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Landscape shot of Canberra's autumn leaves

The top four spots to photograph Canberra's autumn leaves

Updated 28 Mar 2024

Known as a 'city in a park', Canberra is full of delightful views each autumn. Plan a trip to the nation's capital to embrace autumn the Canberra way. 

Canberra is a rare treat among Australian cities, providing more than a wide variety of activities and experiences based around its four distinct seasons. 

Typically, Canberra's treescape starts to change colour from mid-March and continues to transform until early May. Head to these top spots to take in the kaleidoscope of colours first-hand and see some of Canberra’s best autumnal displays.

Header image by @brushandsnaps.

Father and daughter cycling near a lake with autumn trees in the background

Lake Burley Griffin 

The central basin of Lake Burley Griffin is truly ablaze with pretty vistas in every direction. Do as the locals do and enjoy the colours on a walk around the shoreline or hop on an e-scooter or bike to see more, faster.

Take in the changing of the seasons from the water with a one-hour cruise of the lake or during a floating picnic on a GoBoat. Venture further around the lake's edge to see picturesque scene after picturesque scene. 

Couple walking past trees in autumn

National Arboretum Canberra

With 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world the National Arboretum Canberra is the perfect spot for watching the trees transform each autumn.

See how different species change with the weather, including the pocket-sized trees at the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia.

A couple standing at the lookout of Mount Ainslie with Canberra in the background

Mountain Lookouts

It’s no wonder that once you get to the highest vantage point, you’re able to take in the full, resplendent beauty of the scene below. That’s why any of Canberra’s well-known mountain lookouts provide the perfect vantage point for autumn leaves.

Take a hike or drive to the summit of any popular mountain lookout – Black Mountain, Mount Ainslie, and Red Hill – to see the beautiful autumnal city views from high above.

Autumn trees and buildings from above

From above

Take a balloon flight with Balloon Aloft to get the ultimate aerial view of a tapestry of colour from above. Watch as the pink, purple and gold colour burst of sunrise gently lights up tree tops boasting autumnal hues. For more than just delicious views opt for your ride to end with a traditional champagne breakfast at the Hyatt Hotel.

Already ticked ballooning off your list? Take off in your private R44 Helicopter scenic flight with Helicopter Corp as you see the city and surrounding region in all it's autumnal glory. 

Pair your tour of the capital's autumn leaves with these school holiday activities, great autumn events, or seasonal eats.

Image by @airballoon0721.

Keep planning your autumn getaway

The iconic hot air balloon with 'CBR' written on it flying over Canberra during sunrise.

What's on in Canberra this autumn

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

Lesser-known nature experiences you need to explore

A woman walks with a dog in an orchard

A local's guide to unique foodie experiences in Canberra

Guests viewing artwork at the Gallery of Small Things.

An inside look into arts and culture in Canberra

A woman in a demin jacket buying fresh radishes.

Popular foodie festivals and markets

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