10 things you didn’t think you could do in Australia’s Capital

Posted by Casey Warrener on Monday, February 27, 2017

Yes, Canberra is the capital of Australia, and for pollies and proud Aussies, definitely one for the destination list. But besides that big white building surrounded by rolling green lawn, most are pretty clueless about what lies within Canberra’s bounds. You may have an inkling that it’s jam-packed with culture – home to some of the country’s finest galleries and museums, and with a wealth of historical sites. But we've hit on a few things you may not have guessed… These 10 attractions will allow you to see a different side of our national capital.

Hosted by Visit Canberra

1. Watch a roller derby game.

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The Canberra Roller Derby League was founded in 2008 and has since grown to include seven teams. Roller derby has an amateur ethos and a devoted following, which makes attending a bout a one-of-a-kind experience.

2. Visit Lake George.

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Image: Pinterest

You'll have to travel about 40 kilometres outside of the city to visit Lake George, but the trip is well worth it. The waters of the lake rise and fall inexplicably, and there have even been rumours of UFO sightings around its banks.

3. Pop into the Front Cafe.

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While you’re in Canberra, sampling the local cuisine is a must. And if you want do so somewhere with character you can’t go past the eclectically decorated Front Cafe. Not only does it offer casual eats, caffeine and harder drinks, but it also doubles as a gallery and event space, hosting music and comedy acts to enjoy while you’re there.

4. Get weird with the Canberra Ghost and History Tour.

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Image: Visit Canberra

If you're up for a walking tour with a difference, this one includes all the history you can handle minus the boring details. The Canberra Ghost and History tour is particularly attractive for those who are drawn to the morbid side of their holiday destinations.

5. Conquer the clouds in a Jet Flight Simulation.

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Ever wanted to be a jet pilot, but weren’t up for the rigorous testing? Well with the simulations from RedBalloon – for 60-minutes – you can experience what it’s like. Take the pilot's seat as you navigate the skies in a setting of your choosing.

6. Witness the beautiful union of Japanese and Australian cultures.

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The Nara Candle Festival celebrates Canberra’s relationship with its sister city – Nara, Japan. As 2,000 candles light up Lennox Gardens, live music and demonstrations of calligraphy, sumo wrestling and other aspects of Japanese culture are on display. This free event occurs every October.

7. Tour the National Botanic Gardens at night.

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Image: Visit Canberra

On the first Saturday of each month in winter, the afterDARK Lantern Tours give you the chance to explore the city’s beautiful botanic gardens by moonlight. You’ll craft your very own lantern, and then follow ranger guides as they tour you through the grounds.

8. Take a wine tour on the slopes of Mount Majura.

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At the Mount Majura Vineyard, you can learn about winemaking while taking in a breathtaking view from a mountainside perch. Perhaps the best time to visit is during the Harvest Festival, in April.

9. Tackle the treacherous Australian Alps.

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Image: Ian Trevaskis

Up for a long-distance walk through gruelling terrain? If this sounds like your kind of adventure, check out the Australian Alps Walking Track. Running from Canberra to Walhalla, completing the entire track can take about two months. If you're short on time, consider exploring just a small portion of the trail.

10. Take a kayak tour of the wetlands.

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R.E.A.L. Fun is an outdoor touring company that can take you on a two to three hour tour of the wetlands. There’s no better way to learn about the local wildlife than by seeing it up close.

Canberra offers all the excitement of a major city, plus plenty of green space to unwind. Savour the fantastic variety of shopping, dining and cultural experiences in the centre, and then explore the natural wonders and welcoming regional hubs. When you visit Australia's capital, take the time to discover all that it has to offer.