13 events to plan your Can­berra trip around

World-class events are draw­ing vis­i­tors to the cap­i­tal all year through: from Flo­ri­ade in spring to an icon­o­clas­tic writ­ers’ fes­ti­val to cel­e­bra­tions of art, light, food and drink

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Each spring, vis­i­tors flock to Can­berra’s Com­mon­wealth Park to wit­ness im­pos­si­bly colour­ful flower dis­plays – more than 1.5 mil­lion spring blooms. Flo­ri­ade’s twi­light event, Night­fest, now fea­tures two week­ends (six nights) of tick­eted evenings that see the park’s flower beds il­lu­mi­nated along with mu­sic, com­edy and per­for­mance acts. à www.flo­ri­adeaus­tralia.com. Sep 16-Oct 15.

2The Can­berra Wine­house Mur­rum­bat­e­man Mov­ing Feast

Guests can spend the week­end rov­ing from win­ery to win­ery tast­ing fine food matched with pre­mium wines, and tak­ing in the beau­ti­ful coun­try­side of Mur­rum­bat­e­man on the way. à www.mak­er­sof­mur­rum­bat­e­man.org.au. Sep 30-Oct 1.

3Oper­a­tion Sh*t Your Pants

A spine-chill­ing in­ter­ac­tive zom­bie hor­ror ex­pe­ri­ence takes place in a 200-acre pine plan­ta­tion trans­formed into a fully im­mer­sive hor­ror set fea­tur­ing zom­bies and spe­cial ef­fects. à www.op­er­a­tionblack­hawk.com. Oct 7-8.

4Can­berra Nara Can­dle Fes­ti­val

This one-night cel­e­bra­tion of the sis­ter-city re­la­tion­ship be­tween Can­berra and Nara in Ja­pan has cal­lig­ra­phy, origami, lantern mak­ing, ike­bana, kite fly­ing and mar­tial arts. Can­berra Nara Peace Park and Len­nox Gar­dens are il­lu­mi­nated by more than 2,000 can­dles. à www.events.act.gov.au/nara. Sat Oct 28.

5Can­berra Springout Pride Fes­ti­val

The an­nual pride fes­ti­val in­cludes events run by the lo­cal LGBTQIA com­mu­nity in­clud­ing film screen­ings, the­atre, Cham­pagne break­fasts and a street pa­rade. à www.springout.com.au. Oct 28-Nov 26.

6Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! is back in Oz and pre­mier­ing in Can­berra this Novem­ber. Packed with ABBA hits, the mu­si­cal tells the tale of a brideto-be who, on the eve of her wed­ding on a Greek is­land par­adise, tries to un­cover the iden­tity of her fa­ther. Tick­ets are on sale now. à www.can­ber­rathe­atre­cen­tre.com.au. Nov 24-Dec 17.


At­trac­tions like the Mu­seum of Aus­tralian Democ­racy at Old Par­lia­ment House, Na­tional Li­brary of Aus­tralia and Ques­ta­con build­ings be­come back­drops for stun­ning pro­jec­tions. à www.en­ligh­t­en­can­berra.com.au. Mar 2-17 2018.

8Can­berra Bal­loon Spec­tac­u­lar

Hot air bal­loon pi­lots take to Can­berra’s skies of­fer­ing pic­turesque flights over the city’s at­trac­tions – a guar­an­teed In­sta­gram win. à www.bal­loon­spec­tac­u­lar.com.au. Mar 10-18 2018.

9Art, Not Apart

Art, Not Apart is a one-day show­case of Can­berra-based artists who push bound­aries with ex­hi­bi­tions, per­for­mance art, live mu­sic, in­stal­la­tions, street food and a dance party. à www.art­no­ta­part.com/. Sat Mar 17 2018.

10Can­berra District Wine Week

A ten-day pro­gram cel­e­brates the year’s vin­tage with wine tast­ings, food match­ings, wine blend­ing, grape stomp­ing, wine­maker din­ners and long lunches. à www.can­ber­raw­ines.com.au. Mar-apr 2018.

11You Are Here Fes­ti­val

Art pop-ups will hit shopfronts, al­ley­ways, cafés, streets, car parks, gal­leries and mu­se­ums. à www.youare­here­can­berra.com.au. Apr 2018.

12Noted Writ­ers’ Fes­ti­val

Noted is a writ­ing fes­ti­val fo­cused on ex­per­i­men­tal, in­die and emerg­ing forms of writ­ing and pub­lish­ing. In 2017, Noted staged more than 60 free pan­els, AMAS, work­shops and chil­dren’s events across Can­berra. à www.not­ed­fes­ti­val.com. May 2018.

13The Truf­fle Fes­ti­val – Can­berra Re­gion

More than 250 in­di­vid­ual events are held across town to show­case the re­gion’s fresh black win­ter truf­fle – from truf­fle de­gus­ta­tions to truf­fle hunts and classes teach­ing how to cook with truf­fles. ■ à www.truf­fle­fes­ti­val.com.au. Jun-aug 2018.


Can­berra Bal­loon Spec­tac­u­lar

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