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10+ annual Canberra events not to miss!

Every year, Canberra’s calendar is packed with festivals and fun for you to explore!

These are some of our favourites.


Lights On The Lake

From 25–28 January, Lights on the Lake will transform Lake Burley Griffin into a vibrant canvas.

Witness a stunning display of light and colour projected onto two enormous water screens, accompanied by a visual feast of lasers lights and a stirring soundtrack – all for free!

This 12-minute show will occur nightly from 25-28 January at regular intervals in Commonwealth Place and will be accompanied by night markets featuring the best food, drinks and crafts Canberra has to offer.


National Multicultural Festival

This festival is an iconic part of Canberra – now including more than 170 unique nationalities! Head to the National Multicultural Festival to enjoy an explosion of sights, sounds and tastes of food from all corners of the world. It’s also a great way to connect with local multicultural communities!

International flavours and cultures come together for the annual National Multicultural Festival each February.
Royal Canberra Show

Run by the Royal National Capital Agricultural Society, the Royal Canberra Show celebrates agriculture and livestock alongside amusement rides, entertainment, educational exhibitions, food vendors and more!


Enlighten Festival

Enlighten Festival is a celebration of the culture and creativity in Canberra. See the city in a different light through illuminations, installations, music, film, and delicious food.

Chief Minister’s Student Welcome

Just for new international and interstate students, this free event formally welcomes you to Canberra! Come along to the Enlighten Festival precinct to meet the Chief Minister, mix and mingle with other students while playing lawn games, win great prizes, and enjoy a free meal. Keep an eye on the Study Canberra Facebook for details.

The Chief Minister’s Student Welcome at Enlighten is a great way to meet different students from other campuses
Canberra Balloon Spectacular

In the early hours of the morning in March, experience the excitement of the Balloon Spectacular! Enjoy a hot breakfast at the lift-off site while you watch uniquely designed hot air balloons fill the sky and float over Lake Burley Griffin.


National Folk Festival

Originally created as a way to exchange songs, styles and ideas, the National Folk Festival offers a variety of Folk music, handcrafted goods, workshops, and food for you to enjoy.

Groovin’ The Moo

This annual festival brings together music fans from across the country. See a fantastic set list of Australian and international artists and enjoy the atmosphere at one of Canberra’s biggest music festivals!

International Music Festival

Featuring a diverse variety of classical and contemporary music – such as chamber music, Indigenous music, and jazz – the International Music Festival supports emerging musicians and continues into May.


Writers Festival

At this festival, audiences get to experience talks, panels, discussions, and other events with literary talent from Canberra, Australia and around the globe. Get the chance to meet some of your favourite writers, thinkers, and political commentators and explore the world of ideas and debate.



Floriade is a huge celebration of spring, and features hundreds of thousands of flowers in bloom. You can take part in workshops, paint gnomes, relax to live music, and taste delicious food. The month-long event also includes Floriade Nightfest which sees the floral displays transformed by artistic lighting accompanied by range of entertainment.

The arrival of Floriade means spring has truly blossomed in Canberra and that warmer weather is on the way.


Spilt Milk

Another of Canberra’s staple music festivals, Spilt Milk is filled with music, food and good vibes. Party on while you listen to dozens of Australian and international artists across multiple stages.


New Years Eve Canberra

The city’s official celebration to ring in the new year! Picnic along the shores of Lake Burley Griffin while you enjoy a delicious bite from a selection of food trucks. Live DJs provide a relaxed atmosphere leading up to two fireworks displays at 9pm and midnight.

The events listed here are just a taste of what’s on each year – you can find more events by visiting the Events Canberra website.

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