HomeArticles > Top ways to embrace the sunshine in Canberra during springtime
A mum and two sons posing for a photo amongst a sea of red tulips.

Top ways to embrace the sunshine in Canberra during springtime

Updated 23 Oct 2023

Explore Floriade and beyond to unveil the delights of Canberra spring activities

When the sun comes out, it’s one of the best times of year in the nation’s capital to wake up alongside the flowers and the gleeful Canberrans.

This season offers a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a plethora of outdoor adventures and top things to do, making the most of the revitalizing weather. Whether you're an avid nature enthusiast, a keen photographer, or simply someone seeking to embrace the joys of the outdoors, Canberra's springtime offerings promise an unforgettable experience. 

A couple looking out over Canberra's suburbs and lakes.
View of Anzac Parade and Australian Parliament House from the Mount Ainslie lookout
sunset silhouettes of a line of horseback riders | © Sean Davey
Burnelee Excursions on Horseback for an adventure unparalleled. Image: Sean Davey
Sunny day view of Lake Burley Griffin from the shores at Weston Park in Yarralumla, docks in the foreground.
Weston Park is great for disc golf, walking, bike riding, or just enjoying the shores of Lake Burley Griffin

Get outside

They say that Canberra is a nature park that just happens to have iconic national attractions tucked into its leafy corners. This makes it the perfect place to get outside and enjoy the majestic beauty of nature, just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from your accommodation. Why not try a local’s favourite nature hike, like making it to the top of Mount Ainslie or Black Mountain? Or give a go at trig-pointing if you’re ticking a few local peaks off your list.

When the sun really comes out, do as the locals do and sit waterside with a good book or take an ambitious dip into the running water. Local favourites include Casuarina Sands or Uriarra Crossing, both with shady spots and swimming holes, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Or explore Cotter Avenue Recreation Area, which is the ideal venue for picnics, swimming, fishing, or bushwalking year round.

If you’re a self-guided explorer, check out some of the lesser-known history of Australia’s capital with Canberra Tracks, and enjoy the scenery along the way. Or walk your way through a game of disc golf at Weston Park, for some fun in the sun. For a more guided experience, why not join in with a Brunelee Excursions on Horseback adventure, for a viewpoint of the Canberra region unlike any other?

Large marquee on green grass near lake
Armada Bar on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin
A group of friends tasting wines.
Eden Road wines is ready for your visit to the Canberra District Wine Region
A group of friends enjoying their time on a GoBoat on the lake.
Hire and steer your very own GoBoat around the waters of Lake Burley Griffin

Combine sunshine, sips, and savoury treats

Canberrans are lucky to combine their love of good food and good views together on a regular basis, with more outdoor dining spots for lunch and dinner than you can shake a stick at. After you’ve finished having a picnic alongside Lake Burley Griffin, why not head to an outdoor bar for a sunset and a nightcap? Try Margot Bar, The Jetty, Armada Bar or House of Bubbles for a water-side tipple.

Venture further out to explore the Canberra District Wine Region and enjoy the spring air in your hair as you cycle from one cellar door to the next, on a bike tour of Murrumbateman’s off-road winery trail. Or keep combining movement and wine with a Sunday morning spent at Namaste Rosé.

Take dining to the next level while enjoying a fest in one of Waters Edge Restaurant’s unique Dining Domes on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Or sail the water yourself in a private GoBoat, complete with sips, dips, and views of some of Canberra’s most iconic attractions on the shoreline.

Dhawura Tours will guide you on a journey back in time to explore Aboriginal culture with an experienced guide.
Man and two women looking at native plant.
Join one of the cultural tours by Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to see and learn about the land from the eyes of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people.
A tour guide under a wisteria tree.
She Shapes History guides you through the behind-the-scenes history of Canberra

Immerse yourself in culture

To truly appreciate and enjoy it, you can’t experience Canberra without properly acknowledging and recognising the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, and any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region, who have cared for this land as their home for thousands of years. 

To learn about local culture join in with Dhawura Tours or Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to see and learn about the land from the eyes of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people. An experienced guide and Traditional Custodian will interpret various sites of significance and explore a variety of landscapes, wildlife, and natural bush around Canberra.

For a guided walk around the iconic National Arboretum Canberra, join a Ngala Tour where you will see native plants that are used for medicinal, culinary and cultural use. This walk will bring the landscape to life allowing you to gain a deeper respect for Aboriginal Traditions and Culture.

If you’re right in the heart of the National Triangle, why not explore the hidden history of Canberra and take a tour with She Shapes History? Their guides are dedicated to sharing all Canberra has to offer, so bring your camera and your questions for an enlightening walk in the sunshine.

Exploration, adventure, and fun for the whole family at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
Kid feeding an animal at the zoo
The National Zoo & Aquarium gives you amazing hands-on animal experiences unlike any other
Little Burley Markets humming on the side of Lake Burley Griffin on a Saturday morning

Entertain the kiddies

For fun in the sun, explore the Australian National Botanic Gardens, which is home to the world’s most comprehensive display of living Australian plants as well as walking trails, educational activities, lawns for running and playing, numerous picnic tables, a café, and a bookshop. Hop onto a Secrets of the Australian Bush adventure tour while you’re there to take a closer, family-friendly look.

During a long weekend adventure in the sun, you can’t go past the local fare at one of the region’s famed markets. Start a Saturday off at Capital Region Farmers Markets for live music, local goods, and the hum of chatter between the producers and their customers. Or meander through the stalls at The Little Burley Market and bring the kids to enjoy delicious foods alongside free events, activities, and crafts.

Of course, you can’t beat the National Zoo & Aquarium for a (mostly) outdoor experience that’s sure to excite and delight the whole family. You can even pat a cheetah, feed a bear, or become acquainted with a meerkat during some of the most amazing hands-on animal experiences in Australia.

Floriade is fun for the whole family; the quintessential celebration of spring in Canberra.
NightFest at Floriade, after the sun goes down, shows a different way of celebrating the blooms. Image: Martin Ollman

Celebrate the season

Few destinations celebrate Spring the way that Canberra does, with the amazing annual flower festival, Floriade. Each September Commonwealth Park explodes with over one million blooms across extensive displays of flowers. And when the sun goes down, you can Floriade’s dark side as NightFest returns with a new and exciting program of after-dark entertainment and horticultural illuminations. Each evening the park will be illuminated with colour and filled with entertainment and fantastic food.

The newest addition to Canberra’s festival crown, comes in 2023 in the form of the Botanica Spirits & Food Festival. Botanica is a premium, immersive experience that takes you on a journey through the botanicals that are used to craft some of Australia’s best gins, spirits, and food. Taste, smell, and learn about the botanicals that are expertly crafted into award-winning products and lean into the abundance and freshness of the spring season in the capital region.

Keep exploring in spring...

Two women sit outside and a man stands and high fives a young boy at the National Museum of Australia.

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View from the rooftop Leyla bar in Canberra's National Triangle and Parliament House as the sun sets outside the windows. | © Romello Pereira

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