Get Enlightened in Canberra

Autumn is about to arrive, and Canberra has just the thing to help ease any post-summer blues. Enlighten, one of the city's premier festivals, is set to present events and experiences at some of Canberra's premier attractions, bringing family-friendly fun to an after-hours setting.

The full Enlighten program takes place over ten nights from February 27 to March 7, covering everything from live music and rare films through to stand-up comedy and decadent dining experiences.

This is one Canberra event you don't want to miss, so be in quick to get your tickets and holiday accommodation to ensure you can enjoy the party.


The scope of events at Enlighten is positively huge, featuring an array of free and ticketed highlights. One hotly anticipated standout is the National Portrait Gallery's Dinner in the Dark, featuring Masterchef's Nick Whitehouse serving up an exquisite three-course meal. Nick will be on-hand to explain his processes and talk to guests about the flavours and textures involved in each dish. Clonakilla wines will be matched to each course, making for a truly decadent delight.

Head down to the Senate Rose Gardens at Old Parliament House on Friday 6 March for a night of free film entertainment. Lights! Canberra! Action! brings a new take on a film festival to the city, with filmmakers asked to create a seven minute film from scratch, focused around a central theme and specific items.

Foodies will be smart not to miss the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets, held Monday-Friday during the festival. Venture into Parliamentary Triangle to dine out on authentic Asian cuisine such as noodles (obviously), dumplings and pad Thai.

"Enlighten, one of the city's premier festivals, is set to present events and experiences at some of Canberra's most prolific attractions."

See light in all its glory at Through the Flames, a free fire performance at John Dunmore Land Place on Friday 6 March. Dream State Circus teams up with talented local fire entertainers to dance with fire and delight audiences with their skill and finesse.

As for the 'light' component of Enlighten, be sure to check out the National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, Parliament House, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and Questacon's National Science and Technology Centre, which will all feature architecture projections

Getting there

With Enlighten locations all around Canberra, driving or taking public transport is your best bet for the duration of this event. Parliamentary Triangle has free car parking options, while a free shuttle bus will be running from the Civic Bus Interchange to Acton Car Park at the event site. This bus will run in a loop from 5pm - 11:30pm throughout the event, meaning you won't have to worry about parking and can perhaps indulge in a tasty tipple or two.

Stay nearby

Settle in for ten days of fun and excitement at Enlighten by staying at Mantra on Northbourne. This centrally-located holiday accommodation offers hotel rooms alongside one- and two-bedroom apartments, all of which feature refreshing air conditioning, LCD televisions, internet access and all the other creature comforts you could ask for. There's an indoor heated pool in which you can splash about or complete a few laps, plus an on-site gym for those who like to stay active while on holiday. Relax in the sauna before refuelling with a cool drink and hot meal at Zipp Restaurant and Bar, conveniently located within the accommodation grounds. Dine out on modern Australian cuisine and locally produced wines before hitting the streets for some Enlighten entertainment.

Canberra hotels

Canberra hotels, Mantra on Northbourne
Mantra on Northbourne

Situated in the centre of Canberra, offering modern, comfortable hotel rooms and self-contained apartments...Read More »

Canberra hotels, Peppers Gallery Hotel
Peppers Gallery Hotel

Stylish, beautifully appointed hotel rooms and apartments, positioned in a sculpture garden setting near Lake Burley Griffin...Read More »

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