How to spend a long weekend in Canberra

Canberra hosts an abundance of family friendly places to explore and experience. There’s plenty to see and do for all ages and areas of interest.

We’ve created a family friendly itinerary to help you plan your long weekend in Australia’s National Capital. 

Drive and Arrive

Let’s assume you arrive after work on a Friday evening. If you have kids, you may have already visited the Golden Arches, but if not, then the quintessential Canberran fast-food feast is Kingsleys Chicken.

Canberrans have spoken, and we believe it’s the best friend chicken in Oz. We challenge you to find more excellent chicken and even more awesome chips.

If you are free-range adults, then head into bustling Braddon for some cocktailsfood and late-night dancing. Yes, we can dance in the capital.

During Covid, you must book into restaurants, so we recommend tasting either Lazy Su (Delicious Asian Fusion), Gangees (progressive Indian), Zeus Street Greek (the sharing platter for 2 is excellent value) or travel into the city for Akiba.

Day 1 Explore the city sites

Get up early and either drive or walk up to Mt Ainslie for the best views of the capital. To walk, start behind the Australian War Memoria on the paved path, but be warned, it is a steep 4km return route.

After working up an appetite, enjoy a drink or bite to eat at Poppy’s Cafe before exploring the Australian War Memorial, which opens at 10 AM. The War memorial is enormous, and you could spend a whole day or a couple of hours. There is an interactive kids section where they can get hands-on.

Not too keen on war history but still interested in learning about the history of Canberra? Then visit The National Capital Exhibition at Regatta Point, an excellent spot for kids with views over Lake Burley Griffin. Watch this space for the new restaurant precinct at Regatta Point which should be opening later in 2021. 

Regatta Point is a great spot to explore the gardens around Stage 88 in the Commonwealth Park, walk around the lake, or explore the Parliamentary triangle. It’s also great to sit back on the lush grass to enjoy the views or walk around Lake Burley Griffin on a nice day.

Visit Parliament House – there’s free 2-hour parking underneath, and be sure to get the lift to the roof to stand beneath to giant Australian flag on top of parliament. Take this time to also meander through the Rose Gardens and view the Museum of Australia Democracy Old Parliament House and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

Make the most of the Parliamentary Triangle by visiting either the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the High Court of Australia or Questacon.

Due to COVID-19, Questacon is now taking bookings only and is not as interactive as previous visits.

To finish your day head down the road to civic and try 88mph, Molly Bar (whiskey) or The Highball Express for some Cuban vibes.

Day 2 Nature Calls

Tidbinbilla is about an hour drive outside of the city and is one of my most favourite places to connect with nature in the ACT. It’s got short walking routes, some pram friendly, and longer hikes for the more adventurous.

See koalas and wildlife up close at the sanctuary and enjoy a packed lunch amongst the kangaroos on the ample grassy picnic areas.

Check out our article for more information on exploring Tidbinbilla.

If you are not up for the drive, then explore the National Zoo and Aquarium to have a day with the animals or the National Arboretum for some time amongst the trees. 

Day 3 Departure Day

For the ultimate ‘iconic Canberra’ adventure, we’d recommend GoBoat Canberra. You can pack a picnic, pick up seafood from Snapper On The Lake en route or grab a local Brodburger from the Kingston foreshore before boarding your electric powered GoBoat.

There’s nothing more ‘Canberra’ than The Capital burger, and I couldn’t think of a better way to see the nation’s capital sites than via the water. It provides a great vantage point to see all the key monuments and areas of significance away from crowds and at a chilled pace.

If you’re a Canberra local and haven’t experienced this yet, then we recommend adding this to your weekend adventures to gain a new perspective of your city.

Canberra has so much to offer and we know we cannot list everything but we would love to know what do you recommended to do in Canberra?

Share your favourites in the comments below or join the conversations on Facebook and Instagram 

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