Loves going out and about in Canberra and writing about her adventures! Also addicted to coffee, high teas, escape rooms, and dressing up.
Published July 10th 2019
Your Canberra guide to an unforgettable marriage proposal
"Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale." Anon
Getting married is one of the most significant events in a person's life. Even if the marriage rate in Australia has fallen over the decades, there are still more weddings now than there were even a decade ago. Weddings seem to be a bigger deal than ever before, and here in Canberra, we've got enough bridal dress shops, wedding cake makers, wedding photographers, wedding planners, caterers, florists, venues, etc as well as plenty of glossy wedding pages to help us ensure that our big day runs like the fairytale ending we've always dreamt of.
However, with all this emphasis on THE BIG DAY, I don't think there's as much focus on that very first step in ensuring a fairytale wedding actually happens in the first place: that is, the MARRIAGE PROPOSAL.
Over the years I've come across plenty of stories of incredibly romantic proposals such as fairytale proposals on the Eiffel Tower, and even heart stopping ones such as the one in the Grand Canyon which ended in a spectacular fall and the newly engaged couple returning to Australia in crutches. But you really don't need to travel halfway across the world to propose to your beloved. Because you can propose right here in Canberra! And don't worry, it actually is 'cool' to propose in Canberra now because our city made it to the top three cities of the Lonely Planet's Best in Travel guide for 2018. Paris didn't even make the top ten.(Take that, Paris!) So no matter how romantic it sounds to propose on the Eiffel Tower, we've got some pretty unforgettable locations here too for you to utter those magical words, "Will you marry me?" Such as:
1. GoBoating across Lake Burley Griffin. Lake Burley Griffin is the very heart and soul of Canberra, and there's no better way to say "Will you marry me?" than with a GoBoat ride across our lake. GoBoats are eco-friendly, self-drive boats, powered by silent, electric engines. You don't need any special licence to drive, you don't need any previous boating experience (the boats are very simple to handle) and you don't even need to bring a life jacket, as it's already provided for you. All you need to bring is your beloved, a romantic picnic, and don't forget the ring!
About eleven years ago, my beloved proposed to me on Lake Burley Griffin. But there were no Go Boats back then. We were in one of those now defunct paddleboats and he took me out to the middle of the lake on a drizzly, windy, grey October day when the waters were particularly choppy, and he very much surprised me with his proposal. I was surprised because I think I was ready to kill him for forcing me out in a paddleboat on a horrible day, and because I was expecting the fairytale proposal on the Eiffel Tower, not the paddleboat proposal on Lake Burley Griffin! But it was, nevertheless, a proposal I will never ever forget. A GoBoat proposal is certainly more glamorous and cosy than a paddleboat one, and it will be just as unforgettable. For more information on GoBoats in Canberra, go here.
2. Telstra Tower.
Now it's not as glamorous as THAT tower in Paris, but hey, it's our tower, and it's a famous Canberra and Aussie icon. Since it opened in 1980, it has been one of Canberra's most popular tourist and local attractions. The indoor observation desk, as well as the two outdoor viewing platforms, are perfect places for marriage proposals. However, if you do decide to propose on one of the outdoor viewing platforms, just make sure you don't drop the ring! For more information on Telstra Tower, go here.
3. Aspen Island and the National Carillon. Enjoy a romantic picnic within the beautiful lush surrounds of Aspen Island and listen to the glorious bells of the National Carillon. The music of the bells is the perfect backdrop to your proposal. There are recitals every Wednesday and Sunday from 12.30pm-1.20pm, so make sure your proposal coincides with one of these times. Go here to learn more about the National Carillon.
4. Go tell it on the mountain! Canberra is dotted with hills and mountains. Head to the summits of Mount Ainslie, Red Hill, Black Mountain and Mount Taylor, for example, with a champagne picnic, revel at the breathtaking views from the top, and propose to your beloved while you're up there. Why not go up Mount Ainslie or Red Hill at night and propose under the romance of a starlit sky and with the lights of Canberra city twinkling below you?
5. Hot air balloon ride over Canberra.
Not as cheap as a mountaintop proposal, but it'll be an unforgettable one and the views from up high will be amazing! Balloon Aloft and Dawn Drifters offer daily flights. Prices for Balloon Aloft start at $330 per adult with Dawn Drifters offering from $310-$360 per adult.
6. Jamala Wildlife Lodge.
For the animal-loving couple, there's no better, more luxurious place to propose than at Jamala Wildlife Lodge at the National Zoo and Aquarium. Jamala Wildlife Lodge is the ultimate overnight safari and Canberra's first luxury lodge experience. Your experience includes all accommodation, dining, and exclusive tours. All you need to do is bring the ring with you! To find out more about Jamala Wildlife Lodge, go here.
7. Our wineries.
We've got some pretty amazing wineries in and around our region, and they make just as amazing settings for your proposal to your beloved. Such as Lerida Estate with its breath taking views of Lake George, Contentious Character in Wamboin, Tallangandra Hill, Four Winds Vineyard, and Shaw Wines in Murrumbateman. To find out more, please go here.
8. Truffle Hunt.
Propose to your beloved during the Canberra Region's Truffle Festival, held during winter each year. Rug up and go on a truffle hunt experience at one of the Canberra region's top truffle farms which include the hunt and brunch/lunch or a light tasting. For more information, please go here.
As the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote, "In spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." That being the case, then Floriade-which is not only Canberra's but also Australia's biggest spring festival - is the perfect time for marriage proposals! You can also tiptoe through the tulips with your ring and your proposal at the beautiful Tulip Top Gardens.
10. For something a little different and just a bit eerie, go on a Ghost Tour.
There are lots of places in Canberra that many people believe are actually haunted, and there's nobody better to take you there and back again than Tim, the Yowie Man. Tim the Yowie Man describes himself as a mystery investigator and cryptonaturalist who looks for strange and hidden phenomena and is an authority on paranormal and unusual phenomena in Australia. And he runs ghost tours in and around the Canberra region.
Treat your beloved to a ghost tour. They'll very probably be so spooked by the experience that your marriage proposal will come as a shock to them. But really, I don't think there's a better way than a ghost tour to remind you both that you'll be committed to this marriage thing 'till death do us part'!
Go here to learn more about Tim the Yowie Man's Canberra ghost tours.
As you can see, you don't need to jet over to Paris or to the Grand Canyon or anywhere else for that matter to propose to your beloved. You can do it right here in Canberra, as we've got some truly memorable, unforgettable and fairytale-like settings of our own for your marriage proposal. Remember, the love of my life proposed to me after we paddleboated our way through rough, choppy waters across Lake Burley Griffin. That was in late 2008. It's 2019 now, and we're still married!