Explore Canberra's adventurous side

By water or air, on foot, two wheels or even by horse, there seems to be no limit to the ways you can explore Canberra's wilder side. Explore Canberra's adventurous side
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Explore Canberra’s adventurous side

By water or air, on foot, two wheels or even by horse, there seems to be no limit to the ways you can explore Canberra's wilder side.


By Jac Taylor

Where else is nature and adventure so accessible from a capital city? Canberra's unique setting among alpine mountains, rushing rivers and vast bushland makes a wonderful contrast with its easy roads, fabulous lake and extensive sights to see.

TAKE IN THE VIEWS FROM A HOT AIR BALLOON

Hot Air Ballooning over Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

View Canberra from above aboard a hot air balloon. Balloon Aloft and Dawn Drifters will have you drifting peacefully over the capital city. This is one of the few places in the world where you can fly directly over a Parliament House. Visit during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular (11-19 March, 2017) and you can fly among dozens of balloons. Alternatively, experience a unique way of starting your day like never before - watch the awe-inspiring spectacle of balloons being inflated en masse on the lawns of Old Parliament House from 6.15am each morning during the festival.

EXPLORE CANBERRA ON TWO WHEELS

Commonwealth Place, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

Canberra is made for cycling, with a network of cycling paths throughout the city and connecting the outer suburbs. Hire a bicycle from one of the many shared bike stations outside the city's major hotels or rent one from the Southern Cross Yacht Club on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin (the city's majestic centrepiece) to tour the lake's scenic 35 kilometre (22 mile) path. Alternatively, hire a mountain bike from Capital Bicycle Hire and take on the 50 kilometres (31 miles) of famous world-class trails at Stromlo Forest Park.

PADDLE AROUND

Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

Glide through the mirror-like waters of Lake Burley Griffin on a kayak, or try your hand at the fast-growing Canberra trend of stand-up paddle boarding. With so many attractions and monuments that can be seen from the city's favourite water playground, you can sightsee and get your daily workout at the same time. Rent either kayak or paddle boards during spring and summer from The Paddle Hub at the YMCA Aquatic Recreation Centre located just by the lake shore.  

HEAD OUT ON HORSEBACK

Burnelee Excursions, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

Sample a little country life on the outskirts of Canberra, rustling cattle and sheep, spotting wildlife or simply taking in the wide open spaces of the Australian bush on a horseback ride. From as young as six years old, everyone is welcome at Burnelee Excursions on Horseback, with different rides and horses catering to all levels of rider, from beginners to experts.

MEET THE ANIMALS

Jamala WIldlife Lodge, National Zoo and Aquarium, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

For a different kind of adventure, why not get up close and hands-on with one of Canberra’s wilder residents? The award-winning National Zoo and Aquarium offers exciting interactive tours that allow you to hand-feed a brown bear, lion or tiger, come nose to nose with a giraffe, meet a cheetah inside its enclosure or even pat a shark. For a full safari experience without having to leave the city, stay overnight in the Zoo's five-star Jamala Wildlife Lodge.  

RIDE THE RAPIDS

Alpine River Adventures, Murrumbidgee River, Australian Capital Territory.

The mighty Murrumbidgee River, beginning in the Snowy Mountains and flowing right through the Australian Capital Territory, presents a prime opportunity to get your heart racing as you raft the rapids. Alpine River Adventures’ Murrumbidgee River tour cuts through the scenic Red Rock Gorge, showcasing classic Australian bushland. The 40 rapids travelled by the tour are grades 2 to 4, meaning that even visitors new to rafting can give this a try. Your Aboriginal guide can help you spot wildlife such as birds and water dragons.

GO HIKING

Namadgi National Park, Australian Capital Territory.

Namadgi National Park takes up almost half the Australian Capital Territory, stretching all the way from the suburbs through to the snowy mountains bordering Kosciuszko National Park, home to Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko. Explore this section of the Australian Alps through a variety of walks, from day trips to overnight camping expeditions. You can mountain bike or even ski tour in winter, or simply join ranger-guided walks to hear the stories and local secrets of this fascinating and vast national park.

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