Canberra Sports and Extreme Outdoor Activities
(Canberra, Australian Capital Territory - ACT, Australia)
The Aussie capital is called home by a number of official sporting leagues and state teams. Rugby is a particularly well-supported spectator sport in the city, with both the Canberra Brumbies and the Canberra Raiders standing out in the Australian world of rugby.
Many major sporting events are staged at the Canberra Stadium, which was formerly known as the Bruce Stadium and is to be found on Battye Street, where it opened in 1977. The stadium is capable of accommodating some 25,000 spectators and was heavily used during the Sydney Summer Olympics of 2000, when it staged the Olympic football matches of that year.
While in the city, you may also like to catch a game of Australian Rules Football or cricket at the Manuka Oval. For those wanting to get more involved, you can play tennis at the National Sports Club, go tenpin bowling at the AMF Bowling Centre, spend time sailing on Lake Burley Griffin, or cycle along the lake's shore. Bushwalking, kayaking, white water rafting, swimming and horse racing may also appeal, along with the plentiful golf courses surrounding the city.
Rugby Union is one of the Australian Capital Territory's premier winter sports and the Canberra Brumbies serve as the capital's principal rugby union team. The Brumbies frequently play home games at the Canberra Stadium, most Friday or Saturday evenings from March.
The Canberra Raiders (rugby league), known locally as the 'Green Machine', also play regular rugby games here and have gained a loyal following throughout the state.
The majority of Canberra's outdoor swimming pools close at the beginning of May and then open again in October. The most popular pools in the city include the Canberra Olympic Swimming Pool on Allara Street in Civic, and the historic Manuka Swimming Pool on the Manuka Circle.
Cricket and Australian Rules Football
Situated within the Griffith suburb, the Manuka Oval resides on the south-eastern side of the city, next to Telopea Park and Griffith Park. This important stadium dates all the way back to 1929 and boasts an overall capacity exceeding 13,000 spectators. During the Australian summer, the Manuka Oval stages various cricket matches, while the winter months see the arrival of Australian rules football here.
There are numerous public tennis courts located throughout Canberra, often being situated within the biggest parks and sports centres. The National Sports Club on Mouat Street, in the Lyneham suburb, contains almost 30 tennis courts and regularly hosts many championships and competitions every year.
Also of note is the Canberra Tennis Academy, which provides professional coaching and is located at three different venues, within the Northside and Southside areas of Canberra. These academies can be found on Banksia Street (O'Connor suburb), McCaughey Street (Turner suburb) and Paterson Street (Ainslie suburb).
Fitness Centres and Gyms
If you are a keep-fit fanatic or simply enjoy spending time relaxing at the gym, there are countless fitness centres based within the city. Of course, the largest chain hotels often have their very own gymnasiums, which offer the ultimate in convenience for those looking for weights and fitness equipment.
- Active Leisure Centre
Address: McBryde Crescent, Wanniassa, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2903, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6207 2777
- Australian National University Fitness Centre
Address: North Road, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2601, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6249 2273
- Capital Hill Health Club
Address: Canberra Avenue, Forrest, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2603, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6260 8595
- Fernwood Fitness Centre
Address: 3 Londsale Street, Braddon, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2612, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6247 7666
- Gold Creek Health Club
Address: Gold Creek Country Club, Curran Drive, Harcourt Hill, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2913, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6241 9888
- Kippax Pool and Fitness Centre
Address: 86 Hardwick Crescent, Holt, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2615, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6254 9449
- Northside Fitness Centre
Address: Dickson Place, Dickson, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2602, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6247 7893
- Oasis Leisure Centre
Address: Denison Street, Deakin, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2600, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6281 1535
- Parkroyal Health and Fitness Club
Address: 1 Binara Street, Civic, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2601, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6247 8999
- Senshu Sports Health Clinic
Address: Mouat Street, Lyneham, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2602, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6262 7508
- Tuggeranong Lakeside Leisure Centre
Address: Athlon Drive, Tuggeranong, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2900, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6293 3122
- University of Canberra Fitness Centre
Address: University Avenue, Bruce, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2617, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6201 2542
There are a number of modern tenpin bowling alleys dotted around the Australian capital, being ideal for families looking for something to do on a rainy day. Admission is usually dependent upon both the day and the time, with prices often being at their cheapest on weekday mornings. Choices include the following selection:
- AMF Bowling Centre
Address: 1 Emu Bank, Belconnen, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2617, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6251 6966
- Belconnen Ten Pin Bowling Centre
Address: 1 Emu Bank Road, Belconnen, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2617, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6251 6966
- Canberra International Bowl
Address: Cowlishaw Street, Greenway, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2902, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6293 3888
Address: Randwick Road, Lyneham, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2602, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6204 0000
Equestrian activities are a popular pastime in the Australian capital, with regular horse racing events being staged at the Thoroughbred Park. Often referred to as the 'Canberra Racecourse', this course resides within the northerly suburb of Lyneham, being located approximately 8 km / 5 miles from the city centre and connected via the Northbourne Avenue. Both the Black Opal Stakes and the Qantas Canberra Cup are staged here each year, attracting large crowds.
Sailing and Yachting
Yachting and sailing is a major pastime for both locals and tourists visiting Canberra. At the weekend, large numbers of yachts sail around scenic Lake Burley Griffin. There are numerous sailing, canoeing and kayaking schools residing here, with inexpensive courses and sailing lessons for both experienced and novice sailors, along with regattas for land-loving spectators.
Operating from Lotus Bay and close to Attunga Point, on Lake Burley Griffin, the Canberra Yacht Club's Sailing School features everything from small dinghies to giant yachts, with training sessions being led by experienced instructors. There are also a number of small boats available for hire at the Sailing School, which can be hired per hour or per day. Of note, a discount is applicable for members of the Canberra Southern Cross Club.
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Various cycle trails present themselves around the Australian Capital Territory. Keen cyclists may find that contacting the Canberra Cycling Club will be beneficial, with regular club racing events often being staged. The biggest annual cycling events include the Canberra Tour, the Brindabella Challenge and the Tour de Femme.
The most popular of the local cycle trails take in the scenery of both Lake Burley Griffin and the Murrumbidgee River. Consider cycling along Gunn Street, passing by the Tennis Club and the Yarralumla Neighbourhood Oval, before heading along the lakeside Alexandrina Drive, within Stirling Park.
Various treks are organised all through the year by the Canberra Bushwalking Club. Monthly meetings of this society are held at the Hughes Baptist Church Hall on Groom Street, on the third Wednesday every month. Bushwalking tracks can be found at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and at the nearby Namadgi National Park, amongst many other locations.
Extreme Outdoor Activities
Canberra is home to a selection of extreme adventure sports and similar outdoor activities. These include both mountaineering and rock climbing, as well as skydiving, hang gliding, bungee jumping and even rally driving. Those brave enough to have a go at white water rafting and kayaking can find opportunities on the nearby Murrumbidgee River, where you will pass through the Red Rocks Gorge and over the Horseshoe rapids.