20 best things to do in Canberra in 2023
Canberra, the capital city of Australia, often gets overlooked when compared to its more famous counterparts like Sydney and Melbourne. However, Canberra has a lot to offer, and 2023 is the perfect year to explore its hidden gems and vibrant culture. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised as we unveil 20 thrilling, awe-inspiring, and downright exciting experiences that await you in the heart of the Land Down Under. From soaring high in a hot air balloon at sunrise to uncovering hidden street art gems, Canberra will captivate your senses and ignite your wanderlust. Buckle up as we dive into the 20 best things to do in Canberra in 2023!
1. Explore the Australian War Memorial
Location: Anzac Parade, Canberra
Start your journey in Canberra with a visit to the Australian War Memorial, a solemn yet awe-inspiring tribute to the nation's military history. With its impressive architecture and extensive collection of artifacts, this memorial offers a profound journey through the nation's wartime history. Each exhibit pays tribute to the brave men and women who served their country, from the haunting Gallipoli diorama to the solemn Roll of Honour. It's a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made for the freedom we enjoy today.
2. Wander Through the National Gallery of Australia
Location: Parkes Place, Canberra
Art enthusiasts will find a haven at the National Gallery of Australia. This isn't just a museum; it's a portal to a world of artistic wonder – from the mesmerizing Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room to the captivating Skyspace by James Turrell, you'll be awe-struck. Explore works by renowned artists like Warhol and the Chapman Brothers, and dive into the world's most extensive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection. This gallery is an artistic treasure that will captivate every art lover.
3. Soar to the Skies in a Hot Air Balloon
Location: Canberra Sky
2023 is the year of breathtaking adventures, and Canberra's hot air balloon ride at sunrise is an experience you will never forget. Picture yourself floating serenely over the city, with the first rays of the sun painting the landscape below in soft, golden hues. Sip on sparkling wine as you gaze down upon Lake Burley Griffin, outstanding parks, and the iconic Parliament House. This adventure is more than a ride; it's a magical journey through the skies.
4. Join the Canberra Pub Crawl Game
Location: Canberra's Best bars
If you're looking for the perfect night out, then this is for you! Canberra's pub culture is alive and thriving, and there's no better way to explore it than through the Canberra Pub Crawl Game. Canberra's pub crawl is not your typical night out; it's a legendary challenge. This self-guided adventure takes you to some of the city's most vibrant watering holes, each with its unique charm. Whether you're a beer enthusiast or a cocktail fan, you'll find a bar that suits your taste. Engage in lively trivia games as you hop from one venue to another via a taxi, aiming to climb the leaderboard and claim the title of pub crawl champion. It's an affordable and fun way to immerse yourself in Canberra, and it's a quest for glory, perfect for groups, friends, and even memorable date nights.
5. Go on an Art Scavenger Hunt
Location: Civic Square, Veterans Park, Latin American Plaza
Scavenger Hunts are always fun, and in the heart of Canberra, you're set to experience a modern-day treasure hunt. This art scavenger hunt takes you through galleries, museums, and more. Wander through Civic Square's open-air installations, where modern sculptures coexist with historic landmarks. Veterans Park pays homage to the nation's military history through thought-provoking artworks. Latin American Plaza adds a touch of international flair to your artistic journey. Along the way, solve clues, unlock trivia, and race to the top of the leaderboard. It's a fun-filled day of exploration, perfect for families and friends or adding excitement to your date.
6. Visit the Enigmatic Pink Lake
Location: Eardley Street, Bruce
Nature often surprises us with its unexpected wonders, and Canberra's pink lake is a prime example. Located a few miles from the city, this vibrant natural phenomenon boasts a stunning shade of pink because the lake is covered with Azolla pinata, an aquatic micro-fern native to Australia. As you stand by its shores, you'll be captivated by the surreal landscape and the opportunity to capture truly remarkable photos. The lake's striking colour, set against the backdrop of the Australian landscape, creates an unforgettable visual experience perfect for Instagram-worthy photos.
7. Embark on a Winery and Distillery Tour
Location: Various wineries and distilleries near Canberra
With its fantastic climate, rich soil, and sunny days, Canberra is a winemaker's heaven. Little wonder there are over 40 wineries within 35 minutes of the city. Hence, a winery and distillery tour is ideal for sampling the region's liquid treasures while enjoying picturesque landscapes. You could even take a taxi and visit multiple wineries. Sample the finest wines and get a firsthand insight into how the Shiraz, Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon are made.
8. Explore Cockington Green Gardens
Location: Gold Creek Village, Canberra
Just 15 minutes north of Canberra, discover the enchanting world of miniature gardens at Cockington Green Gardens. As you stroll through the gardens, you'll encounter meticulously crafted small villages with tiny houses, gardens, and people. The attention to detail is astounding, making it a captivating experience for visitors of all ages. And if you have kids, the steamtrain rides will blow their minds away!
9. Visit the Iconic Parliament House
Location: Parliament Drive, Canberra
If you want a peek into the democratic heart of Australia, then a visit to the Parliament House is non-negotiable. Here, members of Parliament meet to represent the Australian people, making crucial decisions for the nation. As you walk through the halls and corridors on a guided tour, you'll gain a deeper understanding of Australian democracy and the vital role this institution plays. Keep an eye out for the unexpected presence of a resident alpaca—a unique and endearing part of the Parliament House experience.
10. Questacon – National Science and Technology Center
Location: King Edward Terrace, Canberra
If you're ready to unleash your inner scientist, then Questacon is the place to be. Questacon provides world-class creative, interactive science exhibitions and programmes. Here, you can watch demonstrations by young scientists and experienced science communicators. Dive into exhibits that explore physics, technology, and the natural world, making science accessible and exciting for visitors.
11. Explore Lost Vintage Shop
Location: Braddon, Canberra
Vintage shopping is an adventure filled with nostalgia and the thrill of discovering hidden gems. Lost Vintage Shop in Braddon offers a curated selection of vintage clothing, accessories, and decor items, inviting you to explore a bygone era's style and charm. The shop's eclectic collection and limited opening hours (Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) make each visit a delightful treasure hunt. Whether you're a seasoned vintage enthusiast or simply looking for one-of-a-kind pieces, Lost Vintage Shop promises a journey through time and fashion.
12. Experience the Old Bus Depot Markets
Location: Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, Canberra
The Old Bus Depot Markets are a Sunday tradition for locals and visitors alike. Every Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., this bustling market is a treasure trove of handmade and locally crafted goods, where artisans and vendors showcase their unique creations. You'll discover a diverse range of products, from handcrafted jewellery and ceramics to gourmet treats and vintage collectibles. The markets provide an opportunity to connect with Canberra's creative community and support local businesses. As you stroll through the stalls, you'll encounter a vibrant atmosphere filled with delicious aromas, live music, and friendly faces. Moreover, you can conveniently get a taxi to return your purchases from the market.
13. Hike the Namadgi National Park.
Location: ACT (25 miles southwest of Canberra)
Namadgi National Park is an untamed wilderness on Canberra's doorstep, offering a serene escape from the city's hustle and bustle. With hiking trails, wildlife spotting, and stunning vistas, it's a nature lover's paradise. Explore its network of hiking trails that passes through rugged landscapes, taking you to mountain peaks, pristine rivers, and secluded valleys. Watch for native wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and colourful bird species. If you're a photography enthusiast, the park's dramatic vistas and starry skies provide ample opportunities to capture nature's beauty.
14. Savor Canberra's Culinary Scene
Location: Various restaurants and cafes in Canberra
Your visit to Canberra would only be complete with indulging in Canberra's culinary landscape. Explore the city's diverse dining options, from world-class restaurants that offer tasting menus to cozy cafes serving artisanal coffee and delectable pastries. Take advantage of the opportunity to taste regional specialties like kangaroo and emu, showcasing Australia's unique culinary heritage. Popular options include Lazy Su, Mocan, Green Grout, and Bar Rochford for a glass of fine wine.
15. Wander Through Australian National Botanic Gardens
Location: Clunies Ross Street, Canberra
Established in 1949, the Australian National Botanic Gardens hosts a scientific collection of native plants, including rare and endangered species. Wander through themed sections that reflect different ecosystems, from arid deserts to lush rainforests. It's a serene and educational experience that allows you to connect with nature and gain a deeper appreciation for Australia's remarkable plant diversity. The gardens also offer stunning views of Black Mountain and provide a tranquil setting for a stroll or a peaceful picnic.
16. Immerse Yourself in the Floriade Festival
Location: Commonwealth Park, Canberra
Springtime in Canberra heralds the arrival of Floriade, a spectacular celebration of nature's beauty. Commonwealth Park transforms into a riot of colours and fragrances as millions of flowers burst into bloom. A leisurely walk among tulips, daffodils, and other vibrant blooms is a sensory delight. Cultural displays and live music performances add to the festival's festive ambience. Don't forget to explore NightFest, an enchanting after-dark experience that bathes the floral wonderland in a magical glow. Floriade is a testament to the beauty of renewal and a must-visit for anyone in the capital during spring.
17. Visit the National Museum of Australia
Location: Lawson Crescent, Canberra
The National Museum of Australia preserves Australia's complex history, exploring key issues, events and people that have shaped the country. Its diverse exhibits cover everything from Aboriginal heritage to contemporary culture, providing a comprehensive overview of the nation's history. With over 210,000 objects in its collection, your tour will build connections between objects, memories, imagination, and lived experiences of those who have come before you.
18. Get a View of Lake Burley Griffin
Location: Central Canberra
As you explore the vibrant city of Canberra, you'll undoubtedly encounter the serene and picturesque Lake Burley Griffin. This artificial lake is not just a body of water; it's the city's beating heart, offering many activities and opportunities to connect with nature. Whether you're a runner, cyclist, or simply seeking a leisurely walk, the 5-kilometer walking path encircles the lake and is a popular choice for locals and visitors. If you prefer a more leisurely experience, consider renting a GoBoat electric boat. With friends and family aboard, you can relax and enjoy the lake's peaceful waters.
19. Conquer Mount Ainslie for Breathtaking Views
Location: Mount Ainslie, Canberra
Climbing Mount Ainslie offers an adventure that rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of Canberra's stunning landscape. The hike to the summit, primarily via the famous Mount Ainslie Summit Track, is a 4-kilometer round trip taking around 1.5 hours. As you ascend, surrounded by native flora, you'll gradually reveal a remarkable view of Canberra's landmarks, including Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin.
20. A visit to Weston Park
Location: Yarralumla, Canberra
Weston Park, a mere 10-minute drive from Canberra's city centre, provides a serene escape into nature's beauty. Weston Park is a lush, sprawling oasis with vibrant greenery, a pristine lakeside setting, and various activities for all ages. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by towering trees offering shade, perfect for picnics with family and friends. The park's expansive lawns invite relaxation and outdoor games. As one of Canberra's oldest parks, Weston Park is a testament to the city's commitment to preserving green spaces.
A Taxi Tour for the perfect Experience
As you can see, there are so many exciting places to visit in Canberra. Hence, getting around can be a hassle. Thankfully, discovering Canberra's attractions has never been more convenient and personalized than with a taxi Canberra tour.
A taxi tour in Canberra is like having your local guide to the city's highlights and hidden gems. With experienced drivers behind the wheel, you can customize your itinerary based on your interests and schedule.
Flexibility is a crucial advantage. Whether you want to visit iconic landmarks like Parliament House or explore lesser-known spots, your taxi driver can adapt to your preferences.
Taxi tours in Canberra provide door-to-door service, saving you the hassle of parking and navigating unfamiliar streets. Your driver can also share fascinating insights into Canberra's history, design, and culture.
This personalized experience is suitable for solo travellers, couples, and groups. It ensures a comfortable and enjoyable exploration of the city's attractions.
With the convenience, flexibility, and local expertise of a taxi tour, you'll make the most of your visit to Canberra.