ACT may not be the most popular destination for outdoor activities but the nation’s capital has some great choices for you to enjoy. It’s steeped in culture, history and natural splendour.
Australian War Memorial
Set against the backdrop of its magnificent grounds, this national war memorial features a shrine, museum and archive. It commemorates the sacrifice of all those Australians who have died in war, a sombre reminder of war and history.
A fine monument to those we’ve lost, the Australian War Memorial is brimming with history and beauty and culture. You’ll get lost in its artistic tributes, its firsthand war stories, its extensive tours and endless exhibitions for hours.
Every day near 5pm, the memorial farewells visitors with the Last Post ceremony, a moving tribute sure to get your emotions flowing. We highly recommend staying for this.
Of course, as Canberra is home to our most powerful leaders, no trip there would be complete without visiting Parliament House. Described as the meeting place of our nation, you’ll love this awe-inspiring experience.
Not only does Parliament House boast impressive architecture, but also some great art, beautiful landscapes and of course political action. The tours are steeped in interesting facts and insights.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to sit in on the government as it debates key issues during question time. Consult the ‘planning a visit’ section of the government website for times and availability.
We suggest taking the Parliament House Walk, which links this historic building with Canberra city centre. The walk is 3.4km long and takes you past some of Canberra’s cultural icons.
Hot Air Ballooning
What could be better than a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful, charming ACT landscape? As the sun rises over the undulating hills, shrouding the valleys and lakes in that mysterious early morning glow, you’ll be there to soak it all in, astride a hot air balloon that drifts closer to nirvana.
A hot air balloon is the perfect romantic activity; a hint of adventure, stunning views, excitement to boot.
Two companies offering this experience are Balloon Aloft and Dawn Drifters. With nearly 30 years experience, Balloons Aloft is a popular choice, and offers exclusive trips for two, for that special occasion. Dawn Drifters meanwhile prides itself on being the friendliest balloon company around.
Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin is a wonderful attraction for all ages. Covering an area of 664 hectares and with 40km of shoreline, there’s something for everyone on or around this pristine, artificial lake.
Whatever floats your boat – a dinner cruise, a ferry ride, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, dragon boating, model boating, leisurely shoreline walks, cycling – you’ll find it on Lake Burley Griffin.
The lake is situated near the geographical centre of the city, and is the centrepiece of the capital with many of the city’s most famous icons lining its shores. The area is a hub of recreation sure to keep the family entertained.
Mount Ainslie Lookout
Finally, you have to check out Mt. Ainslie Lookout, which has some of the best views in the region. Take in the hills, the lake and all of Canberra’s attractions, pretty much everything we’ve mentioned above.
Challenge yourself and walk or cycle to the top. Or simply drive up there. Whatever means of transport you choose, you’ll love the spectacular view atop this 800+ metre hill.
This is the perfect place for photographers and picnic lovers alike.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this helpful eBook (above). You can also get more tips and guides from our blog or view Australian Outdoor Living’s range of outdoor products…so you can Love Your Life outdoors!