If you’re in the Southern Emisphere, spring is finally here and those cold wintery nights are finally subsiding in the nation’s capital. Spring is a happening time in Canberra, with lots of interesting events and festivals on the calendar, along with warming temperatures and pleasant weather that invites locals and tourists alike to get out and enjoy all that Canberra has to offer.
If you’re thinking of visiting Australia’s growing capital, this is an excellent time to plan your trip. With plenty of accommodation available, you’ll be sure to find yourself a hotel in Canberra for your visit. There is a large range of fun activities and events, which makes Spring the perfect time to visit. Here are some things to do this Spring.
Floriade would have to be one of the premier events on Canberra’s annual festival schedule. This month-long festival celebrates the coming of Spring and focuses on the essence of the season. Happening in Commonwealth Park from the 15th of September until the 15th of October, Floriade’s main theme is the incredible flower displays that fill the park and the city with new blooms. For many, the highlight is the vibrant tulip displays that thrive throughout the season.
Floriade is much more than just a flower display, however – it is a huge celebration of everything Spring. You can enjoy lots of entertainment, markets, food, art and kid friendly activities throughout the month, and there are lots of special integrated events to enjoy. The Floriade Nightfest is another event to check out with light displays and live performances, occurring on the weekends of 22nd – 24th September and the 29th of September – 1st of October.
All lovers of fashion should check out Fashfest from the 28th-30th of September. Held at the National Convention Centre, Fashfest showcases the latest fashion with two catwalk shows per day, highlighting designers from Australia and all over the world. Enjoy the fashion, models, music and parties with three days of celebrations.
3| Hit the lake
Spring is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy Canberra’s public spaces. Lake Burley Griffin is at the heart of the city and a great place to enjoy some springtime activities now that the weather is warmer. Go for a bike ride around the lake, paddle a kayak, go windsurfing or enjoy a relaxing lake cruise. The lake also has some amazing picnic spots, or sit at one of the lakeside cafes or restaurants and enjoy a coffee or meal outside, with views of the water.
4| Government House Open Day
One of the most stunning properties in Canberra is Government House, home to Australia’s Governor-General and located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Each year the property is open to the public for one day, to enjoy the home and the gardens. The grounds of Government House are simply stunning and the gardens will be full of flowers in their Spring bloom. Enjoy a picnic or a coffee on the green lawn, take a stroll through the gardens or join the tour through the house itself. This year, the open day will be held on the 7th of October from 11am-2pm, and entry is free.
5| Rugby League World Cup
The Rugby League World Cup is hitting Australia this Spring and Canberra will host a couple of matches, including one with Australia’s very own team – the Kangaroos. The games kick off at GIO Stadium on the 29th of October with France verses Lebanon. The big match to check out will be the game between the Kangaroos and France on the 3rd of November, which is sure to be a good game. Cheer on the Kangaroos to victory.
6| Climb Mount Ainslie
Spring is a wonderful time to get out for a nice bush walk in one of the reserves around Canberra. One of the most popular bush walks in Canberra is the 2km walk to the top of Mount Ainslie. You will come across lots of locals heading up to the summit to enjoy the serenity and the great views from the top. Enjoy stunning views across the city to Parliament House and beyond.
7| Octoberfest Parklands
Every city in Australia has huge Octoberfest celebrations and Canberra is no different. One excellent Octoberfest event to check out this year is Octoberfest Parklands, held on the lawns of Patrick White Terrace on the 14th of October. Enjoy all the Octoberfest fun, celebrating Bavarian culture, with live music, Bavarian food and huge steins of beer, all in a great location on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Dressing up in traditional costume is encouraged, so don’t forget your lederhosen and Bavarian frocks.
8| Canberra Nara Candle Festival
This annual festival is all about celebrating Canberra’s relationship with its Japanese sister city, Nara. Held at the Nara Peace Park on the 28th of October, the Canberra Nara Candle Festival will celebrate Japanese culture, with food, lantern making, martial arts demonstrations and other cultural activities. The highlight of the festival is the huge candle display, where over 2000 candles will be lit at night to fill up the park.
9| Remembrance Day Ceremony
Remembrance Day is an important day in Australia as it marks the day of the armistice that concluded the First World War, and on that day, the 11th of November, we remember all those who died fighting for our freedoms. One of the biggest ceremonies in the country is held in Canberra at the Australian War Memorial. This year’s ceremony will mark the 99th anniversary of the armistice and it will be a special event, starting at 10:30am. After the ceremony is concluded, you could visit the War Memorial and the attached museum to learn more about the wars that Australian soldiers have fought in.
Spring is a great time to visit Canberra, and with so much to do, you are sure to have a wonderful stay in the nation’s capital.