While Australia’s coastal cities tend to hog all the attention of tourists, the Australian capital of Canberra, a bit northeast of Melbourne on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin, is a fantastic destination for outdoor adventures. Canberra is a planned city where major roads form a hub-and-spoke pattern from the lakeshore, where sits the modern Parliament House, as well as museums including the National Gallery, known for its indigenous art collections. Canberra is sometimes nicknamed the “Bush Capital,” as it is surrounded by farmland and forest. This is our guide to running in Canberra, Australia.
With all that green space, it’s no wonder that locals tend to favor trail, dirt, and grass routes. However, the most popular route in the city is undoubtedly the bridge to bridge route around Burley Griffin, which winds through some beautiful parks and downtown areas. Other popular routes include offroading in the Stromlo Forest Park, around Mount Ainslie, at the Arboretum, and Cooleman Ridge. We’ve also put together a ‘runseeing’ tour of Canberra, featuring the main sights and beauty of this capital city. Another favorite is the ‘flower to tower’ run starting at the Botanical Gardens and up to the Black Mountain Reserve. There are also wonderful bike trails north and south of the city that are great for running.
If you’re visiting Canberra without wheels of your own, getting around via public transportation is a cinch. ACTION buses, from Transport Canberra, make frequent stops at key locations in the city, while a designated hop on hop off bus frequents the tourist haunts. Even some of the more remote runs have bus stops close by, so don’t be shy about traveling to any of these top running spots!