Ours is a city of endless pleasures with a calendar overflowing with cultural, sporting and family events, places to see and things to do. The question in Canberra is not so much, ‘What to do?’ but rather ‘Where to start?’
Canberra is constantly entertaining with an action-packed, year-round program of major events. From international blockbuster exhibitions, world-class sporting events, a myriad of festivals and enticing gourmet food and wine experiences, you could attend an event every day of the week.
Arts and culture
Renowned for being one of the most cultured cities in Australia, Canberra has the highest attendance for galleries, museums, cinemas, libraries and archives. And no wonder! This is the city where in one day you could view an epic exhibition of some of the world’s most highly coveted artefacts, attend a local theatre production and immerse yourself in the music of one of Australia’s biggest headlining bands.
Our national institutions represent Australia’s collective soul. Here people can explore our country’s past, present and future. And discover more about themselves.
Some of our major national attractions include the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the National Film and Sound Archive and the Australian War Memorial. They hold and share the treasures of our nation, offering an intriguing insight into Australian character and culture, and our journey from an Indigenous continent to a modern multicultural nation.
Food and wine
Canberra is a hidden gem for food and wine lovers with a diverse range of culinary experiences, festivals and local markets. Experience world-class innovative cuisine and water views, relax in hip urban eateries or sample award-winning wines and local produce among gorgeous rural surrounds.
Canberra has come of age. Having recently undergone renovations throughout the city’s shopping districts, Canberra offers world-class shopping centres, designer boutiques, department stores, speciality shops, discount retail outlets and vibrant weekend markets.
Sports and recreation
We have the highest participation rate in sport and recreation of any state or territory. Perhaps that’s why we live longer!
Our natural surroundings inspire an outdoor lifestyle. The surrounding mountains and bushland are home to world-class mountain biking trails, adventurous bushwalking and challenging rock climbing. Our network of lakes attracts a variety of watersports enthusiasts, walkers, runners, cyclists, rollerbladers and group fitness classes.
And the city is sprinkled with parks, ovals and nature reserves that host a variety of formal and informal activities.
In summer, many Canberrans flock to the south coast to indulge in surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking and a number of other beach sports, whilst in winter, we carve up the nearby snowfields of Mount Kosciusko on skis and snowboards.
Canberra is constantly playing year-round outdoor sports including soccer, rugby league and union, AFL, cricket, golf, netball, hockey and little athletics for all ages and grades.
Triathlons and adventure races are common throughout spring to autumn with our lakes, roads and bushland playing host to a variety of courses.
Indoors, Canberra offers wall-to-wall sports with squash, basketball, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, netball, cricket, hockey, swimming, tennis and even ice skating available not matter what the weather is doing!
As well as playing sport, we love to watch it. We’ve nurtured the careers of many of Australia’s sporting heroes who started off fielding our top teams in rugby league and rugby union, basketball, netball, hockey, baseball and ice hockey. We also host matches by visiting national teams for cricket and AFL at Manuka Oval and soccer at Canberra Stadium.
Canberra Yacht Club
Visit Canberra - Sports and recreation
Territory and Municipal services - Recreation
Canberra’s location is unique for an Australian city, surrounded by mountains, forests, grasslands, rivers and lakes. Over 70 per cent of the ACT is open space!
Our proximity to the natural environment makes our residents particularly proud of the surrounding landscape and the Government works hard to ensure sustainable management. Some of our key attractions include Canberra Nature Park, Mulligans Flat Woodlands Sanctuary, Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
Within 30 minutes of the city you can experience magnificent scenery, meet local wildlife or explore our indigenous and European heritage.
Looking after our environment
We believe in protecting what we have for the future. That’s why the ACT has the most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in the country – with a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas by 40% in 2020 through a number of initiatives.
Together with local industry, the ACT Government has also introduced measures to conserve water, produce sustainable energy and increase recycling of waste.
Other initiatives include the provision of free plants from the Yarralumla Nursery when you purchase a new residential block of land and the banning of retailers providing single-use plastic shopping bags.
A wide range of initiatives, incentives and education programs have been introduced in conjunction with local industry including measures to conserve water, produce sustainable energy, increase recycling of waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Canberra Environment and Sustainability Resource Centre
Territory and Municipal Services - Recycling and waste
Territory and Municipal Services - Plant issue scheme
Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate
Environmental management and related services are rapidly expanding activities. Canberra’s capabilities are derived primarily from the presence of key national research institutions such as the ANU’s Climate Change Institute and the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation).
A growing number of private firms specialising in consulting, service delivery and enabling technologies have developed over the past decade.
ActewAGL is Canberra’s electricity, natural gas, water and wastewater provider and is working towards delivering more energy from renewable sources throughout the ACT.