Canberra is known for its award-winning facilities and national attractions, impressive cultural institutions and entertainment precincts, a thriving food, coffee and wine scene, world-class sporting teams, and stunning natural landscapes at its doorstep, but it’s also synonymous for freezing cold winters and the frostiest of mornings. If you’re new to town this winter no need to fear, there’s so much to do and see in the capital to keep you busy, entertained and warm, even on the coldest of days. Here’s our survival guide to help get you through.
Photography by Andy Wang
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Whether your move to Canberra is temporary or permanent, it’s important to make the most of your time in the nation’s capital and see everything this great city has to offer, even if it’s super chilly outside. Head to the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, the city’s official tourism centre located at Regatta Point to find everything you need to know about the area’s award-winning attractions, museums, galleries, markets, restaurants and tours, as well as where to watch Canberra’s amazing sporting teams in action. For some great online sources that will keep you well-informed, look up Visit Canberra, Out In Canberra, Her Canberra, and Canberra.com.au.
BRAVE THE COLD
Don’t let the cold get you down, but instead get yourself outdoors and embrace the weather. A great spot to get out and about on a crisp winter’s day in the territory is Corin Forest, situated in the Tidbinbilla mountain ranges. This alpine adventure playground offers fun and adventure for all ages. Take a ski or snowboard lesson with one of their experienced instructors, ride on the 1.2km alpine slide through the forest, try some tobogganing, or simply play around in the snow. If you‘re keen to hit the slopes and really immerse yourself in the alpine region, then take the 2.5-hour drive to the NSW Snowy Mountains and the Kosciuszko National Park where you’ll find fantastic ski resorts and stunning mountain views.
If you’re looking for some indoor fun this winter, then get your skates on and head to the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre. This Canberra institution has offered locals an indoor skating experience on an Olympicsize rink for over four decades. Every Friday night there’s an ice skating disco, plus you can watch or participate in ice hockey, figure skating, and Broomball throughout the year. For even more indoor fun, you could try Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports in Fyshwick where you can ski and snowboard to your heart’s content. They also offer lessons if you’re a beginner or if you simply want to brush up on your skills.
FOR THE FOODIES
Over the years, Canberra has forged itself a great reputation for its thriving food and wine scene, and there are countless restaurants, bars, cafes, markets, and food events to enjoy and indulge in this winter. The ACT and surrounding region is home to over 140 vineyards and more than 40 wineries, providing endless opportunities to taste some fine wine and meet the local makers. One of the most notable foodie milestones on the winter calendar is truffle season. Up until early September, The Truffle Farm in Majura will host a range of truffle inspired events, including a truffle hunt and a decadent, six-course degustation menu. If you want to taste some of the region’s locally grown black gold, then don’t forget to add this one to your list.
Photography by Chester Toh
While there’s loads of activities to do and fun to have in Canberra this winter, the region can also be one of the coldest spots in the country and the season can bring its fair share of colds, flus, viruses, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Keep yourself happy and healthy by getting enough rest, eating well and staying active. Take advantage of crisp sunny days and get your endorphins pumping by going for a walk, jog or cycle around Lake Burley Griffin, or when the weather gets a bit dismal, head to the gym or play some indoor sport to boost your spirits.