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A man in a hot air balloon soaring across Canberra national attractions

Lesser-known nature experiences you need to explore

Updated 18 Aug 2023

Consider yourself an outdoorsy type? Become acquainted with some of Canberra’s coolest outdoor experiences and incredible natural beauty

Sure, the view from the iconic Mount Ainslie is breathtaking, not to mention the hike to the top… but why not try something a little different.

Canberra’s outdoor and nature experiences extend far beyond pretty vistas and lake-side cycling. Scratch below the surface and discover the array of scenic, adventurous, and surprising activities on offer for the whole family.

Whether you're an avid adventure seeker or just looking for a peaceful escape from the city, these gems are sure to offer more than a unique and unforgettable experience. From bushwalking trails to secret gardens and wildlife reserves, Canberra has a wealth of natural beauty that is just waiting to be discovered.

Canberra. There's more than they're telling us.

A hot air balloon taking flight.

See Canberra from above 

Take to the skies to see Canberra from a completely new angle in a hot air balloon flight from Balloon Aloft or Dawn Drifters or jump in a chopper with Helicopter Corporation for breathtaking views of iconic attractions plus the surrounding mountains and rivers.

Kid taking a photo on a phone at Mulligans Flat

Step into an oasis of biodiversity and natural wonder

A visit to Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary promises a unique encounter with the native flora and fauna of the region.

See if you can spot the eastern bettong with a distinctive white belly, the spotted-tailed quoll or the elusive echidna.

Two people sit down holding a glass of wine in a glamping tent

Wake up to vineyard views

Simple and intimate, Cubby and Co's two bell tents and one tiny house nestled in Mount Majura Vineyard have created a space for you to reconnect with nature while enjoying the creature comforts of 'home'.

Visiting in the cooler months?  While the bell tents close across winter, the tiny home remains open and inviting. With fully insulated walls complete with an outdoor patio heater, a cosy night away is guaranteed.

Woman and child on slide.

Descend at your own pace

Just 45 minutes from the city, Corin Forest hosts the scenic 1.2km alpine slide, which is arguably the most majestic way to take in the Mountain Ash forest.

Corin Forest also has beginner-friendly slopes to show kids the snow ropes from tobogganing to the basics of snowboarding and skiing.

Giant acorn playground at the National Arboretum Canberra

Crawl through giant acorns

The award-winning POD playground at the National Arboretum Canberra will have kids climbing structures and testing out slides, swings, giant acorn cubbies, and music-making instruments. 

Take a wander through the nearby Bonsai Collection which hosts a world-class display of some of the finest miniature trees and forests in the world.

Two adults patting a cheetah in a zoo

Spot some furry friends in a different light

Get up and personal at the National Zoo and Aquarium with the Meet-A-Cheetah experience or get to know the meerkat family in a close encounter.

When the sun goes down, choose your vehicle and embark on a Wild Night Zooventure complete with an ‘African Sundowner’ during the tour (canape and drink stops? Yes please!).

Image by Screencraft. 

Mountain bike riders admiring the view form One Tree Hill

Take on the centenary trail 

The Canberra Centenary Trail is a 145 km, self-guided loop trail that takes riders around the capital as you go on a journey between urban and rural surroundings, past iconic sites and local treasures including swimming spots and cafes. 

Customers and staff observing an electronic scooter for hire

Gear up for the ultimate urban explorer's ride

Make your way to the Canberra and Region Visitor's Centre at Regatta Point to hire a Canberran's beloved mode of transport: e-scooter (complete with a stylish helmet). 

While you're there, chat with the friendly local staff and volunteers and be sure to explore the shop, which is full of handcrafted gifts, hampers and unique souvenirs. 

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