Seven of the Most Unique Places to Stay on Your Canberra Getaway

Spend your trip to the nation's capital glamping in a vineyard, slumbering near lions and sinking into luxe surrounds in the CBD.
Olivia Gee
May 26, 2021

Seven of the Most Unique Places to Stay on Your Canberra Getaway

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Spend your trip to the nation's capital glamping in a vineyard, slumbering near lions and sinking into luxe surrounds in the CBD.

Considering a road trip to the nation's capital? From feeding lions and conquering epic hikes to treating yo'self in palaces of rejuvenation, Canberra isn't short on activities that'll make any mini-break extra memorable.

Of course, after visiting the city's museums and galleries and exploring the surrounding wineries and national parks, you'll need somewhere to rest your head at the end of the day. And, you'll want it to tick every box you're looking for — whether you'd prefer a plush glamping bed hidden among the vineyards or a luxurious city nest within stumbling distance of the top-notch nightlife.

To help ensure you make the most of your trip to Canberra, we've found seven places to stay that'll tickle the fancy of every type of adventurer there is.

Please stay up to date with the latest ACT Government health advice regarding COVID-19.

  • 7
    Ovolo Nishi

    This glamorous hotel perched on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin is housed in the Nishi building, the Japanese-inspired, pineapple-shaped architectural gem for which it’s named. The sophisticated Ovolo Nishi rooms are an ode to the natural world, with retro furnishings constructed from refurbished clay, cork, eucalyptus timber and natural fibres, and bathrooms featuring luxe rain showers or deep concrete bathtubs.

    The view will similarly transport you from the CBD. The atrium rooms peer into a leafy internal courtyard alive with reclaimed Tasmanian tree ferns, while the sun rooms glow in natural light and gaze out over the lake. After dining at the in-house vegetarian restaurant, you’ll be perfectly positioned to visit nearby museums, nature reserves and city sites. Your furry four-legged friends are also welcome at this five-star, sustainable hotel.

    Image: VisitCanberra

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  • 6
    Jamala Wildlife Lodge

    While it’s located just a ten-minute drive from Canberra’s CBD, Jamala Wildlife Lodge might just make you feel like you’re on a transcontinental journey. Tour the sprawling grounds solo or on a guided safari, and you’ll spy lions, sun bears, rhinos, monkeys, zebras and more. You can also spend the night in a tree house overlooking the resident giraffes — they may visit your balcony for a snack — or a bungalow with wide windows for living room meetings with tigers.

    There’s a rough itinerary to follow when you visit, but in between the tours, in-house dining and one-on-one animal encounters, you can hang out with a wall tank full of sharks in the main lodge. Or, you can swim in the luxurious pool, which is — thankfully — a separate body of water. This experience provides a taste of nature perfect for couples and groups.

    Image: VisitCanberra

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  • 5
    Naked Cubby Co

    Nudity isn’t a requirement when staying at Naked Cubby Co, but this stripped-back glamping experience located a 20-minute drive from the city certainly encourages visitors to get back to nature (sans wifi and technology). Edgar and Frank, two pristine bell tents named for local winemakers, are nestled among the undulating vines at Mount Majura Vineyard from spring to autumn. In winter, you can cuddle up in Dinny, a tiny house with a spectacular view, instead.

    In all hideaways, you’ll sleep on a plush bed shrouded in locally sourced linens, rifle through the books provided and play your way through the stash of board games. While the accommodation includes comforts like a mini-fridge and eco-toilet, you’ll need to abandon showers for your one-night stay. You can dedicate your visit to picnicking and stargazing, or head to the cellar door for wine tastings and have fine dining takeaway delivered to your tent deck.

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  • 4

    Make a beeline for Little National if you’re after a mini-break where you don’t need to traipse around the city to have all your whims and fancies met. This CBD hotel offers affordable luxury, so you can recline in style and dedicate your holiday spending money to other decadent experiences.

    Waltz around the corner to Hale Gym and Spa, and you can spend a day working out knots on the massage table — or simmering in the heated pool in the comforting cave-like retreat. Hotel Realm and Burbury Hotel next door can cater to all of your fine dining desires, and luxury salons and shops also feature prominently in the neighbourhood. Little National’s lounge and library are also perfect spaces to sort out business during the day or to spread out beside the fire in a secluded spot once evening arrives.

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  • 3

    If the shift away from high-impact tourism has taught us anything, it’s that great things come in tiny packages. Little George is a sustainable, pet-friendly tiny home hidden within the gorgeous grounds of Lake George Winery. This hillside retreat provides the compact luxury we’ve come to expect from tiny house getaways, all within a 40-minute drive north of Canberra.

    You’ll have multiple opportunities for wine tasting on-site or at Lerida Estate next door, and can find sustenance at nearby cafes and restaurants — or cook your own meals beside the fire pit. There are 300 acres of farmland to explore, and a short mountain hike will reward early birds with a dazzling sunrise.

    Image: Visit Canberra

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  • 2
    Cotter Campground

    If you’re keen to get out in the bush, but you’re not quite ready to go without a bathroom and use flint for fire starters, then Cotter Campground is an ideal spot. You’ll feel worlds away from the city — even if it is only a 25-minute drive from Canberra’s centre — while still having access to electric and fire barbecues, toilets and hot shower facilities at this well-catered campsite. Just remember to BYO firewood.

    This is where the clear waters of the Cotter River and Murrumbidgee River meet, which makes it perfect for summer swims, fishing and canoeing. You can also hike the nearby trails, including those in adjoining reserves and forests. You’ll just need to book online to secure a patch at the campground.

    Image: Damian Breach, VisitCanberra

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  • 1
    Tallagandra Hill Cottages

    The region around Canberra is known for its softly spiced cool-climate wines, but many local vintners also provide tranquil places to rest wine-weary heads in addition to their vinous offerings. Tallagandra Hill Winery is one such producer, with three charming cottages on the winery grounds.

    Each self-contained unit sleeps two adults and is equipped with a modern kitchen and bathroom as well as plush lounging and sleeping quarters. You can bring wine and charcuterie to your private deck, or taste your way through the vineyard’s drops while enjoying local produce at the cellar door. If you time your trip well, you could also catch some live music performed by visiting local artists.

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Discover more experiences to have in Canberra at VisitCanberra and start planning your next city break.

Top image: Jamala Wildlife Lodge, VisitCanberra.

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