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Top cosy winter experiences in Canberra

Updated 22 Jun 2022

Best things to do this winter

When winter rolls around, it can be mighty tempting to just spend the entire season holed up at home in front of the telly. But we did enough of that last winter. This year, it's all about getting out and exploring everything our country has to offer in the cooler months.

Play in the snow at Corin Forest

Snowball fights, toboggan rides and endless snow angels — need we say more? Corin Forest will have you channelling your inner child in a winter wonderland.

With entry to the Snowplay area clocking in at $22.50 per person, plus an extra five bucks for toboggan hire, a visit to this alpine resort is an affordable and unforgettable experience. Access to the slopes starts at $50 per person for a half-day, or $95 with gear hire. The resort also offers group and private training sessions for newbies of all ages.

Hot chocolate and cosying up to the fire will definitely be on your mind after all of that action. Luckily, Corin Forest has a cafe with an open fire where you can roast marshmallows and enjoy delicious woodfired pizza. 

Hunt for truffles

It’s the ingredient on everyone’s radar come winter. The irresistible flavour that can take a meal to the next level. Yep, we’re talking about truffles. At The Truffle Farm, you can get the full truffle experience.

Throughout truffle season — from late May to early September — the farm runs interactive truffle hunting experiences. You’ll follow truffle hunting dogs through the forest of over 6000 oak and hazelnut trees in pursuit of the black treasures. If you sign up for the degustation option, the hunt will be followed by a decadent six-course feast prepared right in front of you in the truffle shed — featuring truffles in each dish, of course.

Get cosy with groundbreaking art

To get a dose of culture, and escape the cold at the same time, visit the National Museum of Australia for a world premiere of a new art experience celebrating the spirit of Indigenous Australia. Connection: Songlines from Australia’s First Nations Peoples (8 June - 9 October) is a spectacular, first-of-its-kind experience that simply cannot be missed. 

Plus, if you visit before July 17, you’ll be able to check out Shakespeare to Winehouse: Icons from the National Portrait Gallery, London at the National Portrait Gallery. You’ll have the rare opportunity to see portraits of the Beatles, Brontë sisters and Beckham and more.

Image of Anna Pitjara's artworks at Connection.

Three friends clinking glasses over share platters at a winery.

Enjoy a leisurely long lunch

A winter escape would not be complete without a trip to a winery. For lush views, tasty wine and belly-warming food, the Brindabella Hills Winery, just 25 kilometres north of the city, is the place to be.

Established in 1986, the winery has aged like fine wine and the premium grape varieties have flourished in the environment. And you can be confident you’re getting a high-class experience as the winery has won numerous awards for its chardonnay, shiraz, riesling, cabernet and sauvignon blanc-semillon drops.

The vineyard restaurant offers a two-course set menu for $65 per person. It features delicious dishes including delicately sous vide chicken. Wine pairings, which you’ll want to partake in to get the full experience, are an additional $20 per person.

The inside of a hot air balloon as its being inflated.

Soar high above

What better way to see a city than from above? A hot air balloon ride with Balloon Aloft is the most memorable and awe-inspiring way to take in the Canberra sights. The pre-sunrise wake-up call will prove well worth it once you see the historical and modern architecture and vast greenery of the city from 3000 feet above the ground.

Early morning in Canberra can get pretty chilly during winter but it will feel warmer when you’re up in the air, so Balloon Aloft suggests dressing in layers. The experience starts from $330 and includes the 45-minute hot air balloon flight.

Check out warm trees

Each July, in the oasis of Canberra’s National Arboretum, you’ll find a peculiar sight: a forest of trees wrapped in scarves. The annual Warm Trees installation sees hundreds of volunteers knitting and crocheting one-metre-long ‘scarves’ to bring colour (and a little cosiness) to the trees during July.

Visitors can also enjoy more than 44,000 rare and endangered trees across the 250-hectare site. The National Arboretum Canberra is home to a number of bike trails, a nature-inspired playground (that looks like acorns), sculptures dotted throughout the forests and the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, too.

A selection of dishes and a glass of wine served at Monster Kitchen and Bar, located in NewActon.

Enjoy fireside cocktails and snacks

For a seriously swish hang-out spot in Canberra, you can’t go past Monster Kitchen and Bar. The sleek spot, which you’ll find on the ground floor of the luxe Ovolo Nishi, boasts an open fire that is perfect for chilly days. Since October 2020, Monster has offered (and perfected) an entirely vegetarian menu.

From 2pm, the venue shifts into bar mode with share-style plates full of seasonal produce. Alongside craft beers and local wines, the bar also serves seasonal cocktails that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious. 

Keep planning your winter getaway

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