6 great things to do in Canberra at night, from wining and dining to sweeping night-time views, guided tours and more.
Explore the best of the capital city's nightlife with this handy guide to exploring things to do in Canberra at night.
Want to know where to go out in Canberra? You’ve come to the right place. Keep yourself entertained in Canberra at night with these fun activities and local attractions.
Organise a night photography tour
Get ready to get snap-happy as you embark on a night photography tour of Canberra city and surrounds. Several local groups run tours such as Click Walk Learn, Canberra School of Photography and Penny Koukoulas Photography, allowing visitors to sharpen their skills behind the camera lens as they soak up the sights in Australia's capital city. Expect to visit iconic locations such as Parliament House and more.
Don't want to spend the big bucks on your trip? Bring your own map and camera and explore the city at night with your travel companions, sans guide. It's a great way to get your bearings in a new place and capture your Canberra memories. Key spots to capture in Canberra include the National Museum, the Canberra Theatre Centre, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra Civic Square, and any other local favourites you want to capture and remember.
Take a dinner cruise on Lake Burley Griffin
See the sights of Canberra from another perspective by booking yourself a dinner cruise on Lake Burley Griffin. Cruises are run by the Canberra Southern Cross Club on Thursday evenings, offering picturesque views of the lake and prominent Canberra landmarks such as the National Carillon, the National Library, and the National Gallery of Australia. Bookings are required 48 hours prior to departure for dinner cruises, so make sure you plan ahead and book your spot to be sure you don't miss out!
Mount Ainslie Lookout
If you want to see some of Canberra's best views, whether by day or night, you have to visit Mount Ainslie lookout. With sweeping views straight down the line to the Australian War Memorial, ANZAC Parade, and across the lake to the Australian Parliament House, it gives you a phenomenal perspective of the city with its natural, mountainous backdrop. By night, you might even get a better view of major Canberra landmarks, which light up after dark to complement the night sky.
Explore the local nightlife
Mingle with the locals by exploring the local pubs, clubs and bars. From classic Irish pubs with live music most nights of the week like King O'Malley's, vibrant nightclubs including Fiction and Mooseheads or more relaxed waterside venues and whisky bars such as Walt & Burley and Hippo Co, you're bound to find a watering hole or dance floor to suit your tastes.
Get to know the nocturnal wildlife
For all the nightlife there is to enjoy in the Canberra CBD, there's more beyond the city centre at the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. The sanctuary is open 24/7, but the night walks and twilight tours are the only ways to walk through nature alongside the nocturnal animals that call the sanctuary home. Keep your eyes peeled for the Eastern Bettong as well as a few possums that might be darting about at night. The Family Night Walk is great for families looking for things to do in Canberra at night, but the sanctuary is open to all who are keen. Just remember to book your spot in a tour ahead of time, as places are limited, and don't forget to bring your torch and some comfortable walking shoes.
Go stargazing at Mount Stromlo Observatory
See the stars at Mount Stromlo Observatory, situated just 20 km from Canberra. Public astronomy nights run at various times throughout the year, offering free talks and stargazing. View the calendar for upcoming open nights. Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy views of the night sky. If you're looking for activities for the whole family, especially with younger kids, visit during winter, when the sun sets earlier. That way, you and the young kids can enjoy the views without compromising bedtime too much.
Whether you're visiting with the family, catching up with old friends, or exploring the Canberra nightlife with friends or a partner, there's so much to enjoy in Australia's capital city after the sun sets. So start planning your next getaway to the ACT and choose your Canberra accommodation now to kick-start the holiday.