New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published January 30th 2018
Ideas on what to do, that won't break the bank
Is everyone you know going away for the next long weekend, school holidays or Christmas break? Many local Canberrans leave the city each holidays, as they head to the South Coast or Sydney for a relaxing break by the coast. For the rest of us that stay home however, it can be handy to have a few ideas on what to do around our own city, which makes us feel like we're on holidays - even though we still go home to our own bed at the end of the day. Not convinced? Keep reading for some decadent, luxurious ideas which won't break the bank. Why not pick at least one, to make your weekend feel just that little bit special. You deserve it.
Start your day with a feeling of bliss at Thai Bliss. Image: Thai Bliss Facebook
1/ Start your weekend with a massage at Thai Bliss in the CBD, to work out those knots from too many hours sitting at the computer. It is guaranteed to make you feel completely pampered and relaxed as soon as you walk in the door. Thai Bliss is the perfect massage venue if you have some serious knots or muscle aches, as they will pummel, pull, stretch and bend you in ways you didn't know was possible! If you are looking for a cheaper alternative closer to home, also check out Groupon or Living Social for the latest massage deals.
2/ Get a haircut, manicure, pedicure, facial or other beauty treatment to make you feel good and also incredibly relaxed. Check out the spa menus at Endota Spa or Canberra Day Spa for some ideas.
3/ Go out for breakfast as if you were on holidays and it will help you feel like you're on holidays. The Kingston Foreshore has a whole strip of cafes to choose from and a holiday vibe, with many tourists and locals attracted to the waterside location. Local Press in particular, is a popular healthy café to start your day. Alternatively, if you were staying in a resort on holidays you may have a buffet breakfast with all the trimmings. Most Canberra hotels have the same buffets and are more than happy to have locals come in and enjoy them. Check out the buffet breakfast at Buvette at Hotel Realm, for an upmarket staycation experience.
A wide range of cafes along the length of the Kingston Foreshore
4/ Be a tourist in your own town and take a scenic cruise around Lake Burley Griffin with Lake Burley Griffin Cruises and Southern Cross Cruises, or hop on a Segway for a tour around your own city. A cruise would be relaxing, however a Segway tour is a lot of fun - and you might even learn something about your own city along the way.
5/ Make yourself a decadent picnic and take it to your favourite picnic spot. If you feel like making it even more special, let someone else do the work and have a picnic blanket laid out, champagne on ice and delicious food ready, organised by Schmicnics.
6/ Afternoon Tea at the Hyatt Hotel is one way to spoil yourself and immerse yourself in historical, plush surroundings. Enjoy tiny treats and savouries while you toast your staycation weekend with a glass of sparkling wine. Why wait for Mother's Day, a Hen's Night or special occasion to enjoy a Hyatt Afternoon Tea? A staycation is the perfect excuse.
7/ Enjoy the tropical atmosphere of Kokomo's restaurant and bar in the middle of the city and be transported to a holiday destination with just one sip of a cocktail. Walk upstairs at Kokomo's for creative, tropical cocktails and a holiday atmosphere.
Be transported to a holiday destination at Kokomo's! Image: Kokomo's Facebook
8/ When was the last time you went to the zoo? The National Zoo and Aquarium has had an impressive series of upgrades since Jamala Wildlife Lodge opened up and now it is a full day of exploration and discovery. You don't need kids to enjoy the zoo - all ages will have fun at this ever-changing Canberra attraction. Why drive all the way to Sydney to visit Taronga Zoo, when Canberra has its own?
9/ Hire a SUP or kayak and take it out for a spin on Lake Burley Griffin, to see the sights and feel like you're on holidays. If staying active is something that is important to you on holidays, then get outside and enjoy many of the outdoor pursuits on the water that Canberra has to offer.
10/ GoBoat Canberra is a new boat hire company that has opened on Lake Burley Griffin, where you can take a picnic with you and enjoy some time out on the water. You don't need a boat licence, just get out there and enjoy the sights with GoBoat.
11/ Go to a restaurant for dinner that you normally wouldn't go to, to try something new as if you were on holidays. The old adage that a "change is as good as a holiday" rings true with food as well. Have you tried a Korean BBQ? Filipino? Why not try a Boodle Feast at Kusina Filipino restaurant and eat with your fingers - no cutlery allowed!
Eat this with your fingers at Kusina Filipino restaurant, Weston Creek
12/ Do something fun to give you a few laughs such as mini golf, ten pin bowling or an afternoon of air hockey and arcade games at iPlay. If it was raining day on holidays, these are the things that you may do, so why not do them here in Canberra as well?
13/ Put your feet up at the movies and relax at Hoyts cinemas in Belconnen and Woden and watch a movie marathon - choc tops and popcorn definitely required.
14/ Go to a winery in the Canberra Wine District and buy your favourite wine to enjoy later in the evening. There are 33 wineries located within just 35 minutes of Canberra's CBD, so why not spend the day at the wineries and taste some of the region's best wines. Ensure you stop at a local eatery for lunch, to enjoy a cheese platter, share plate or pizza in the middle of your day.
Do you have any more ideas? If so, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article and share where you go on a Canberra staycation. Tourists to Canberra jam-pack their days with fun, adventure, exploration and relaxation. Why not do the same, on your next staycation in Canberra?
Be a tourist in your own town and explore areas of Canberra you may not have seen (Image: Gibraltar Falls)