72 hours on wheels in Canberra
Updated 19 Oct 2023
Top tips for fun as you bike, scoot, or drive around Canberra
With so many sights to see and meals to enjoy, Canberra is primed to be enjoyed from the comfort of wheels. Whichever way you choose to explore – riding or driving — get ready for 72 hours of unforgettable experiences that will take you through this vibrant capital city.
With its bike-friendly infrastructure and scenic roadways, Canberra is the perfect destination for a diverse range of wheeled exploration. We’ve gathered a guided itinerary of ways to enjoy the nation’s capital over a short break from whatever pair of wheels you choose.
Start your visit with a trip to the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre to stock up on information, inspiration, and even some Canberra-crafted wares to take home. There you can hire a folding Brompton bike, which is lightweight and sturdy, making it an easy option for the leisure rider. Helmets, saddlebags, bike locks, and lake maps are all included. Or opt for an e-scooter hire to enjoy views at an easy pace.
There is a vast array of options for bike hire in Canberra and several different self-service e-scooter vendors parked on accessible city corners, so you won’t be left for wanting when it comes to hiring your own set of wheels.
Drive or ride up through the winding, beautiful pathways of the National Arboretum Canberra, for a view of the afternoon sky. This mosaic of living forests and gardens offers breathtaking views, unique experiences, and accessible trails for wheels of all kinds. With over 20 kilometres of multi-purpose tracks that wind through the forests, you’ll be able to explore the world of flora on whatever set of wheels you choose, only ten minutes from the city centre.
Ride or drive alongside Lake Burley Griffin to find your way to one of Kingston Foreshore’s many renowned eateries. With bike racks up and down the foreshore and a collection of accessible venues, it’s easy to find a dining experience that’s perfect for everyone. Try out local favourite Molto Italian or take it easy with a drink while watching the sunset at Walt & Burley.
Tuck in for the night where luxury meets city-centre style at QT Canberra a hotel that also offers hire bikes to their guests, so you can pick up two wheels first thing in the morning (if you haven’t already). Alternatively, Crowne Plaza Canberra offers ease from its inner-city location, adjacent to picturesque Glebe Park. Walk, ride, or scoot nearby to explore the city centres' culinary and cultural highlights during your stay.
Start your day off with a hearty breakfast at The Cupping Room, proudly founded by award-winning ONA Coffee and recently taking out the title of Australia’s best flat white as voted by Australians. Truly a Cup of Joe not to be missed!
Kick on with an adrenaline rush by mountain biking at Stromlo Forest Park, exploring the trails that are suitable for all levels. For an extra boost, take the Dynamic Motivation Stromlo Shuttle Bus to the top. Running every 40 minutes, a super-keen rider can get 11 uplifts to the summit and have plenty of opportunities to perfect their downhill run.
Make your way to the Australian National Botanic Gardens and enjoy a post-ride lunch at Pollen Café. Explore the main trails at the Botanic Gardens, many of which are accessible for wheels of all kinds and suitable for all walking levels. Nestled in the foothills of Black Mountain but right at the edge of the city centre, there’s lots to explore in every direction at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
Scoot your way into the city centre, where you can explore nine unique dining outlets at Tiger Lane, spanning cuisines from Japan, South Korea, Southern China, Northern China, and Southeast Asia. Or ride your way up into the vibrant precinct of Braddon to sample some dinner delicacies from culinary heavy hitters like Eightysix North, Rizla, or Italian & Sons. After a nearby nightcap, you’re only a quick ride, scoot, or drive away from your accommodation.
Wake up well with breakfast at East Row Specialty Coffee. With an entire signature range of house blends and a menu that features waffles, breakfast rolls and baked eggs (what more could you want), you’ll have your pick of caffeine and sustenance before your last day wheeling around Canberra.
On your way around the lake, you’ll be able to spot many of Canberra’s most notable national attractions, like the National Museum of Australia. If you stop in on your ride, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in Australian history with the help of mobility aids and accessible exhibitions.
Also lakeside is the National Gallery of Australia; home to the Sculpture Garden, with famed art pieces set amongst their serene gardens - a must-visit for a relaxing experience.
Fuel up after your journey on pastries and coffee at Margot Bar nearby before continuing onward with your exploration of the inner south.
Want more adventure?
Want to know the local's recommendations on the best lookouts, hikes, cycling trails and native animal spotting opportunities? This guide to the capital's great outdoors has you covered.
Find more to explore in Canberra
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