The top things to do in Canberra this September

Published on 17 August 2018

With the days getting longer and the weather warming up, it’s time to break out of hibernation mode and explore what’s on in Canberra. There’s no shortage of things to do in the capital this spring: from art, history, food, festivals and flowers, you’ll find plenty to delight, inspire and entertain.

Floriade – Australia's biggest celebration of spring

September 15 to October 14
Commonwealth Park

Every spring, the capital plays host to the ultimate in floral festivity with the annual Floriade festival. A must-visit event for any flower fan, green thumb or backyard gardener, Floriade delivers with 30 big days of gardening inspo, blooms, food and entertainment.

Held in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park, Floriade is the largest flower show in the Southern Hemisphere. Each year the festival marks the beginning of spring and the blossoming of more than one million bulbs and annuals.

This year’s theme celebrates the best of Pop Culture, so keep an eye out for homages to cultural icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Ken Done, Where’s Wally and more.
Suitable for all ages and entry is free.

Visit for full details.

Honour their Spirit at the Australian War Memorial

October 5 to November 11

One hundred years ago, on 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front ceased firing after four years of continuous warfare. German leaders accepted an armistice, bringing the First World War to an end.

To mark the centenary of this historical anniversary that shaped Australia and the world, the Australian War Memorial will display 62,000 handcrafted poppies on the Memorial’s grounds, symbolically representing Australian lives lost in the First World War.

For a preview of this beautiful display of poppies, visit the Australian War Memorial’s display at Floriade.

A series of public events and activities, culminating in the major ceremony of Remembrance Day and the launch of a new exhibition, After the War will also feature as part of the Memorial’s Honour their

Spirit commemorations commencing from 5 October until 11 November 2018.

For a full program of activities and events visit

American Masters 1940 - 1980

August 24 to November 11

From Abstract Expressionism, Colour Field, Pop, Neo-Dada and Photo-Realism, to Conceptual, Land and Performance Art, American Masters, at the National Gallery of Australia, examines how a generation of young Americans challenged local traditions and reinvented modern art. 

What's On at Mercure Canberra this spring

Visit Olims Bar & Bistro for German inspired food every Sunday in October to celebrate Oktoberfest.

Plus don't forget we’ll be open on Melbourne Cup day - Tuesday 6th November.

Visit for more info.

Own the night at NightFest

26 to 30 September
Commonwealth Park

NightFest, Canberra’s annual after-hours celebration returns this year, to once again transform Commonwealth Park into an illuminated wonderland of fun and frivolity.

Running over five nights, NightFest offers a feast of entertainment, food and plenty more for visitors of all ages. Wander through garden beds full of mesmerising lights, before heading to the stage for nightly entertainment.

Highlights include stand-up comedy from big names such as Arj Barker, Akmal and Matt Okine; exclusive live performances by Kate Miller-Heidke, Mojo Juju and The Twilight Jazz Band; plus yoga in the park, harmonica workshops and much more.

Visit for the full program and to purchase tickets.

How to get to Floriade?

Canberra Centre's free shuttle bus to Floriade will operate all 30 days of Floriade*. Stopping at select city locations, including the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery of Australia and Mercure Canberra. The shuttle bus will make round trips every hour daily, between the hours of 10am – 6pm.

Click here for more information and bus map.


 Saturday 15th September to Sunday 14th October 
  Departing Daily     Monday - Sunday
 Canberra Centre  Floriade National Gallery
of Australia
 Australian War
Mercure Canberra
 Petrie Street   Regatta Point   Kind Edward Terrace Opposite Poppy's Cafe  Gooreen Street
 10.00am  10.10am  10.20am  10.35am 10.40am
 11.00am  11.10am  11.20am 11.35am 11.40am 
12.00pm  12.10pm 12.20pm 12.35pm 12.40pm
1.00pm 1.10pm 1.20pm 1.35pm 1.40pm 
 2.00pm  2.10pm 2.20pm 2.35pm 2.40pm
3.00pm 3.10pm 3.20pm 3.35pm 3.40pm
4.00pm 4.10pm 4.20pm 4.35pm 4.40pm
5.00pm* 5.10pm* 5.20pm* 5.35pm* 5.40pm*
*Last route of the day 


Where to stay?

Located just a short walk away from Canberra Centre, Mercure Canberra is your ideal place to stay in Canberra this spring. Even better: Canberra Centre's free shuttle bus will pick you up and drop you off at the front door of Mercure Canberra.

Mercure Canberra is located on the Corner of Ainslie and Limestone Ave, Braddon.

Visit their website to find out more -