New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published August 16th 2016
With big boys toys, beers & burgers
Although I personally love a Girl's Day Out with my favourite gal pals, it is also just as important for men to enjoy their Boy's Day Out with mates. As I am no expert on these matters, I have had to ask the men I know - of all ages - where they like to go around Canberra that is just for men. I should have phrased the question differently, however, as I had some interesting responses (all of which didn't make this list!), however, they all then went on to mention the following suitable suggestions. Of course I don't want to generalise as men are all different, with different interests and things they like to do, however these are some of the most popular ideas on where to go for a Boy's Day Out in Canberra - which is definitely not as boring as it sounds!
Everything is big at the Bog Boys Toys Expo. Source: Facebook
Big Boys Toys Expo at the EPIC (Exhibition Park in Canberra) is a must for all men who are into big engines, revving competitions, fishing, caravanning, remote control helicopters, beer, pizza, souped up machinery, top of the range cars and anything that emits a large amount of smoke. This expo started in 2015 and attracted huge crowds of men, women and families for a very good reason - it was jam packed with things to do for the entire day. This expo, held in August, is a must for all men who love these pursuits. See here for details of the next event. Summernats (also at the EPIC) is another souped-up event with revving competitions, displays, burnout comps, racing and anything car related in all its forms. This event gains national TV coverage each year, as people come from all over the country to experience this exciting annual event. Each year they attempt a Guinness World Record for the most cars in a burnout - a must see for all visitors to the Expo (asthmatics excluded). Held in January, in the peak of a Canberra Summer, this event is hot, sweaty, dirty, loud and fun - the perfect Boy's Day Out for men who enjoy street cars with grunt. See here for details of the next event.
Big Boys Toys Expo - popular with all ages on a Boys Day Out
The Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival is held at the Mecure Hotel in Braddon, just down the road from the Australian War Memorial. This event also draws a large crowd, where visitors can try out a range of local and interstate beers and ciders and match them with tasty fare from the food stalls. Held in March, there are over 80 beers to try on the day, live entertainment, giveaways, cheese matching, raffles and more. In 2017 they will be celebrating their 10th year of the festival. See here for details of the next event.
Beer Day Out is another event that draws in thousands of people from across the region. As with the festival above, you can try beers from a wide range of local and interstate breweries, with Canberra featuring amongst the favourites. Held in November, this event attracts local brewers such as BentSpoke Brewery Co, Pact Beer Co and Capital Brewing Co, who all have a large following. In 2016 the event will be held at Thoroughbred Park in Lyneham. See here for details of the next event.
The popular Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival. Source: Festival website
Fishing is enjoyed around the region in the fresh water river systems that flow through the valleys on the outskirts of the city. There is the iconic Murrumbidgee and Molongolo rivers to fish, as well as the river systems up in the Snowy Mountains further afield. The main species of fish you can catch in Canberra are carp, trout, Murray cod, golden perch and redfin - depending on your location. One option for a Boy's Day Out is to book in a group fly fishing lesson at Rainbow Springs (contact them directly for larger bookings) or see the ACT Government website if you want to go out on your own. Also, check out the websites for Googong Dam (just over the border into NSW) and Tackle World for a list of what to catch in Canberra and on the South Coast. Which leads on to...
Day Trips are another option if you are happy to have a big day of driving, with Batemans Bay a two-hour drive away for a day on the beach or a deep sea fishing trip. The Snowy Mountains are also 2.5 hours away for a day of skiing, snowboarding or trout fishing. If getting up early to do this doesn't appeal to the boys in your group, why not make a weekend of it and stay the night at these tourist hot spots.
Bare Foot Bowling is a great way to relax and try your hand at lawn bowls, in casual clothes and a drink at each end. There is always someone there to teach you the game, give you some pointers and then let you compete for bragging rights. Bowling Clubs in Canberra that offer bare foot bowls are Weston Creek Labor Club, Canberra City Bowling Club, Canberra Bowling Club and the popular RUC.
Catch Rainbow Trout, Golden Perch, Murray Cod and Silver Perch at Googong Dam in NSW
Corin Forest Mountain Retreat is located 25 minutes from the CBD in the mountains west of the city. During Summer they have open the "Largest Bob Sled Ride in the Southern Hemisphere", which is an exhilarating trip down the hill with hair-raising turns. Buy multiple tickets and go down numerous times, picking up speed around the turns. This is an ideal venue if you are on a family Boy's Day Out with kids and teenagers along for the ride. Although this venue is a long drive from Canberra, why not stay for awhile afterwards and enjoy a wood-fired pizza and relax in the grounds. See here for more details and here for an article on Corin Forest Mountain Retreat.
There are endless choices on where to go and what to do on a Boy's Day Out in Canberra. People from other states think that Canberra is all about politics, roundabouts and more politics - however, they couldn't be further from the truth. Each weekend the city comes alive with events, festivals and activities for all ages - with plenty of things to do for the men of Canberra. Each year, more events are getting added to the epic line-up, as the city is getting renowned for its love of festivals and a family friendly, good time. So call up some mates and get a plan together for a Boy's Day Out this weekend.
This guy did - and from the look on his face - he couldn't be happier.