Canberra City was once overlooked as a holiday destination, however, has since cultivated a reputation for their thriving nightlife. Offering everything from twilight tours, star-gazing, stunning lookouts, late-night trivia and dinner cruises. It doesn’t matter whether you're visiting with family or wanting to spend a night out with friends, Canberra has no shortage of fun activities to suit all ages and audiences. To make it easier for you, we have carefully curated a list of the top 11 activities so you can make the most of your night out in Canberra.
Mulligans Flat is a wildlife sanctuary serving the main purpose of protecting some of Australia’s rare native flora and fauna. Home to Eastern Bettongs (extinct from mainland Australia for 100 years), Eastern Quolls, Sugar Gliders and over 160 species of native birds, this sanctuary is a must-see for the whole family! As many of these endangered species are nocturnal, the Twilight Tours are your best chance to see these marsupials active at night. This 2-hour informative tour offers travellers the unique experience to travel back 100 years ago to see the Australian bush thriving without the predatorial foxes and feral cats.
Location Corner of Quinane Avenue & Justice Kelly Street, Forde ACT 2914
Open 24-hours on Monday-Wednesday & Friday-Sunday, 8pm-5am on Thursday
Cost for an Adult (age 13+) $55 and Children (ages 10-12) $49.50
More info at https://mulligansflat.org.au/tours/
Hopscotch gastropub in Braddon boasts an expansive beer garden, offering the perfect setting to sample their incredible range of whiskies, fine selection of wines or craft beers on tap. They also host live music, trivia, raffles, and one of the most beloved events in the city, Tranny Bingo. Hosted by transvestite comedians, this game of Bingo is unlike any game of Bingo you've ever played before. Be warned, there have been reports of guests laughing so hard they've cried. The dates and times of Tranny Bingo change frequently, so be sure to check Hopscotch's website for more details. If you're in town at the same time as Tranny Bingo, you absolutely have to go.
Located at 5 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT 2612
Open 11am-12am daily
More info at https://www.hopscotchbar.com.au/
Struggling for ideas on how to spend a Monday night in Canberra? Duck Nuts' weekly Monday trivia nights are a local favourite. This charming bar and grill in Dickson has a wide selection of drinks and plenty of amazing food to keep all your friends and family entertained. Head down to Ducks Nuts to enjoy a $15 schnitzel, and $5 drinks between 4-6pm, and prepare for the ultimate trivia battle with your friends.
Located 30 Woolley Street, Dickson ACT 2602
Open 11am-11pm daily
More info at http://www.ducksnuts.net.au/
If you want to find the best view of Canberra, look no further than Mount Ainslie. Only a 13-minute drive from Avenue Hotel, this lookout is frequented by professional photographers because of its picturesque views of the city. The best time to visit is in the afternoon to watch the sunset and at night to check out the incredible array of lights brought to you by Canberra’s buzzing nightlife. It's free for everyone to walk, cycle, or drive to the lookout and is an absolute must while you're visiting this beautiful capital.
Located at 20 Mount Ainslie Drive, ACT 2609
Open 24 hours
More info at https://visitcanberra.com.au/attractions/56b23b003ed14ca745317ace/mount-ainslie-lookout
In the heart of the city's Civic Square is the Canberra Theatre Centre, an architectural landmark that houses world-class performances to suit all ages, including opera, comedians, circus events, dancers, and musical theatre events. The Canberra Theatre puts on some of the most spectacular shows in the country. So if you're in the city for the evening, be sure to check out what shows are playing during your visit (and be sure to buy tickets online in advance!).
Located at Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601
Open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-2pm
More info at https://canberratheatrecentre.com.au/
Located in Weston Creek, the Mount Stromlo Observatory and Canberra Astronomical Society host spectacular free public stargazing events for all to attend. Hear from knowledgeable astronomers, observe planets and constellations, and see-through multiple telescopes that will take you deep into space. They recommend bringing warm clothing as Canberra nights can get quite chilly. These special nights happen about once a month but aren't set on a regular schedule, so check out their website to stay in the know about their upcoming events.
Located at Cotter Road, Weston Creek ACT 2611
Open every day from 7am-6pm
More info at https://rsaa.anu.edu.au/news-events/mount-stromlo-public-astronomy-nights
Telstra Tower is one of the tallest towers in the country, standing at 195 metres high. This popular tourist destination offers one of the best views of Canberra, especially at night! Inside the tower is a gallery that offers more information about Australia's telecommunications history and the construction of the tower. Afterwards, visit the indoor observation deck and marvel at the breathtaking 360 degree views. There's also a souvenir shop and a cafe within the tower that serves coffee and tasty bites to eat!
Located at 100 Black Mountain Drive, Acton ACT 2601
Open every day from 9am-10pm
Cost of an adult is $7.50 and $17 for a family
More info at http://www.telstratower.com.au/
With breathtaking views and incredible food, the MV Southern Cross Dinner Cruise is ideal if you're looking for the perfect venue to celebrate a special occasion with a group of people. If you're going to be in Canberra for a Thursday evening, this Dinner Cruise runs for 3 hours, with multiple pick-up/drop off points along Lake Burley Griffin. A Dinner Cruise on Lake Burley Griffin is the best way to spend a memorable evening in Canberra so buy your tickets ahead of time by visiting their website.
See website for pick-up points and times
Cost for Adult is $79, Child (5-12) is $30 and any child under 5 is free
Whether you're a pro or amateur photographer, Capture Canberra Photography Tours accommodate to all levels of experience. You'll learn how to use your camera to its full potential, working with light, angles, perspectives, and improving your overall technique and creative skills. Led by the brilliant instructor Irene, these tours are a great way to explore the city and leave with pictures you'll treasure forever. We recommend trying the Dusk into Night Photography tour where you’ll take a stroll amongst Canberra’s vibrant nightlife to visit some of the city’s hidden gems. These tours are customisable and can be altered to best accommodate a group of friends.
Located at Canberra School of Photography, Suite 1, Level 1, 44-52 Townshend Street, Phillip ACT 2606
Cost is $220 per person
For more info visit http://photoschool.com.au/capture-canberra/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Located in the Southern Cross Yacht Club, Snapper by the Lake is an incredibly popular restaurant for travellers and locals alike. This seafood joint is perfect for groups of friends, as well as families with young kids. The standard cost for their crowd favourite, fresh fish and chips is $15.99, but they have plenty of other options as well, including calamari, chicken, prawns, and salads. Head there with your picnic blanket any night of the week, they also have live music every Saturday. Needless to say, enjoying some live music and delicious seafood with your loved ones, all the while sitting by one of the most beautiful views in Canberra makes for a great afternoon.
Located at Mariner Place, Yarralumla ACT 2600
Open Monday-Friday 11am-8pm, weekends 8am-8pm
More info at https://www.cscc.com.au/snapper
What better way to spend your night than exploring one of Canberra’s most haunted historical landmarks, the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. This special tour is a must if your a thrill-seeker or lover of all things paranormal. You and your group of friends will be led into the Archive's lower levels where you'll learn about all the stories and people that are said to haunt the building. Hearing these stories in this chilling atmosphere will make for an unforgettable experience. These tours operate on request, so be sure to make your booking online in advance.
Tickets cost $70.00, and the tour is strictly adults (18+) only!
More info at https://www.yowieman.com.au/tours/canberra-based-tours/national-film-sound-archives-tour/