Exploring Canberra: A Guide to Enjoyable Activities

By Honor Cessford, Australian National University, Australia

Despite its reputation as a dull inland city, Canberra, the capital of Australia, offers an array of fun activities. Disregard the misconceptions and let me share some of my personal favourite things to do in Canberra!


For rugby and AFL enthusiasts, Canberra provides ample opportunities to spectate and enjoy the games. The GIO Stadium hosts frequent rugby union and league matches featuring the Brumbies and the Canberra Raiders. Additionally, catching an AFL game at Manuka Oval, where the GWS Giants play, is a must. The vibrant atmosphere is further enhanced by the presence of food trucks, ensuring a fun evening out.


Canberra boasts numerous cultural institutions for those interested in arts and heritage. The National Museum of Australia, situated on the picturesque banks of Lake Burley Griffin, offers both exhibits and a café with beautiful views over the lake. Opposite the museum, you’ll find the National Gallery of Australia, which houses an extensive collection of over 166,000 artworks, making it one of the largest art museums in the country. The National Portrait Gallery, features portraits of notable Australians. Don’t miss out on Questacon, the science museum, as it promises an engaging experience! Canberra hosts a range of music festivals, with Spilt Milk and Groovin the Moo being most popular with students!


There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Canberra. Take a refreshing study break by embarking on a walk up Black Mountain, conveniently located near the campus. For panoramic views of the city, head to the viewpoint at Mount Ainslie, where you can try to spot the Civic and campus areas. Lake Burley Griffin offers opportunities for scenic walks, cycling along the shoreline, sailing on goboats, paddling in a Capital paddleboat, or enjoying a meal at waterfront venues. A visit to the National Zoo & Aquarium guarantees a fun-filled afternoon amidst wildlife and marine creatures.


The heart of Canberra, known as Civic, is home to a vibrant array of shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes. If you’re seeking summer attire or swimwear to help the Australian sun be more bearable, be sure to explore Glassons, one of my personal favourites. I highly recommend visiting Hopscotch, a restaurant and bar conveniently located in Braddon, just a short 5-minute walk from Civic. Another excellent dining option is Lazy Su.

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