16 September 2018

Canberra Day Trips: Celebrate Spring in the region

| Canberra Day Trips
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Under the big tent at Oktoberfest. Photo: Facebook.

It’s Spring! There are blossoms and wattle in bloom, the daffodils have poked their heads up, the days are getting longer, and the sun is feeling warmer. It’s a time to get out and about and shake off the icy grip of winter. Here are some of our favourite ways to enjoy the gorgeous season of Spring in Canberra and the surrounding areas.

Frolic among the flowers


Floriade needs little introduction. The popular annual celebration of Spring has been going on since 1988 and has endured for good reason, with its food and wine, entertainment, displays, market stalls and activities complementing the fabulous flower displays. This year’s festival has a pop culture focus, and the month-long extravaganza in Commonwealth Park will run from 15 September to 14 October.

Tulip Top Gardens

Tulip Top Gardens is another floral spectacular set in a gorgeous hidden valley. The 10-acre display includes hundreds of thousands of tulips, hundreds of blossom trees, a cascading waterfall and a 70m high lookout. There is free entertainment and sausage sizzle on selected days, and dogs are welcome every day!

Canberra’s Open Gardens

Canberra’s Open Gardens highlight the beauty of gardens around the region. Each Spring and Autumn a diverse range of interesting and beautiful open gardens in Canberra, Queanbeyan and surrounds welcome visitors to wander through and draw inspiration from. Check out the Spring Open Garden program for 2018 or find more information on Facebook.

Fantastic fairs and fetes

Spring is the time when schools and community organisations across Canberra get busy making jams, packing showbags and getting the sausage sizzles happening in anticipation of fete season.

Here’s a taster of the many events that will be kicking off in the coming weeks and months:

  • Canberra Girls Grammar School Fete on October 27 will have market stalls, hot food, cakes, salads, fairy floss, sweets, trash and treasure, plants and fresh-cut flowers, high-quality pre-loved books, clothing, carnival rides, show bags and entertainment.
  • St Thomas the Apostle Parish and School Fete on 10 November promises a fabulous day out with entertainment, show bags, a cake stall, Trash and Treasure, craft and plant stalls and rides for all ages.
  • Kingsford Smith School Fete, also on 10 November, will have all the usual fete favourites including books, cakes, craft, raffles, sideshow alley, plants, food and an art show.
  • Michelago Spring Fair on 11 November promises country fair stalls, plenty of good food, live music and activities for kids, all with a serve of country hospitality.

Here’s where to find the latest information about fetes in Canberra.


Crowds attending food fiesta The Forage. Photo: Facebook.

The Spring Forage

The Spring Forage is happening on 6 October outside the Little National Hotel in Barton. It’s a showcase of street food from local businesses in a festive environment and a great way to get a taste of the local region.

Murrumbateman Moving Feast

The Murrumbateman Moving Feast is an annual event taking place on 29 and 30 September. It showcases so of the region’s best wine, food and views, and visitors can experience a roving degustation of matched food and wines at venues dotted around the region.

Indigenous Cultural Tour: Bush Tucker Forage

Indigenous Cultural Tour: Bush Tucker Forage at the National Gallery of Australia is a chance to explore the NGA’s picturesque gardens with a local Aboriginal guide and learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through bush tucker foraging. It runs until 24 November.


Nara Candle Festival. Photo: Jack Mohr

Living Green Vegan Markets

The Living Green Vegan Markets on 7 October will celebrate all things green, from food to fashion and everything in between. Expect to find producers and retailers of ethical, environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free products, services and food and a fun-filled inclusive day for all.

Spring Festival at the National Portrait Gallery

The Portrait Gallery’s Spring Festival will celebrate Children’s Week and the season with a free festival which includes sand sculptures, performances and fun activities such as kite and musical instrument making. It’s on Sunday 28 October.

Nara Candle Festival

Nara Candle Festival celebrates the sister city relationship shared between Canberra and Nara, Japan. You’ll hear Japanese music and the park will be beautifully lit to show off its gardens and sculptures at their best. There will be a variety of arts and crafts such as calligraphy, lantern making, origami, ikebana and kite flying. The festival features Japanese cuisine, markets and stalls with visitors able to take part in various activities. It’s on Saturday 27 October.

Oktoberfest 2018

Oktoberfest 2018 is returning to the Queanbeyan Showgrounds for a massive weekend of German-themed celebrations between 26 and 28 October. Get your steins, hats and German outfits ready for an all out, jam-packed wunderbar weekend featuring German beer, food, cars, music, dance and plenty of entertainment and fun.

Tidbinbilla open day

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is having its Open Day on 7 October, and it will be full of opportunities to get into nature and have some outdoor fun. Check out Tidbinbilla’s events calendar for everything else that’s on there during Spring.

Spring beyond the city limits

For Spring celebrations beyond the ACT’s borders, check out these events in the region surrounding Canberra:

Harden Kite Festival

Harden will be hosting its annual Kite Festival on 13 October. There will be kite making workshops, kite talk, street performers, rides and competitions, as well as over 60 market stalls – all for the cost of a gold coin donation.

Sculpture in the Paddock

Set in a rolling 50 acre paddock on Shaw Vineyard Estate, Murrumbateman, Sculpture in the Paddock is free and is only a 40-minute drive from Canberra.

Boorowa Irish Woolfest

Head to Boorowa for a a wonderful family day out at the Irish Woolfest, where you can enjoy the incredible sights of the annual Running of the Sheep. Beautiful woolly Merino sheep being shepherded down the road are just one of the highlights of this free country festival with plenty of activities, displays and local food and crafts. It’s happening this year on 30 September.

Cowra’s Matsui Cherry Blossom Festival

On 22 September, crowds will gather in Cowra to see performers from across Australia and around the world to celebrate Japanese culture during the Matsui Cherry Blossom Festival. Visitors can enjoy ikebana displays, tea ceremonies and bonsai demonstrations as well as dancers, performances and market stalls.

Batemans Bay Seaside Carnivale

Keep 15 October free for a day of family fun. The Seaside Carnivale features events including a pet parade, competitions, performances, stalls, fancy dress and much more.

Do you have a favourite Springtime activity in the Canberra region? Let us know in the comments.

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