While Australia’s capital is an exciting city all year-round, winter in Canberra is a particularly enjoyable season. Throughout the cooler months, Canberra plays host to plenty of fun events and activities, from playing in the snow to ice-skating to long nature walks. If you’re wondering what to do in Canberra in winter, we’ve got you covered in this go-to guide.
Play in the snow at Corin Forest
If you’re keen to experience some of the best snow activities in Canberra, we know just the place. Roughly 45 minutes from the heart of Canberra lies Corin Forest, a winter wonderland begging to be explored. Here, you can hit the slopes on skis or a snowboard, or grab some friends and start a snowball fight!
Once you’re ready to get out of the cold, head to the lodge to drink a soothing mug of hot chocolate and sample some of the famous Corin Forest wood-fired pizzas.
Entry to the forest is free, but you’ll have to buy a ticket to enter certain areas, such as the Snowplay Area and Ski Area. Adult tickets for the Snowplay Area start at $22.50, while tickets to the Ski Area start at $50 (for a half-day).
Hunt for truffles
Canberra is one of the few places you can go hunting for your very own truffles – and winter is an especially good time to do it! Visit The Truffle Farm and go on a guided hunt, complete with truffle dogs who help you find these delicious flavour bombs. Afterwards, a chef will prepare a truffle feast for you, and you’ll participate in a cooking demonstration to learn how to enhance your food with truffles. Canberra in winter just got a whole lot tastier thanks to this unique experience.
There are different packages available at The Truffle Farm, starting at $75. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Canberra in winter and you’re open to splurging, this is an excellent option.
Discover Australia’s rich Aboriginal history
The First Nations peoples of Australia are one of the oldest civilisations in the world and play an important role in the country as we know it today. Explore Aboriginal culture at Connection: Songlines from Australia’s First Nations Peoples, an innovative and immersive art experience. The stunning exhibition uses 360-degree projections and showcases art from over 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
Songlines is on at the National Museum of Australia through winter and beyond, concluding on 9 October 2022. Concessions are available for $22.50; be sure to check with the museum to see if you qualify for discounted tickets as an international student.
Be inspired at the Canberra Writers Festival
Tap into your creative side by attending the Canberra Writers Festival. Running from 10-14 August, this line-up of live events will feature international, national and local authors across all genres. This year’s theme is Power Passion Politics, which aims to examine today’s issues, reflect on the past, and consider what the future holds for us all. With authors like Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers), Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe and Love Stories) and many more in attendance, this is one winter festival you won’t want to miss.
Adult tickets are $35 for special events and $25 for standard events. Concession tickets are priced at $30 for special events and $20 for standard events; make sure to check if you are eligible for concession tickets as an international student.
Spot native wildlife at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
One of the best places to visit near Canberra in winter is the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Drive roughly 45 minutes from Canberra’s city centre and you’ll find yourself surrounded by some of Australia’s most elusive wildlife, including lyrebirds and platypuses, which are particularly active during the winter.
You can choose a ranger-guided activity for more insight into what makes Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve so important or stroll through this small slice of wilderness independently. Remember to be quiet so you can hear the songs of native frog species!
A day pass for a private vehicle will cost you $14.50, and the friendly staff at the Visitor Centre can suggest self-guided tours. Ranger-led activities are also available for an additional cost.
Explore the scarf-clad trees at the National Arboretum Canberra
The National Arboretum Canberra is dedicated to showcasing and protecting rare and endangered trees. July is the perfect time to visit as you’ll see the Warm Trees installation. Volunteer knitters and crocheters produce hundreds of metre-long scarves in a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns. These are then wrapped around the Arboretum’s trees to provide a pop of colour and keep the trees warm during the cooler months.
Cycling is permitted on all the tracks and trails across the Arboretum, so bring your bike for a lovely winter ride. Alternatively, take a hike through any of the 94 forests of rare and endangered tree species. There are plenty of walks to choose from, ranging in levels of difficulty. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a heart-pumping challenge, there’s something here for you. When you get hungry, head to the Village Centre to enjoy a meal or bring a picnic to eat anywhere on the premises.
If one thing is certain, it’s that you won’t run out of fun things to do in Canberra in winter. So, grab your winter woollies and prepare for a day in the great outdoors, or spend the day expanding your cultural horizons in the warmth of Canberra’s cultural amenities. Either way, you’re sure to make some incredible memories in Australia’s capital city.
Photo courtesy of Visit Canberra.