7 Fun Things to Do in Canberra This Summer

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Nov 15, 2016

by KATE PHILLIPS, Digital Producer

In Canberra over summer? Whether you’re after family fun or just need a little R & R, these are the best things to do when the weather heats up in the nation’s capital.

There’s no dreaming of the beach when you’re taking a break in Canberra – you’ll be too busy taking picnicking by the lake or splashing about in a waterpark.

Big Splash

For those entertaining kids on school holidays, head to Big Splash Waterpark in Belconnen. There’s a children’s pool, family-friendly waterslides and plenty of lawn space, but the big drawcard is an enormous, floating, inflatable playground. Plus, there are lifeguards on duty, for parental peace of mind.

1 Catchpole Street, Macquarie


Treat yourself at Braddon’s famed Frugii Dessert Laboratory. The ice-cream and gelato flavours on offer go beyond the typical vanilla and chocolate variety, instead venturing into more exotic tastes like tonka bean, lemon grass, gingerbread and spiced pumpkin. There are also unique dessert creations to tuck into here, including chocolate and hazelnut pavlovas and New York baked cheesecakes with strawberry gel.

30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

SEE ALSO: Treat Yourself with some of Canberra’s Best Desserts

Evening Drinks

At the end of a steamy day, wind down at Parlour. The bar has a casual ambience and ample outdoor seating, making it a perfect haunt for a balmy evening. Our pick of the cocktails: a refreshing Eastside Elderflower, with gin, cucumber, lime and mint, or the Lady Marmalade, a spiced orange mojito.

16 Kendall Lane, Acton

Palace Electric Cinema

Keen to escape the heat? Head to the Palace Electric Cinema in New Acton. The boutique cinema shows mainstream and alternative films, and importantly, has an outstanding wine bar. Prosecco or Peroni, anyone?

2 Phillip Law Street, Acton

SEE ALSO: The Best Places to Shop in Canberra

Lake Burley Griffin

Pack a picnic and nab yourself a spot at Commonwealth Park, down by Lake Burley Griffin. Whether you prefer a spot by the water or in the shade, this expansive space is arguably the most picturesque picnic spot in the territory. As the sun begins to set and the air cools, embark on the hour-long "bridge to bridge" walk between Commonwealth Avenue and Kings Avenue.

Albert Street, Canberra

Manuka Pool

Cool off in one of two pools at the historic Manuka Pool. Admire the Art Deco architecture, enjoy the vast surrounding lawn (which offers plenty of shade) or let the kids run wild on the Children’s Pirate Ship playground.

New South Wales Crescent, Griffith

Pine Island Reserve

Popular with families and groups, Pine Island Reserve in Canberra’s south ticks all the boxes - safe swimming spots and plenty of picnic spaces and barbecue areas. Swimming not your thing? For those keen to get a little more active, there’s kayaking and fishing.

SEE ALSO: One Perfect Day in Canberra