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Canberra Comes Alive in Spring

It’s time to shrug off the winter layers and make the most of Australia’s capital as truffles, fireplaces and hot chocolates are exchanged for fields of flowers, spectacular outdoor events and weather perfect for sampling crisp white wines.

We can’t mention spring in Canberra without bringing up Floriade, the city’s most iconic festival. While flowers are the highlight - with more than one million of them on display - the month long event also celebrates music, culture, food, wine and art, leaving attendees to peruse the wonderful markets, settle down to live jazz, wander through the light installations after dark or join in one of hundreds of plant-focused workshops.


Sandwiched between chilly winter and hot summer, spring is the best time of year to make the most of Canberra’s outdoor pursuits. Take a horse ride through the countryside at Burnelee, a huge grazing property in the city’s outskirts; go rock climbing at Booroomba Rocks in Namadgi National Park; jump on a hot air balloon over Parliament House at sunrise; or, if you’re after simple pleasures, take a walk around or a kayak on Lake Burley Griffin. Afterwards, enjoy a picnic on the shore or sit down to the city’s best fish and chips at Snapper on the Lake.

Foodies will be pleased to know the city’s gastronomic scene doesn’t slow down during the warmer months. While truffles are off the menu, the Murrumbateman Moving Feast provides exceptional local produce at the region’s wineries. Each venue has a signature dish and matching wine as well as a selection of desserts: luckily the event takes place over a long weekend, giving you three days’ worth of meals to explore the menu.


Journey Into the Wild with wilderness photographer Peter Dombrovski at the National Library of Australia. Experience his collection of more than 70 powerful and deeply touching images of the unique Tasmanian wilderness as well as other natural Australian landscapes. Dombrovski's work has been monumental in changing the way Australians think about their environment, making it a must see for locals and tourists alike. The exhibition kicks off on 21 September and is free to visit.


The Canberra International Riesling Challenge is also a spring favourite, with more than 500 winemakers putting their best version of the varietal forward for judging. While you can go and taste the winners on your own time, we highly recommend securing a spot at the Master Class where experts will guide you through a range of exceptional drops and give you the chance to taste some incredibly rare vintages.


Film aficionados have a choice of ways to admire the silver screen throughout the season. The Canberra International Film Festival takes place at the end of October, showing a curated collection of local productions and international films from both the past and present. Those looking for a great excuse to watch some of the latest mainstream films should send themselves to Sunset Cinema where the beautiful Botanic Gardens provide the perfect backdrop for twilight screenings. Pack a picnic blanket or deck chair and enjoy a refreshing drink from the on-site bar.


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