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Canberra Balloon Spectacular
Photograph: Matt Evans

13 events to plan your Canberra trip around

Make the most of a mini-break by timing it with an excellent event (or two)

Time Out x Visit Canberra

World-class events are drawing visitors to the capital all-year round: from Floriade in spring to an iconoclastic writers’ festival as well as celebrations of art, light and the best local food and drink.

Canberra events to look out for

Each year from June to August, the Canberra region revels in a feast of the senses with its annual Truffle Festival. More than 250 individual events are held across town to showcase the region’s fresh black winter truffle – those highly-prized, edible fungi grown near oak and hazelnut trees, sought out by specially trained truffle dogs. Events range from truffle degustations to specialised truffle hunts and are held at venues across Canberra including Pod Food, Pialligo Estate and Pulp Kitchen. Learn how to cook truffles in cooking classes and demonstrations and pick up some truffle delights – including truffle oil and truffle butter – from pop-up truffle market stalls.

Canberra’s wine region is throwing a party to celebrate the autumn harvest. Canberra District Wine Week is a ten-day program that celebrates the year’s vintage with wine tastings, food matchings, wine blending, grape stomping, winemaker dinners and long lunches. Events run across Canberra, Murrumbateman, Yass, Hall, Bungendore and Gundaroo and culminate in the annual Harvest Festival, which takes place early April. Participating wineries include Mount Majura Summerhill Road, Dionysus, Contentious Character, Pankhurst Wines Kerralee and more. Sip your way through some of the region’s best drops, including sangiovese, riesling, chardonnay and pinot noir, and toast to a new season of winemaking.

Independent arts organisation You Are Here curate a festival each year to support artists and creative communities in the ACT. The organisation actively encourages experimental art and experiences, and you can expect your fair share during this five-day showcase. Art pop-ups will hit shopfronts, alleyways, cafés, streets, car parks, galleries and museums, with visitors able to immerse themselves and interact with eclectic works of visual and performance art. Expect work from both local and interstate artists, seasoned professionals and budding amateurs, and those who have no issue leaping over artistic and disciplinary boundaries. Playing on themes of irreverence and playfulness, the festival features predominantly new works and collaborations.

Canberra Spring Out Pride Festival is the official pride festival of the ACT. Proudly promoted and coordinated by Canberra SpringOUT Organisation – a not-for-profit, volunteer and community-based organisation – the festival aims to support the LGBTQIA communities of Canberra. The annual pride festival has been a project of Canberra Pride since 1999 and includes events coordinated by the local community, including film screenings, theatre productions, Champagne breakfasts and a street parade.

Noted is a writing festival focused on experimental, indie and emerging forms of writing and publishing, breaking from the norm of traditional writers’ festivals. Beginning in 2015, Noted emerged from a significant dry spell within Canberra's writers' community, which saw a five-year gap between festivals. As Canberra's first ever writers' festival with a commitment to writing from diverse backgrounds, Noted is a chance for writers, readers, publishers and more to participate in hands-on workshops that break with the tradition of stuffy and formulaic ‘Q&A’ festival panels. In 2017, Noted staged more than 60 free panels, AMAs, workshops and children's events across Canberra's cafes, galleries, pubs and art centres.

Plan the ultimate Canberra getaway

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