With a population of less than 400,000, the nation’s capital, Canberra is only the ninth largest city in Australia. But that doesn’t mean it has any less personality than its larger counterparts. In fact, if you’re considering Canberra to live, study or holiday, there are plenty of good reasons to give it priority status.
It bustles with the frenetic goings-on of politics in the daytime and it’s a beautiful city perched around the huge Lake Burley Griffin so it’s got that going for it too. But we’re going to take a look at what you can do in Canberra at night.
Logically, some things can only be done at night, such as stargazing. With Canberra being so remote, the reflection of city lights against the night sky is not as prevalent as it is in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. Make a point of checking out the moon and the stars when you get the chance.
Are you game to take a ghost tour? Be guided by Tim the Yowie Man as he regales you with stories of a poltergeist in the War Memorial, of missing coffins in Lake Burley Griffin and why some security guards refuse to do shifts at Old Parliament House. Take a 3-hour ghost tour which starts at 8pm and see if you can make it through without experiencing goose bumps many times over!
Are you excited by the thought of not being let out of a room unless you solve the riddle? For some, that’d be a nightmare but for others, it sounds like a perfect night out! Canberra has a burgeoning escape room culture.
Before you think you’re going to have to put on shin pads or swimming goggles, the AIS is actually a premier Canberra events venue, as well as a learning institute for the sporting elite. The events calendar is busy year-round with concerts, opera and sporting championships.
Manuka Oval at Manuka Circle, Griffith, hosts important cricket and AFL games, and lists them on their events calendar. Should rugby be more to your taste, you should take a look at GIO Stadium’s events guide. There, you’ll also find information on any upcoming major concerts. If you’d rather be playing sports than watching, sign up for a season of netball, soccer, indoor cricket, dodgeball or volleyball at the Kaleen Indoor Sports Centre.
Canberra’s bar scene is lively and diverse.
A little hipster, a tad bit ‘Melbourne’, the Braddon dining precinct is Canberra’s coffee mecca in the day and foodie hangout at night. Eat your fill of fantastic pizza or tuck in to a chicken parmy at Debacle and wash it down with one of 150 different beers.
At Black Fire Restaurant, you can sample some of the best Spanish food outside of Europe. This multi award-winning restaurant features an open fire pit where suckling lambs and pigs are slow roasted before your eyes, and you must try the House Sangria, matured for a whole week. There are more Braddon restaurants to discover here.
Night markets are few and far between in Canberra so we suggest you look up ‘Canberra night markets’ on Google and see what’s happening while you’re in town.