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Free things to do in Canberra?

By 1337Hax0r - 5 March 2013 38

I am hunting around for a number of free things to do in Canberra. Not only do the kids want something to do, but I have a number of unemployed or student friends who have no jobs, and consequently little money. I know there are the old stand bys of the national gallery, the botanic gardens and gardens by the lakes, but what else is there to do for free or nearly free in Canberra? Not just in the center of town, but also the suburbs such as Woden, Gungahlin and so on?

Also, how about a wide category of things to do, like cultural things, sporty things, things to do in groups and things to do alone, things to do with kids, and without kids?

Thanks in advance.

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38 Responses to
Free things to do in Canberra?
Kim F 2:07 pm 05 Mar 13

Bush walking. Canberra Nature Park or Namadgi or Tidbinbilla ($20 for annual pass)

MsCheeky 2:01 pm 05 Mar 13

I’m a big fan of the film and sound archive. It has lots of interactive exhibits. It’s free.

cegee 1:58 pm 05 Mar 13

have a look at the You Are Here lineup – everything is free.

Other free stuff – swimming at Kambah pool/point hut crossing/in the cotter, walking around the lakes, climbing mt ainslie (etc), jazz at botanic gardens (on sundays i think?)… take a look at ANU’s events pages – lots of free talks and things there…. join the ANU film group – i think its like $70 for a year’s worth of movies…

the dinorsaur museum is not free but it is very cheap – $11 for adults, i think?

jessieduck 1:40 pm 05 Mar 13

Do yourself a favour and start connecting with all the institutions we have in Canberra. If you can’t think of at least five amazing things that are free or very cheap every week here in Canberra then you’re doing it wrong. It depends what part of town your in but I use social networks to connect to Belconnen Arts Centre, Little in Canberra, the Centenary team, the Libraries, the ANU etc etc etc.

It’s the Centenary Year. There is stuff on literally every day and most of it is free. There is a calendar on

Enlighten was free, most of the stuff celebrating Canberra Day is free this coming weekend.

There are often free lectures at the ANU on a range of subjects.

Institutions that you haven’t mentioned that are free include the Portrait Gallery, the Arboretum, the War Memorial (incl a fantastic kids area). We have incredible parks in all parts of Canberra.

The ACT Library has book clubs, Giggle and Wiggle for littlies.

PBO 1:33 pm 05 Mar 13

There is always the Birdman Rally or the Food and Wine Frolic……….oh yeah….the local Govt took those things away from us.

I would suggest that the upwardly mobile could be out doing outdoorsy type things like looking for any remains of the old Tuggeranong aerial bombing range or any of the old mines inside the Canberra region (Cotter, Weston Creek etc…), the tunnels under the Sydney and Melbourne buildings or the legendary tunnel under Belco mall.

Or on a long shot, try to find the entrance to the bunker under Mt Ainslie or maybe even try to find the secret tunnel that apparently goes from Club Mi Mi in Fyshwick to Parliament House.

If you are feeling daring, maybe take a geiger counter to the old RAAF Fairbairn and see what happens.

Use your time adventurously and constructively for the benefit of all and see if those things are real, because some of us have jobs and cannot do these things when we want to.

Spitfire3 1:33 pm 05 Mar 13

This painting (in case you don’t know which one I’m referring to):

Dilandach 1:32 pm 05 Mar 13

johnboy said :

Space Museum?

Deep Space centre… Tomato Potato.

Spitfire3 1:29 pm 05 Mar 13

The diamond jubilee portrait of the queen in westminster abbey is still at the portrait gallery, it’s well worth seeing. It was painted by an aussie and he did a damn good job. I think it’s leaving for London in a couple of weeks (someone correct me if i’m wrong) and once it’s gone it’s gone for good as it’s now owned privately.

FioBla 1:20 pm 05 Mar 13

Old Parliament House costs $2 to get in.

But the guided tours are free.

Guessing Space Museum is the Deep Space Communication Complex. I didn’t think it was worth the time. Neither was CMAG, I thought (wince). With regards to museums, probably try to go when an interesting temporary exhibit is up.

johnboy 1:14 pm 05 Mar 13

Space Museum?

FioBla 1:11 pm 05 Mar 13

Geocaching. Ride bicycles. Walk/ride through nature reserves and suburbs. National Library and ACT Library. Related to the “old standbys” above, look for the self-guided walking tour pamphlets, other guided tours at the national buildings (e.g. Parliament House), and the changing exhibitions at the National Archive and the National Library.

Solidarity 1:11 pm 05 Mar 13

Get a job you bums.

Dilandach 1:09 pm 05 Mar 13

There’s the war memorial. – Free
The Space Museum. – Free
Tidbinbilla costs about $10 to drive a car through to the BBQ/Walks/Play area. Would take a day easily.
CSIRO discovery centre (Not sure)
The Mint ( Free)
Walk in Parliament House (Free)
Old Parliament House (Free)
Telstra Tower (Costs)

Thumper 12:59 pm 05 Mar 13

Matt_Watts said :

Eat a Brodburger – free on the 9th if you like to queue (also free).

It’ll be ready by 2014.

Matt_Watts 12:50 pm 05 Mar 13

Eat a Brodburger – free on the 9th if you like to queue (also free).

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