Discover the best Canberra things to see and do suggested by visitors like you
Passengers enjoy a hot air balloon flight over the city of Canberra,  a popular experience to add to your Canberra bucketlist

Canberra Bucket List

With help from VisitCanberra’s fans and followers, we have put together a list of things everyone has to see, do, taste and try to truly experience Canberra. Make 2016 the year you start ticking these experiences off your #CBRbucketlist!

Will you suggest an experience for others to try? Tag us on Twitter Instagram or Facebook using #CBRbucketlist with your best suggestions. 

Tempt your tastebuds with the milkshakes creating world-wide intrigue and envy at Patissez Cafe on the Lawns in the precinct of Manuka and in Civic. These desserts-in-a-glass are designed to make you want to share with everyone on social media before you indulge. As with all great things, it is well worth the wait to get one of these treats! You can also try great shakes from The Cupping Room and Fox and Bow.

  • A selfie under Parliament House’s Australian flag 

    In the exact centre of the roof of Parliament House flies an Australian flag roughly the size of a double-decker bus. Visitors can take the lift to the roof, walk beneath the massive flag mast and pose for Australian selfies. Tag us with #CBRselfie on Instagram and be included on our Canberra selfie Pinterest board
  • 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.
  • Look out from atop Mount Ainslie

    Walk up Mt 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 walk back down.
  • Wine tasting 

    Visit more than 30 boutique cellar doors in Canberra’s premium wine growing region and make sure to taste a local Shiraz Viognier or Riesling. Why not make a day of it with a wine tasting tour?
  • 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. 

  • Experience the Last Post Ceremony

    Experience the powerful Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial which begins with the Australian National Anthem and each day honours one of the 62,000 who gave their lives in service. Visitors are invited to lay wreaths and floral tributes beside the Pool of Reflection.
  • Swim at Manuka Pool

    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.

  • Relax in the rainforest

    Escape to the cool, shady environment of the Rainforest Gully during summer – one of the Australian National Botanic Gardens' most popular and beautiful attractions.

  • Celebrate Australia's cultural diversity

    Embrace the kaleidoscope of colours, sounds, sights, flavours and fun of the National Multicultural Festival and experience culturally diverse traditions, dance, food and performances.

  • Take a segway tour

  • If you’ve never ridden a segway, Canberra is the place to give it a try. Join a tour around the Parliamentary Triangle and Lake Burley Griffin and master the art of riding this self-balancing two-wheeled machine.
  • National attractions

    Make sure you visit all the national institutions that call Canberra home at least once, including 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(Tweeters @in_the_taratory and @bizzylizzycooks)
  • Dinner with the cool kids

    Head to the ultra cool Hotel Hotel to dine at Australian Hotel Guide's best bar, Monster Kitchen and Bar in the NewActon precinct and make sure to get a photo in the extremely photogenic grand staircase in the Nishi building while you are there.
  • 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.
  • Ultimate overnight safari

    Embark on the ultimate animal encounter at the National Zoo & Aquarium’s new luxury accommodation – Jamala Wildlife Lodge – where you can take part in behind-the-scenes tours and even share a jungle bungalow with wild animals for neighbours.
  • Tropical spa treatment

    Get papered in luxurious surroundings at the new Jindii Eco Spa within the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
  • See sculpture in a new light

    Witness the remarkable change in light at at dawn or dusk by visiting the National Gallery of Australia’s Within without - a major Skyspace by American artist James Turrell. (Instagrammer @fran_t)
  • Skydive over Canberra 

  • Be brave. Skydive over Canberra to enjoy stunning views of the capital city and the natural beauty of the region from a tremendous height.
  • Go big (Brod) or go home 

  • Finish the biggest burger at the popular Brodburger, the Broddeluxe, which consists of two half-pound beef patties, your choice of gourmet cheese, two eggs, lots of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, homemade aioli and tomato relish!
  • Hipster 'hoods to check out:

    Wander through Braddon and NewActon for the eclectic mix of cafes, bars, pop-up stores, galleries and people watching.
  • Set the record straight 

    Dig deep and find a family connection or record at the National Archives of Australia, the National Library of Australia or the Australian War Memorial.
  • Partake at Poacher’s Pantry 

    Drive 25 minutes from Canberra’s centre and up a rural road to the popular smokehouse and cafe Poacher’s Pantry. Enjoy a tasting plate or Poacher’s Pantry’s signature dish of smoked lamb cutlets and taste their Wily Trout wines.
  • 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.
  • Lap the lake 

    Do as the locals do and spend an hour walking the ‘bridge to bridge’ path around Lake Burley Griffin, stopping off for a coffee along the way.
  • Unleash your inner artist

    Take part in a hands-on class at the Canberra Glassworks and learn the secrets to flame working, glass blowing, cold working, kiln forming and casting.
  • Spectacular hot air balloon festival

    Whether you are on the lawns of Old Parliament House or floating up in the air, the Canberra Balloon Spectacular offers the chance to view a stunning array of hot air balloons drifting slowly over Canberra’s iconic national attractions. (Instagrammer @simplycheecky)
  • 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.
  • BentSpoke Brewing Co

    Enjoy a drop of Canberra brews with names such as the Barley Griffin, Mort’s Gold and Braddon Bitter at BentSpoke Brewing Co.
  • Climb every mountain

    Set yourself the goal of riding your bike up Dairy Farmers Hill, Red Hill and Mt Stromlo. Add an extra kick with Black Mountain, Mount Ainslie, the Mount McDonald Circuit or take part in the annual Fitz's Challenge.
  • Picnic with a view

    Enjoy a picnic at sunset at the National Arboretum Canberra and admire the stunning views over the city and beyond. (Facebook OzHarvest Canberra and Instagrammer @daisyduds)
  • 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. (Tweeter @vinch_tweet)
  • Old Bus Depot Markets

    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.
  • A sundae to die for

    So popular is the Caramel Popcorn Sundae dish at eightysix in Braddon, that it has graced the cover of Gourmet Traveller magazine. It’s almost too pretty to eat. Resistance is futile. 
  • Get a caffeine fix

    Take part in a cupping session at the Cupping Room to learn all about the many processes of making coffee. For those who don’t like coffee, try one of their famous king shakes.
  • Show your team pride

    Support local Canberra sports teams – the BrumbiesCanberra RaidersGWS GiantsCanberra CapitalsCanberra CavalryCanberra Brave and Canberra United – at a live game.
  • High tea at the Hyatt

    Indulging in the famous afternoon tea buffet in the heritage listed Tea Lounge is an established tradition at Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Tea and scones anyone?
  • Walk the length of Anzac Parade

    Discover the symbolism and stories behind the memorials that line Anzac Parade, before finishing up at the Australian War Memorial.
  • Très chic Braddon bakery

    Buy freshly-baked croissants at Autolyse and watch bread and pastries being made before your eyes in the open kitchen.
  • Get snap happy

    Make sure you get out of bed nice and early at least once to photograph one of the famous Canberra sunrises. If you do sleep in, 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.
  • 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.
  • Travelling degustation

    Make you way along the vibrant Kingston Foreshore stopping into restaurants and cafes to sample some of the incredible food and drinks on offer in this new precinct.
  • Become a Ghost Buster

    Join Canberra identity Tim Yowie Man on a ghost tour and other mysterious phenomena of the hidden underbelly of the nation’s capital.
  • Nature night walks

    Stay overnight at Nil Desperandum Homestead in natural bush settings beneath the mountains of Tidbinbilla and use it as a base for bushwalking, bird watching, star gazing, reading and night nature walks.
  • Catch a game of cricket

    Just 10 minutes 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 second home for the GWS Giants as they stretch their wings in the AFL.
  • Hang at The Hamlet

    Kick back at Braddon’s newest niche and take your pick from a range of delicious street food vans like BrodDogs and Mr Papa.
  • 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.
  • 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 smell the tulips, see an horticultural workshop and get your photo taken in front of the stunning garden beds.
  • Floriade after dark

    Explore the illuminated wonderland that is Floriade NightFest, ride the Ferris wheel, see a comedy show and admire the flowers beds all lit up. (Tweeter @citymumruralife)
  • Snow play at Corin Forest

  • During winter  build a snow person, go tobogganing and start a snow ball fight at Corin Forest Mountain Resort nestled in Namadgi National Park just 40 minutes drive from the city.
  • Skate in the City

    Strap on some ice skates and glide around Canberra’s only outdoor ice rink open between June and July in the middle of winter.
  • 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.
  • Tackle Stromlo Forest

    Ride more than 40km of trails at one of Australia’s best mountain bike venues and test your skills at The Playground. (Damian Breach on Facebook)
  • 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! (Tweeter @N_holt76)
  • Laugh yourself silly

    Catch a live comedy show during the Canberra Comedy Festival and get ready to giggle. (Tweeter @dmr54)
  • Fine dining

    Indulge at some of the capital’s top-rated restaurants and enjoy incredible culinary experiences at restaurants like The Boat House by the Lake, AubergineOttoman Cuisine, Italian and Sons, and Temporada.
  • Stars above Stromlo

    Mount Stromlo Observatory hosts special public observing evenings for some serious stargazing. (Tweeter @mossrocket)
  • 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.
  • Anzac Day Dawn Service 

    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.

More things to see and do in Canberra

Browse through other things to see and do in Canberra and the region for family funfood and wineoutdoor adventures and Australian art and culture in the Australian National Collection.

Planning your Canberra bucket list visit

You won't get all these done in a day, so you'll need to take a break to fill your bucket. So start with a weekend getaway. Even that won't be long enough to experience the nation's capital. To get you started planning, browse the largest range of Canberra accommodation properties with everything from five star luxury to the best places to park your caravan.

Canberra expert local knowledge and advice

If you want to talk to a real person and gain extra tips and ideas or just friendly advice on booking and planning your Canberra getaway, call our visitor centre on 1300 554 114.

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