Canberra is famous for its arts, culture, food and coffee scene, but it also has active adventures for the thrill-seekers among us. That is, if you're willing to step away from the priceless pieces of art for long enough to go looking for them. 

Ride the wind

Bike riders at Stromlo Forest Park
Bike riders at Stromlo Forest Park

Does the idea of flying down a mountain on wheels tickle your fancy? Mountain biking is gaining popularity among women in Canberra, and for good reason.

Not only is it a challenging and fun way to keep fit, but there’s plenty of mountain bike trails around Canberra, including Stromlo Forest Park, Kowen Forest and Majura Pines.

2017 CBR Sports Award Finalist Rayne McNee has a passion for getting Canberra women and girls on bikes. At Cycle Education, she regularly runs events and skill camps for women of all abilities. Try a beginner course and you may well find your next favourite sport.

Various locations | cycleducation.com.au

Get vertikal

Vertikal
Vertikal

Any Canberran worth their Lonsdale Street latte will tell you that one of Canberra’s best features is that it’s only a short road trip to the beach or the snow.

Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports Australia has managed to make the journey to the latter even shorter, thanks to their facility on Dairy Road in Fyshwick.

Whether you’re a serious skier or snowboarder, or just on the hunt for your next thrill, Vertikal has you covered with their indoor setup. Their unique slopes mimic real terrain, with speed and angulation that adjusts at the touch of a button.

They even offer an après ski experience with hot chocolates and a milkshake bar, so there’s something for everyone in the family.

Unit 2, Building 3, 1 Dairy Road, Fyshwick | vertikalsnowsports.com

Take the edge off

Regardless of whether you’re afraid of heights, the thrill of descending a cliff face is enough to induce that addictive release of adrenaline.

Think of abseiling as a controlled fall; a climb down a rock face or vertical wall with the help of a harness and ropes. Canberra is home to scenic locations that are perfect for abseiling, including Booroomba Rocks, Gibraltar Rocks, and White Rocks above Queanbeyan River.

Clearly, abseiling is a sport that’s not without risks, so professional guidance is recommended. K7 Adventures will show you the ropes, with half to full days of climbing and abseiling, as well as courses on offer.

Various locations | k7adventures.com

Off the beaten track

Ready for a bumpy ride? Go off-road with 4-wheel driving.

Great for adventurous weekends, 4-wheel driving is at the crossroads of skill and entertainment. Depending on your course, you’ll navigate rugged terrain, climb and descend muddy inclines, and cross waters and gullies.

Be warned: it’s an activity that’s not for the faint-hearted. If you’re the one behind the wheel, it’s a challenging way to put your driving skills to the test, while passengers will experience the thrill of spinning tires, bumps and drops.

Love the idea but lack confidence in your off-road driving skills?

Sutton Road Training Centre has a 3.4-kilometre private 4WD track and accredited courses so you can get your bearings under the watchful eye of a professional.

441 Sutton Road, Majura | suttonroad.com.au

Surf the sky

Scan the bucket list of any thrillseeker and you’re bound to find paragliding. Unlike skydiving, paragliders launch their flight from the ground, harnessing the power of the wind to take off into the sky.

A 30 to 45-minute drive from the city centre will have you at one of many suitable local sites.

While it’s a sport that’s heavily dependent on weather, a clear day will present you with an unforgettable experience of enjoying breathtaking views while soaring through the skies.

SkySurf Paragliding School offers everything from a Tandem Paragliding Experience through to Learn to Fly and Skill Development Courses. With gift vouchers and in-flight photos available, it’s the perfect experience to share with a fellow adrenaline junkie.

Various locations | skysurf.com.au

Go boulder to boulder

Now in its third year of operation, BlocHaus has become a favourite among families, gym junkies and daredevils alike.

Like rock climbing, you’ll use your strength and your wits to scale artificial walls. Unlike rock climbing, however, you don’t have the ropes or harness to assist you. Don’t fret: with shorter walls and padded floors, it’s perfectly safe, yet challenging enough to get your palms sweating and blood pumping.

Drop-in for a casual session, join a boulder beginner class or check out their range of fitness classes.

Unit 2, Building 2, 1 Dairy Road, Fyshwick | blochaus.com.au