Moving to Australia

Things To Do At Night In Canberra

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.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Telstra Tower Canberra

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.

  • Mount Stromlo – The Mount Stromlo Observatory joins forces with the Canberra Astronomical Society, pretty much on a monthly basis to offer Public Astronomy Nights. Be sure to rug up in case it’s chilly outside. You’ll listen to talks by astronomers and look through one of several sophisticated telescopes to spot the rings of Saturn and the moon’s craters. Entry is by gold coin donation.
  • Telstra Tower – Soaring 195.2 metres above Black Mountain, Telstra Tower offers 360-degree views of Canberra. You can visit the indoor observation deck or go out on to two outdoor viewing platforms to see the stars, every night of the year to 10pm.
  • Lake Burley Griffin – There are tons of great spots to sit around the lake. Spread out a blanket, lay back and let your eyes peer out into the universe. It’s free and it’s very enjoyable, particularly if you take along a picnic dinner.

Spooky ghost tours in Canberra

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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!

Escape room adventures

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.

  • Riddle Room – Choose from three different theme rooms – The Hotel, The Nightmare and The Dungeon. You have just 60 minutes to complete the puzzles so you’d better pay attention.
  • Mr Keller’s Magic Emporium – Said to be “where fun never dies”, the Emporium is as challenging as it is fun. Explore a scenario in which it’s up to you to save the world from a certain apocalypse, all in just 60 minutes. Or try the House on the Hill room which deals with witchcraft. Spooky and thrilling.
  • Expedition Escape Rooms – Take a mystifying adventure through the Da Vinci’s Secrets, Lost in Paradise or Mission: Identity rooms and see if you have what it takes to triumph. Expedition Escape Rooms attract rave reviews from their satisfied customers.

Get down to the Australian Institute of Sport

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.

Catch a sports event

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.

Take a seat at the bar

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Canberra Nightlife

Canberra’s bar scene is lively and diverse.

  • Bar Rochford – The award-winning Bar Rochford on London Circuit serves fine food and wine from its hidden upstairs location in the city’s old Melbourne Building. There’s an open fireplace, cosy seating and good music.
  • White Rabbit – At 65 Northbourne Avenue is the White Rabbit Cocktail Room, an Alice in Wonderland-themed bar that teases you to “eat me” and “drink me”, just like in the storybook. Flowery and whimsical, it’s a sweet spot to take a cocktail class with a twist. Or, you can splash out on a serviced private liquor locker. Fancy!
  • Molly – Picture an old 1920s speakeasy with very cool events you can attend at night and indulge the liquor sophisticate in you. Take a Balvenie Whisky Masterclass or indulge in Jazz on the Rocks on a Tuesday night.

Fill up on exceptionally good food

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.

Canberra night markets

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Canberra Nightlife

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.


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