Winter family fun in Canberra

Indulge in snowy escapades, unique experiences and foodie adventures in Australia’s capital

Pack your winter woolies and get ready to immerse yourselves in the many winter escapades Canberra has to offer.
Pack your winter woolies and get ready to immerse yourselves in the many winter escapades Canberra has to offer.PHOTOS: VISIT CANBERRA

Canberra transforms into a winter wonderland from June to August, and the upcoming school holidays are the perfect time for families to visit the city.

Even though it can get chilly from late July to August, the sun still often shines bright in Canberra, which means you'll still be able to enjoy many outdoor experiences during winter months in Australia’s capital.

Canberra is the perfect stopover destination for those travelling to the Snowy Mountains which is just a three-hour scenic drive from the city. Also known as “The Snowies”, the Snowy Mountains offers travellers breath-taking views of an alpine wilderness of rivers, mountains and glacial lakes as well as adrenaline-rush winter activities for the adventurous.

With daily flights on Singapore Airlines, it is always easy to plan for a trip to Canberra.

The airline’s in-flight entertainment system KrisWorld, with more than 1,800 on-demand options including movies, TV programmes, audio CDs and interactive games, will keep the whole family occupied during the flight.

First and Business Class passengers can select a range of meals from Yummy!, an in-flight meal service that even your picky little eaters will enjoy. Families travelling in the Economy Class need not fret as you would still be able to select a child meal before your flight.

Pack your winter woolies and get ready to immerse yourself in the many winter escapades Canberra has to offer.

Snowy Mountains

Just a three-hour drive from Canberra, Snowy Mountains offers a wide range of winter fun activities for the whole family — ski, snowboard, get on a toboggan or snow tube, or just have a ball making snow angels. 

The Snowy Mountains, part of the Australian Alps, is home to a range of terrains to cater to beginners as well as seasoned skiers.

There are a number of world-class resorts to choose from: Perisher, the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere; Charlotte Pass, Australia's highest resort; Thredbo, home to Australia's longest ski run, and Selwyn Snow Resort whose motto promises “family-friendly fun”, among others. These resorts have dedicated snow play areas which are very popular with families with young children.

You can night ski under the stars, enjoy chairlift rides to take in the snow-clad scenery, or sit back and relax in the variety of restaurants and cafes located in this region. You don’t have to travel all the way to the Swiss Alps or wait until the end of the year to get your snow fix. 

Corin Forest Mountain Resort

This purpose-built alpine destination is located in the Tidbinbilla Mountain Ranges, which is just a 45 minutes’ drive from the heart of Canberra. The resort’s snow play area gives families the chance to build their own snowman, ride a toboggan or simply throw snowballs at each other, making it an Instagram-worthy backdrop for your first snow experiences.

If you want to try skiing or snowboarding, you can take up beginner lessons under the guidance of experienced instructors. After all the snow play, you can wind down inside the rustic lodge nestled in a mountain valley. Imagine sipping hot chocolate while roasting marshmallows by the roaring open fire.  

National Arboretum Canberra

Home to over 44,000 trees growing in 94 forests, the National Arboretum Canberra on the outskirts of the city is one of the world’s largest tree conservation projects. You'll certainly learn something about every member of the tree family here.

Download the Arboretum’s Augmented Reality app and you will be able to spot rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world. Listen to the unique soundscapes of the enchanted woods as you take a leisurely stroll, cycle or drive through the 250-hectare site. During winter, the trees get kitted out in woolly jumpers of their own, as the largest knitted installation in the world, Warm Trees, wraps itself around the tree trunks of Canberra’s living collection of rare, endangered and symbolic trees.

After touring the Arboretum, make a pit stop at Dairy Farmers Hill, the prefect picnic location offering stunning 360-degree views of the city and beyond. Kids got excess energy to burn? The magical Pod Playground is a must-visit for kids of all ages and the young-at-heart, with its giant acorn cubbies, nest swings and banksia pods. 

Explore the Canberra region

After your cool-climate experiences, make the most of your Canberra trip by wining and dining at the fine wineries and restaurants located in the city and around the region. Enjoy degustation dinners at the city’s best restaurants, which use only the freshest local and seasonal produce, and sample some of the region's best reds in the local wineries.

When it gets too chilly, stay warm by touring the city’s renowned galleries and museums. There are also a variety of winter markets, festivals and events to keep you engaged.

The Truffle Festival marks its 11th anniversary this year, offering lovers of the “black diamond” some unique experiences ranging from truffle hunts and cooking demonstrations to special degustation dinners and pop-up markets. 

For busy urbanities seeking some peace and quiet during vacation, winter is the best excuse for chilling out and snuggling up with a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of red wine in front of the fireplace. Many accommodations and eateries in Canberra have a fireplace cracking away in the corner.