balancing two-wheeled machine.
Festival of spring
Visit one of Australia’s best known festivals, Floriade and see why it attracts record-breaking crowds year after year. Stop and admire the tulips, take in a horticultural workshop and get your photo taken in front of the stunning garden beds.
After dark you can explore the illuminated wonderland that is Floriade NightFest, ride the Ferris wheel, see a comedy show and admire the flower beds all lit up.
Relax in the rainforest
Escape to the cool, shady environment of Rainforest Gully during summer – one of the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ most popular and beautiful attractions. After soaking up the greenery, get pampered in the luxurious surrounds at the Jindii Eco Spa.
Go bush and spot the famous five
Set yourself the challenge on a visit to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to spot five famous native Australian animals that call the area home: a koala, a platypus, a kangaroo, an emu and a wombat.
Or stay overnight at Nil Desperandum Homestead in a natural bush setting beneath the mountains of Tidbinbilla. It’s a handy base for bushwalking, bird watching, star gazing, reading and night nature walks.
Get snap happy
Make sure you get out of bed nice and early at least once to photograph a famous Canberra sunrise. If you do sleep in, you can catch an equally impressive sunset. You can shoot from anywhere around the lake, or at multiple lookouts across the city including Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain, Mount Pleasant and Red Hill.
Take a picnic up to the National Arboretum Canberra and admire the stunning views over the city and beyond.
Bush walking in Namadgi
Walking is the most popular way to explore the Namadgi National Park and once you see the views back to Canberra from the Booroomba Rocks you will understand why.
Ultimate overnight safari
Embark on the ultimate animal encounter at the National Zoo & Aquarium’s luxury accommodation, Jamala Wildlife Lodge where you can take part in behind-the-scenes tours and even share a jungle bungalow with wild animals as your neighbours.
Take a jump
Be brave. Skydive over Canberra to enjoy stunning views of the capital city and the natural beauty of the region from a tremendous, and exhilarating, height.
Lap the lake
Do as the locals do and spend an hour walking the ‘bridge to bridge’ path around Lake Burley Griffin, stopping for a coffee and sightseeing along the way. Here’s our guide to experiencing our beautiful lake just like a local.
Extend your walk by taking on part of the self-guided Centenary Trail loop. You can do it in sections to see a lovely mix of urban and natural highlights.
Ride through the countryside
Take part in a morning trail ride through a working property with acres of natural bushland with Burnelee Excursions on Horseback.
If cycling is more your style, set yourself the goal of riding up Dairy Farmers Hill at the National Arboretum. Or you could try climbing Red Hill or exploring Mount Stromlo, which offers more than 40km of mountain-bike trails and a great skill-tester at The Playground.
Take the CBR100 challenge
Whether you want to walk with a team or run the distances by yourself, put the CBR100 Challenge on your bucket list…along with a lot of training!
ARTS AND CULTURE
A selfie under our flag
In the exact centre of the roof of Parliament House flies an Australian flag roughly the size of a double-decker bus. Take the lift to the roof, walk beneath the massive flag mast and pose for uniquely Australian selfies.
The essential triangle
Make sure you visit all the national institutions that call Canberra home at least once. A rite of passage for all visitors, you can discover the Australian story and your place in it. Add the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Australia, Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House to your list.
Remembering the sacrifice
Each day at 4.55pm AEST, you can absorb the powerful and sombre Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. Each ceremony honours one of the 62,000 who gave their lives in service. You are also welcome to lay wreaths and floral tributes beside the Pool of Reflection.
Celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity
Embrace the kaleidoscope of colours, sounds, sights, flavours and fun of the National Multicultural Festival. Watch the city light up with culturally diverse traditions, dance, food and performances.
Unleash your inner artist
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.
See sculpture in a new light
Witness the remarkable change in light at dawn or dusk by visiting the National Gallery of Australia’s Within without – a major Skyspace by American artist James Turrell.
Laugh yourself silly
Catch a live comedy show during the Canberra Comedy Festival and get ready to giggle.
Commemorate Anzac Day
The Australian War Memorial’s poignant Anzac Day Dawn Service in Canberra is something all Australians should experience. Afterward, you can visit the Hall of Memory and lay a poppy on the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier.
At any time of year, discover the symbolism and stories behind the memorials that line Anzac Parade with a solemn walk.
Mount Stromlo Observatory hosts special public observing evenings for some serious stargazing.
Meet a cheetah
Make the most of the animal encounters offered at Canberra’s National Zoo & Aquarium and have hands-on contact, pat, stroke and play with one of these amazing cats.
Catch a game
Less than 10 minutes’ drive from Parliament House, Manuka Oval hosts many local, national and international cricket matches including the famous PM’s XI. In the off-season for cricket, the oval is the second home for the GWS Giants as they stretch their wings in the AFL.
Speaking of sport, Canberra hosts many other local sports teams including the Brumbies, Canberra Raiders, Canberra Capitals, Canberra Cavalry, Canberra Brave and Canberra United. Check out an entertaining live game while you’re in town.
Photograph lights at night
Tackle night photography at the illuminated Enlighten Festival and enjoy the challenge of snapping the trademark architectural projections that transform some of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
Take a dip in history
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.
Be a big kid
Take your family and have a blast at some of the country’s best attractions for kids including Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre, the National Museum of Australia and the National Dinosaur Museum.
To market, to market
Spend your Saturday morning shopping up at storm at the Capital Region Farmers Markets at Exhibition Park, where you can buy fresh produce direct from the growers and makers and enjoy a fresh, local breakfast or brunch.
A Sunday tradition in Canberra, visiting the Old Bus Depot Markets is a must. Pick up some fresh produce, a bunch of flowers, some fashion gems and local artwork while you explore the stalls.
Snow and skate
Strap on some ice skates and glide around Canberra’s only outdoor ice rink, Skate in the City, open between June and July in the middle of winter.
Become a ghost buster
Join Canberra identity Tim Yowie Man on a ghost tour and explore other mysterious phenomena of the hidden underbelly of the nation’s capital.