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A family eating dinner near lions.

Seven unique places to stay on your Canberra getaway

Updated 28 Mar 2024

Spend your trip to Canberra glamping in a vineyard, sleeping near lions, and sinking into luxe surrounds in the in the heart of the city centre.

Considering a road trip to the nation's capital? From feeding lions to treating yourself in sanctuaries of rejuvenation, Canberra isn't short on activities that'll make any mini-break extra memorable. Whether you'd prefer a plush bed hidden within a vineyard or a luxurious city stay within walking distance of the top-notch nightlife, Canberra has what you’re looking for to make your stay extra special.

To help ensure you make the most of your trip to Canberra, we've found seven places to stay that'll tickle the fancy of every type of adventurer there is.

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

A woman reading in bed.

Ovolo Nishi

Cosy and compact, with artistic bones, the Ovolo Nishi luxury boutique hotel is the perfect base to begin exploring the sights of this creative city. This glamorous hotel perched on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin is housed in the Nishi building, the Japanese-inspired, pineapple-shaped architectural gem for which it’s named. The sophisticated rooms are an ode to the natural world, with retro furnishings constructed from refurbished clay, cork, eucalyptus timber and natural fibres, and bathrooms featuring luxe rain showers or deep concrete bathtubs.

The atrium rooms peer into a leafy internal courtyard alive with reclaimed Tasmanian tree ferns, while the sunrooms glow in natural light and gaze out over the lake. After dining at the in-house vegetarian restaurant, Monster Kitchen & Bar, you’ll be perfectly positioned to visit nearby museums, nature reserves, and major national attractions. Your furry four-legged friends are also welcome at this five-star, sustainable hotel.

Ovolo Nishi

Couple looking at a cheetah from their hotel room.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge

While it’s located just a ten-minute drive from the city centre, Jamala Wildlife Lodge might just make you feel like you’re on a transcontinental journey. Tour the sprawling grounds solo or on a guided safari, and you’ll spy lions, sun bears, rhinos, monkeys, zebras and more. You can also spend the night in a tree house overlooking the resident giraffes — who might visit your balcony for a snack — or a bungalow with wide windows for living room hangs with tigers.

There’s a rough itinerary to follow when you visit, but in between the tours, in-house fine dining, and one-on-one animal encounters, you can be sure to enjoy a luxury accommodation experience unlike any you’ve had before.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge

A couple pouring wine on a deck in front of a vineyard.

Cubby and Co

Cubby and Co offers a stripped-back glamping experience located a 20-minute drive from the city that certainly encourages visitors to get back to nature. Without wifi or technology, you can enjoy a night that truly gets you away from it all. Edgar and Frank, two pristine bell tents named for local winemakers, are nestled among the undulating vines at Mount Majura Vineyard from spring to autumn. In winter, you can instead cuddle up in Dinny, a tiny house with a spectacular view.

In all the hideaways, you’ll sleep on a plush bed shrouded in locally sourced linens, rifle through books, and play your way through the stash of board games. While the accommodation includes comforts like a mini-fridge and eco-toilet, you’ll need to abandon showers for your one-night stay. You can dedicate your visit to picnicking and stargazing, or head to the cellar door for wine tastings and have upscale takeaway delivered directly to your tent deck.

Cubby & Co

A comfy bed in front of a window looking out across Canberra.

Little National Hotel

Make a beeline for Little National Hotel if you’re after a mini break where you don’t need to wander far to have all your whims and fancies met. This Barton hotel offers affordable luxury, so you can recline in style and dedicate your holiday spending to other decadent experiences.

Around the corner you’ll find Hale Gym and Spa, where you can easily spend a whole day enjoying five-star spa amenities like steam rooms, infrared saunas, and deeply relaxing massage treatments. Little National’s lounge and library are also perfect spaces to sort out business during the day or to spread out beside the fire in a secluded spot once evening arrives.

Little National Hotel

View of a wine bottle by a fire pit at Lake George Winery's tiny house accommodation at sunset. | © Sarah McDougall

Lake George Winery

Great things often come in the form of tiny packages. There are three tiny homes hidden within the gorgeous grounds of Lake George Winery –Little Baxter, Littler Edgar, and Little Rae— which are sustainable, pet-friendly spaces that you can book to get away from it all. These hillside retreats provide the compact luxury we’ve come to expect from tiny house getaways, and all within a 40-minute drive north of Canberra.

You have multiple options for wine tasting on-site or at Lerida Estate next door. And you can find sustenance at nearby cafes and restaurants or cook your own meals beside the fire pit. There are 300 acres of farmland to explore, and a short mountain hike will reward early birds with a dazzling sunrise.

Lake George Winery

Drone image of Tallagandra Hill Winery vineyards at sunset | © Camilla Duffy

Tallagandra Hill Winery

The region around Canberra is known for its softly spiced cool-climate wines, but many local vintners also provide tranquil places to rest wine-weary heads at the end of a beautiful day of imbibing. Tallagandra Hill Winery is one such venue, with three charming cottages on the winery grounds.

Each self-contained unit sleeps two adults and is equipped with a modern kitchen and bathroom as well as plush lounging and sleeping quarters. You can bring wine and charcuterie to your private deck or taste your way through the vineyard’s drops while also enjoying local produce at the cellar door. If you time your trip well, you could also catch some live music performed by touring artists.

Image: Camilla Duffy

Tallagandra Hill Cottages

Person hiking through Namadgi National Park

Cotter Campground

If you’re keen to get out in the bush, but you’re not quite ready to go without a bathroom and use flint for fire starters, then Cotter Campground is an ideal spot. You’ll feel worlds away from the city — even if it is only a 25-minute drive from Canberra’s centre — while still having access to electric and fire barbecues, toilets and hot shower facilities at this well-catered campsite. Just remember to BYO firewood.

This is where the clear waters of the Cotter River and Murrumbidgee River meet, which makes it perfect for summer swims, fishing and canoeing. You can also hike the nearby trails, including those in adjoining reserves and forests. You’ll just need to book online to secure a patch at the campground.

Cotter Campground


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