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The 3 best family adventures in Canberra

By MEGAN HOLBECK

ride around lake burley griffin. image visitcanberra
Ride around Lake Burley Griffin. Image: VisitCanberra

1. CENTENARY TRAIL

mount ainslie lookout is part of the centenary trail. image visitcanberra
Mount Ainslie Lookout is part of the Centenary Trail. Image: VisitCanberra

This 145km track around the city may not be the first thing you think of for a family adventure, but perhaps it should be. Designed as a three-day cycle or seven-day walk, the Centenary Trail was opened in 2013 to mark 100 years of the capital. The 9km northern section from Hall Village to One Tree Hill is a family-friendly highlight: there are sweeping views of the city and a scramble to the summit, before you answer the call of Hall’s ice creameries, cafés and brewery. A shorter, southern option follows the track from Kambah Pool to the lookout over Red Rocks Gorge, returning to the pool for a cooling swim. 

2. TIDBINBILLA NATURE RESERVE

tidbinbilla nature reserve. image visitcanberra
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Image: VisitCanberra

This nature reserve isn’t just about the animals – there are also wonderful walks showing off the bushland and views over ridges, valleys and peaks. Gibraltar Peak has a spectacular outlook over the city, as well as the chance to see rock climbers dance up the granite. (The walk takes a few hours – pack a picnic.) The 2km Sanctuary Loop is an easier option, following a boardwalk past sculptures and over wetlands, with pools perfect for platypus spotting, if you’re quiet and lucky.

3. LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN

walk around lake burley griffin. image visitcanberra
Walk around Lake Burley Griffin. Image: VisitCanberra

This is as urban as Canberran adventures get! The bike path around Lake Burley Griffin stretches for 30km, ranging from the natural (wetlands, bays and woods) to the monumental, taking in the National Gallery, National Museum, Parliament House and way more. (The ride can also be broken into shorter loops.) Interrupt your cycling with a spin in one of Capital Paddle’s classic paddleboats, or take an electric GOBOAT from Kingston Foreshore to explore the lake’s islands.

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