12 Best Things To Do At Night In Canberra, Australia - Updated 2023

things to do at night in canberra
Rae Marielle
Rae Marielle 
| 5 min read

The capital city of Australia, Canberra may not be as big as Melbourne or Sydney, but it lacks nothing when it comes to entertainment and attractions. The city’s state-of-the-art infrastructure surrounded by natural landscape makes it the perfect place to take a breather. If you feel like taking a break from the hustle of everyday life, you can catch up with some old friends over food and wine or meet new ones at a concert or an exhibition. Exchange stories under the stars or go on a mini-adventure. Make time to check out each activity by staying in one of the top dog- and pet-friendly accommodations in the area if you’ll bring your four-legged friends in the trip or luxurious hotels with balcony featured in the city. If you’re looking for fun, check out the list of the things to do at night in Canberra, Australia.

1. Attend themed evenings at the National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery from SW, Canberra Australia
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Thennicke used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The National Gallery of Australia serves as the repository of local and international artistry. This point of interest is situated in the southern part of Lake Burley Griffin. Featuring over 155,000 masterpieces, this gallery promotes culture by exhibiting diverse artworks from Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

If you’re looking for free things to do in Canberra at night, check out the gallery’s themed evenings. Scheduled on Fridays, it orchestrates events including live performances, art workshops, and pep talks following the motif or celebration to be observed during the night.

National Gallery of Australia

Address: Parkes Pl E, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia

Website: National Gallery of Australia

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free entry

2. Listen to a performance lecture at the National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery (Australia) front approach
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user hamiltonstone used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Witness the life and the story that comes in each piece of art at the National Portrait Gallery, the hub of creative exhibitions and portraits. This gallery envisions promulgating the love for the arts by staging excursions and providing learning resources.

If you’re looking for night activities in Canberra, you can drop by the gallery and catch a performance lecture by Amrita Hepi. Perfect for lovers of theatre, this 30-minute session depicts a remake of Nijinsky’s Ballet named “An Afternoon of a Faun”. There is also a storytelling program commissioned by the gallery called “Spirits Shapeshifting”, an illumination projection that narrates a fictional story about futuristic supernatural characters.

National Portrait Gallery

Address: King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia

Website: National Portrait Gallery

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free entry

3. Get a 360-degree view of Canberra from Telstra Tower

Telstra Tower in Canberra
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chondryma used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Spend the night with your friends while gaping at beautiful Canberra from up above. Don’t miss out on the chance to get a 360-degree view of the city through the Tower’s indoor observation deck or outdoor viewing platforms. If you wish to revel in the beauty of Canberra while relaxing or having a chat, you can take a seat at the Tower’s coffee shop and choose from different types of coffee, refreshments, snacks, and desserts. Every special moment should be remembered. Get the perfect souvenir from the gift shop right beside the cafe. For safety purposes, the public areas at Telstra Tower are closed until further notice.

Telstra Tower

Address: 100 Black Mountain Dr, Acton ACT 2601, Australia

Website: Telstra Tower

Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 7.50 AUD (5.24 USD) onwards

4. Have an outdoor picnic at Lake Burley Griffin

Kingston foreshore, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra
Source: Photo by Flickr user Steve Bittinger used under CC BY 2.0

Lake Burley Griffin, an artificial lake located in the heart of Canberra, is where the national monuments and natural scenery intertwine. Surrounded by cultural attractions and public parks, this is where locals and visitors go to take a breather. Due to the lack of too much artificial light, it’s easier to see the night sky. Take the opportunity to grab an outdoor table and set up a little picnic dinner, so you can eat while watching the stars. The best time to go here is after 11pm when the city lights get dimmer.

Lake Burley Griffin

Address: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Website: Lake Burley Griffin

5. Solve mysteries at Expedition Escape Rooms

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Wondering what to do in Canberra at night? Test your detective skills and your friendship at Expedition Escape Rooms. All you have to do is choose which escape room you would like to try and set a time and date. Each room has a theme that you will follow and a storyline that you will slowly uncover as you progress through the escape room. The only way to win the game is to use all your brainpower to solves mysteries with the help of clues given to you.

Expedition Escape Rooms

Address: u11/108 Bunda St, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Website: Expedition Escape Rooms

Opening hours: 10am - 11pm (daily)

6. Catch a performance at Canberra Theatre Centre

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Canberra Theatre Centre offers a variety of performances for all kinds of audiences. This means there’s always something worth watching no matter what genre you prefer. Witness different local and national groups perform special acts ranging from heart-wrenching dramas to exhilarating dance exhibitions. Catch puppet shows and circus acts as well. If you’re a performing arts enthusiast, attending a show here is a must!

Canberra Theatre Centre

Address: Civic Square, London Cct, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Website: Canberra Theatre Centre

7. Listen to live jazz at Molly

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Molly is a low profile laid-back spot meant for casual night outs. However, before you can come inside, you might have to go through the process of finding its hidden entryway. Behind what looks like an ordinary door is actually a pathway to the old-fashioned bar. Don’t worry, the great atmosphere, food, drinks, and amazing service will make up for the short hunt for this hidden treasure. There are tables for big and small groups of people where you can enjoy a variety of cocktails. Drop by on a Tuesday night to accompany your drinks with a live jazz performance. Molly is definitely a secret worth sharing with friends.


Address: Wooden Door, Odgers Ln, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Website: Molly

Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 4pm - 12am; Thu - Sat: 4pm - 2am

8. Immerse yourself in music and art at Fiction Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Fiction Club, stylized as FCTN, is a two-level night club that serves as a platform for all sorts of entertainment. Attend different kinds of events such as but not limited to concerts, clubbing, and exhibitions. A perfect spot to have fun on a typical Canberra Friday night, FCTN supports artists of all kinds and showcases them to anyone who wants a good show. Discover new artists who excel in different fields. Listen to cool beats while bouncing on the dance floor or watch an ensemble act out a play. Let your memories of the night be filled with music and art.

Fiction Club

Address: 50 Bunda St, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Website: Fiction Club

Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 9pm - 5am; Sun: 8pm - 1am (closed from Mon - Wed)

9. Treat yourself at Courgette Restaurant

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Courgette Restaurant Canberra on Friday, April 6, 2018

Head over to Courgette for a night of living in elegance. An attentive staff will make you feel like royalty the moment you take a seat. The layout and design of the Courgette add to the intimate and private experience of dining. But of course, the highlight of this restaurant is its high-quality food that will be presented in a beautiful manner. Choose a wine to match with your food or have a professional choose for you. All of this, plus soft music playing in the background, is what makes an ordinary turn of events extremely special.

Courgette Restaurant

Address: 54 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Website: Courgette Restaurant

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm (closed on Sun)

10. Play at Casino Canberra

Casino Canberra
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bidgee used under CC BY 3.0

Looking for more fun things to do? Test your luck at Casino Canberra. Find different games to play across the whole establishment.

Casino Canberra specializes in roulette and offers different ways of playing the game, including tournaments. Each spin has a live dealer and you can play against your friends or other customers of the casino. There’s a restaurant inside the casino if you start to feel hungry. Natural 9 is a traditional Chinese restaurant that adds a modern twist to their dishes. You can stay inside the casino the whole night and never get bored.

Casino Canberra

Address: 21 Binara St, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Website: Casino Canberra

11. Sip on some wine at 65 Northbourne Restaurant & Benchmark Wine Bar

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Benchmark Wine Bar set the bar for serving the best wines. Over time, it evolved into 65 Northbourne Restaurant that offers European-style dinner meals. Worry not because you can still pick among a long list of wines that come from different parts of the world. There are also snacks and tapas on the menu which you can share among your friends in a platter. There’s a courtyard behind the diner where customers who prefer relaxing outdoors can stay. Drop by on a Friday night for live entertainment.

65 Northbourne Restaurant & Benchmark Wine Bar

Address: Corner of 65 Northbourne Ave, Rudd St, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Website: 65 Northbourne Restaurant & Benchmark Wine Bar

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 7am - 12am (closed on Sun)

12. Grab a beer at King O' Malley's

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Hop on over to King O’Malley’s Irish Pub for a round of beer with your pals. First, choose one from the variety of Irish and local beers. Next, grab a snack. And finally, settle down in front of big-screen television and have a good time. Dance to energetic folk music on Thursdays, bounce to rock’n’ roll on Fridays and Saturdays and cheer up to Irish folk music on Sunday evenings. Everything in here, from the services to the place, will give you great value for your money.

King O'Malley's

Address: 131 City Walk, Canberra ACT 2601

Website: King O'Malley's

Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 11am - 11pm; Thu: 11am - 2am; Fri - Sat: 11am - 4am

It's always fun at Canberra

Since Canberra is a multicultural city with diverse people and places, you’ll have no problem finding fun activities that you’ll enjoy, whether your idea of having fun is going to places where you can socialize or just settling down somewhere quiet.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your daily routine, call up your friends and unwind in Canberra. Be sure to check out the cozy farm stays near the city, alongside some awesome serviced apartments, for a place to stay.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Rae Marielle is a fiercely independent woman whose longest relationship is with food. She has a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology and a Master's degree in Communication Research....Read more

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