HomeArticles > a weekend guide to rest and relaxation in Canberra
Female couple holding hands in front of Indigenous artwork at the National Gallery of Australia | © CRUX

Spas, wine tours, and ways to relax in Canberra

Updated 18 Mar 2024

Spend a long weekend relaxing in luxury in Canberra after Sydney World Pride. Who's up for long lunches, wine tours, and massages?

Discover the best way to rest and recover after the festivities of Sydney World Pride, with a long weekend at some of Canberra's most relaxed locations. With activities to suit every kind of leisure, you can find your zen with a spa treatment, food & wine tour, or a self-propelled boat cruise around Lake Burley Griffin. Whether you've come to Canberra to explore with a crew or on your own, there are endless ways to enjoy the tranquillity of the capital city for a weekend trip.

Friday afternoon

Check into your own private bell tent or tiny home at Cubby and Co, disconnecting from the virtual world and sinking into your own private, outdoor oasis. Nestled in the vines at Mount Majura Vineyard, sits a collective of bell tents and tiny homes with breathtaking views. Offering getaways with the bare necessities, including a bed, books and board games, an evening at Cubby and Co is a chance to leave it all behind and unwind.

If indoor accommodation is more your style, enjoy the luxury of a stay at Ovolo Nishi hotel in the creative New Acton precinct; a perfect base to begin exploring the sights of the vibrant city.

Friday night

After settling in, enjoy releasing the reigns and letting awarded chefs feed you, with the ever-changing chef-set menu at Pilot Restaurant. A small venue with only 22 seats, a meal at Pilot is sure to impress in this intimate space and a la carte offerings.

For a nightcap, duck into Bar Rochford, winner of Gourmet Traveller’s 2018 Bar of the Year, for a delicious cocktail in a spot that spins vinyl records and lights table-top candles for unbeatable ambiance.

Man in a hat and grey jacket sips red wine while looking at the Brindabella Hills.
Brindabella Hills Winery
A plate of food being served at Rebel Rebel, an eatery in NewActon.
Rebel Rebel
A group of friends enjoying their meal at Pilot, a restaurant in Ainslie.
Pilot Restaurant
GoBoat Canberra


Fresh food with a funky vibe

Mocan & Green Grout

Eat Canberra Food Tour

Eat Canberra Food Tours

Saturday morning 

Start your morning off with a coffee or lazy brunch at Mocan & Green Grout and enjoy the laid-back environment of this eco-friendly café. They serve fair trade coffee, source produce from local farmers, and grow their herbs in a planter at the front door. Or right around the corner, try out Rebel Rebel. Offering all-day dining, this  eatery in the heart of the Acton offers a the beautiful designed 50-seat dining room which is framed by angular beams of recycled public-housing timber.

After breakfast, take a peaceful stroll around the Australian National Botanic Gardens, which gives you the chance to explore one-fifth of Australia’s diverse and spectacular flora in Canberra’s bushland setting. Treat yourself at the cafe, bookshop, or day spa while you're there.


Saturday afternoon 

When it’s time to eat, why not try a bit of everything by enjoying an afternoon well spent with an Eat Canberra Food Tour? Discover some of the best eats and hidden gems in the nation’s capital on a relaxed afternoon out with plenty of background on the food you’ll eat and the places you’ll feast in.

Saturday night 

After a big day of food and exploration, you’ll want to take it slow at a casual spot like Parlour. Set amongst the historic NewActon precinct, Parlour is a dining and drinking experience like no other in Canberra. Open until late, offering Spanish inspired tapas, local and international boutique wine, classic-yet-obscure cocktails, all delivered with friendly and personalised service.

Parlour's environment is ideal for late nights - they welcome the night-cappers, celebrators, gourmet grazers, and wine lovers. The perfect way to end a perfect day, this popular spot is neighbours with the artsy Palace Electric Cinemas.

Sunset view of Lake Burley Griffin and a GoBoat full of humans enjoying the view of Black Mountain Tower in the background.
Pialligo Estate
A gold table laden with brunch dishes, coffee and tea.
Mocan & Green Grout
Couple walking across bridge surrounded by large, green ferns.
Australian National Botanic Gardens


Hale Gym Weights

Hale Gym+Spa

A couple are about to cheers red wine glasses on a wine tasting in Canberra

VAN DU VIN | Canberra Winery Tours

Two boats on the water at sunset

GoBoat Canberra

Sunday morning

Start the day with a luxurious  treatment at Hale to escape to a place of complete indulgence and relaxation.

Take in a long brunch at Eighty/Twenty, where the philosophy is that clean, natural and unprocessed food should be eaten 80 percent of the time so that the remaining 20 per cent of food can be a little cheekier. The meals at Eighty/Twenty are beautifully presented and leave you feeling refuelled in the best way.

Sunday afternoon

Enjoy the guidance of the experts on board a Van Du Vin tour of the Canberra Wine District. Discover Canberra’s best boutique wineries in the private luxury of your very own tour car (some which look like black London taxis!). Van Du Vin can design a tour around your wine preferences - which ever drop you like, you'll be sure to meet the wine makers and owners on your tour.

Before you end a weekend of soaking up all the rest and relaxation Canberra has to offer, spend some time reconnecting with nature on Lake Burley Griffin. Enjoy a cruisey ride around the lake in your very own private GoBoat. Explore the famous lake and all its waterside attractions from the comfort of an exclusive Scandinavian-designed picnic boat, where you can be your own captain with no boat license or previous boating experience required.

Find more ways to relax in Canberra

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Various colourful drinks on a table | © Ashley St George from Pew Pew Studios

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Large marquee on green grass near lake

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