It’s spring – time to soak up the sunshine, spring blooms and indulgent treats on a short break in your capital.
Explore the outdoors
Australia’s biggest celebration of spring hits the capital in mid September. For the whole month of Floriade, visitors to Commonwealth Park can admire the spring blooms, pick up gardening tips from experts in the field, listen to inspiring musical performances, enjoy culinary demonstrations by world-renowned chefs and keep the kids entertained with an exciting line up of entertainment. And don’t miss the five-night after dark extravaganza, Floriade NightFest.
Take advantage of the capital’s fabulous spring weather by hiring a bike or segway and riding around Lake Burley Griffin. Hire a paddleboat, kayak, surf ski or canoe or do the ‘bridge to bridge’ walk around the inner basin, stopping off at attractions along the way.
Visit Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to see platypus, possums, wombats, echidnas, emus and many other birds and reptiles. To fully appreciate Tidbinbilla, nature lovers should explore more than 20 marked walking trails, ranging from an easy 15-minute stroll to an all-day bushwalk. Enjoy family fun activities, entertainment and rides and talk to wildlife staff about the Endangered Species Breeding Program at the Tidbinbilla Extravaganza on 11 October.
Pack a picnic and wander the Australian National Botanic Gardens, which celebrates its 45th birthday with a raft of events throughout October. Discover the many walking trails at the National Arboretum Canberra, home to 94 forests of the world’s rare, endangered and symbolic trees. Learn about the Arboretum at the Village Centre, grab a bite to eat and let the kids run wild flying kites or playing on the Pod Playground.
Explore the stories of the nation inside Canberra’s national attractions. Come face-to-face with the famous, the infamous and the sometimes forgotten icons of Australian history at the National Portrait Gallery and see celebrities in various states of un-dress at its Bare: Degree of undress exhibition until 15 November. Discover Australia’s national art collection at the National Gallery of Australia and marvel at the Myth + Magic: Art of the Sepik River exhibition until 1 November. Another must-see exhibition opening in November is Encounters at the National Museum of Australia. Drawn from the British Museum’s collection, rare Aboirginal and Torres Strait Islander objects will be displayed.
Get the kids active and hands on at the city’s many attractions. Find your inner science geek at the ever popular Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre, tackle the sporting challenges at the Australian Institute of Sport, explore the National Zoo & Aquarium and see life in miniature at Cockington Green Gardens.
The very popular KSpace family space at the National Museum of Australia has undergone a transformation and children can build a robot of the future using touch screens and then journey back in time to learn about that era in Australia’s history. Let kids stand up, muck up, dress up, make up, think up and step up in a surprising space at the Museum Of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. See the Great Kaleidoscope Cubby and explore The Right to Shelter in Play Up.
Take a piece of Canberra home with you by visiting our markets. The Capital Region Farmers Market is a local foodie fixture at Exhibition Park every Saturday morning. The Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston is a Sunday institution, renowned for handcrafted jewellery, art, clothing, furniture, toys as well as regional food and wine. Head next door and see glass artists in action at the Canberra Glassworks in Kingston and try your hand at making your own glass product.
Get ready to shop up a storm when the kings of the flat pack – Swedish furniture giant IKEA – opens the doors to its brand new Canberra store in Majura in November. The store is a short distance from Majura Park Shopping Centre which features Costco and is not far from Canberra Airport.
Eat, drink and be merry
Refuel in the city’s many hot dining precincts including Lonsdale Street in Braddon, the NewActon precinct and along the Kingston Foreshore. You’ll find a mix of hipster coffee spots, casual cafes and innovative restaurants as well as chocolatiers and even a craft brew pub.
For lovers of fine wine, don’t forget there are more than 30 cellar doors all within 35 minutes drive of Canberra. Meet a winemaker and sample the region’s outstanding cool climate wines. You can also sample the best Rieslings from the Canberra district and across the world at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge Public Tasting Day on 17 October at the Albert Hall.
During Canberra Beer Week, from 5-11 November, the best Australian and international brewers and breweries will come to the Capital region for a range of beer-related events. Sample some of the 120 beers on offer from 30 Australian and international craft breweries while enjoying live music at Beer Day Out on 6-7 November.
For spring inspiration, go to visitcanberra.com.au where you can book your accommodation online.