Places to go

Canberra has some fantastic parks and playgrounds to get your kids outside.

There are a number of organisations that have compiled great overviews of many of these spaces, including:

Nature Play CBR has selected a few key spaces that offer bush or nature play elements. If you know of a great nature play space you think should be included in this list, please let us know by submitting your place.

 

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National Arboretum Canberra

Weston Creek, 2601

The National Arboretum Canberra features 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world

Springbank Island

Canberra, 2600

Springbank Island is located in Lake Burley Griffin's West Basin, access is exclusively by boat or paddle craft. A perfect spot for a family picnic with plenty of shady spots during summer. The Island is surrounded by trees and native vegetation and would be ideal for a kid's t…

Eddison Park Disc Golf Course

Woden, 2602

Eddison Park is home to a 9 basket, 18 hole disc golf course that has multiple tees to match various abilities. Disc golf is played much like traditional 'ball golf' except instead of hitting a ball with a club into a cup, you throw a plastic disc into a metal basket. It is great…

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Paddy's River, 2620

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is located in a beautiful valley nested at the base of the Tidbinbilla Range, only a 40 minute drive South West of Canberra's city centre. The landscape is varied and spectacular. Ranging from the dominant peaks of Mount Tidbinbilla and Mount Domain,…

Mt Mugga Mugga Nature Reserve

O'malley, 2606

This Mt Mugga Mugga site offers a natural bush setting with water play and mud play for children - especially after some rain. Picnic blankets can be placed by the stream under the shade of trees whilst the kids splash about in the puddles. Parking is off Akame Street in O'…

Namadgi National Park

Tharwa, 2620

With remote wilderness experiences, a wide range of natural environments, an abundance of native wildlife, and Aboriginal and European cultural sites, there are many reasons to visit Namadgi National Park. Namadgi covers 106,095 hectares, with 160 kilometres of marked walking tra…

Gudgenby River Smiths Bridge Beach

Tharwa, 2620

Just under the Smiths road bridge near Tharwa is a stretch of the Gudgenby river perfect for water play for babies and toddlers. Mainly ankle deep water with one small pool, the spot is flanked by a wide stretch of sand perfect for sand play. Make stone sculptures out of smooth r…

The Rainforest Gully at the Australian National Botanic Gardens

Acton, 2601

The rainforest gully at the Botanic gardens has a lower and upper boardwalk to explore, easy walking for toddlers to teenagers and every age in between. Every day the gardens are misted with a fine spray so you can experience some “natural air conditioning.” A great place to…

National Arboretum Himalayan Cedar Forest

Canberra, 2611

If you wander down the hill from the Himalayan Cedar Forest bbq and picnic area you’ll discover an enchanted forest perfect for making fairy houses and searching for woodland folk. Tall cedar trees provide secret shady picnic spots, plenty of sticks on the ground can be crafted…

Tanbella Self Pick Apple and Pear Orchard

Pialligo , 2609

A great place to show your kids where their food comes from, and get some exercise at the same time is Tanbella Orchard. It’s a self pick apple and pear orchard in the Pialligo region near the Canberra airport. You can wander the rows of trees picking your own apples, and there…

Aranda Snow Gums

Aranda, 2614

Get a taste of the Australian High Country by visiting the Aranda Snow Gums, some of the last survivors of a circle of snow gums that went around the frosty flats of the Molonglo River. Visit on a wintery morning and take photos of the spiderwebs covered in dew or frost. Follow t…

Goorooyarroo Nature reserve

Gungahlin, 2912

Go for an explore at the Goorooyarroo Nature reserve on the edge of Gungahlin. Park at the South Car Park off Horse Park Drive and head into the woodlands for a bushwalk. Hold a bush Olympics by balancing on the fallen logs, climbing under branches, slither through grassy tussoc…

Oaks Estate Enchanted Forest

Oaks Estate, 2620

Check out the magical enchanted forest that is Oaks Estate reserve. Wonder at the unusual Osage Oranges. Learn about the early history of the estate. Play in the autumn leaves in autumn. Climb the fallen logs. Follow the walking trail along the river. Toilets are at a nearby play…

The Pinnacle Nature Reserve

Weetangera, 2614

The Pinnacle nature reserve has amazing views to the Brindabellas, native species of grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees to explore, and is home to many kangaroos and birds as well as echidnas and other wildlife. Go for a bush walk to the top of the Pinnacle. Take binoculars and g…

Fadden Pines

Fadden, 2904

Just to the side of the Fadden Pines playground is a magical pine forest to explore. There are plenty of pine cones to roll along the ground or you could practice throwing them into an old washing basket or bucket. Cushiony pine needles make for a soft picnic spot. Great spot to…

Mount Taylor Nature Reserve

Chiefly, 2606

Visit Mount Taylor Nature reserve with so many logs to climb, rocks to scramble over, and secret places to hide. Visit in August and September to celebrate Wattle Day and admire wattle trees in bloom. Take your binoculars and look for birds. (But watch out for cheeky magpies and…

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