From road trips to secret beaches, day hikes and sunset sails: Alissa Jenkins gives a rundown on hot activities to keep you on the go in ACT this summer.

Enjoy the outdoors
01. Glide over the city in a hot-air balloon and see Canberra’s unique street planning from above. Arrange a ride at sunrise before the summer sun has bite. dawndrifters.com.au
02. Celebrate Australia Day 2012 in the nation’s capital at Rond Terrace, where there’ll be live bands, activities and rides throughout the morning. Then at sundown head to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin for a spectacular fireworks display to an Australian soundtrack. australiaday.org.au
03. Canberra puts a twist on the classic summer ice-cream with its original frozen custard creamery, Goodberry’s in Erindale. Grab one and go for a stroll to Lake Tuggeranong, which has walking tracks and a skate park. goodberrys.com.au
04. Pump up your tyres, or hire a bike ready-pumped, and take a leisurely cycle around Lake Burley Griffin. mrspokes.com.au
05. Make the most of balmy summer nights and catch outdoor movies every Saturday night throughout January and February at Arc Cinema, at the National Film and Sound Archive. nfsa.gov.au/arc

Take to the water
06. Hire a paddleboat for a day of family-friendly fun on Lake Burley Griffin. For a faster pace there are also rowing, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking and dragon boating available. actboathire.com
07. Get a group of six or more together and go on a guided kayak through local wetlands. The tour starts at Commonwealth Place on the southern side of Lake Burley Griffin and journeys around new Kingston Harbour and into local wetlands, taking two to three hours to complete. realfun.com.au
08. Make a splash at Canberra’s impressive waterpark, featuring five heated pools and eight water slides. bigsplashwaterpark.com.au
09. Swim with the best at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) swim centre in Belconnen. The indoor complex includes 50m and 25m heated pools. ausport.gov.au
10. Pack a picnic and head down to the western end of picturesque Molonglo Gorge in Queanbeyan. The picnic area is equipped with a children’s playground, flushing toilets, fire pits, gas barbecues, picnic tables and a stone shelter. visitqueanbeyan.com.au/molonglo-gorge

Top 3 day walks

11. The Mount Tennent climb starts from Namadgi Visitor Centre near Tharwa, about 25km south of Canberra. It continues 4km to the top of the mountain where there are panoramic views to Canberra to the north, the Brindabella Mountains to the west and the Australian Alps to the south. australianalps.environment.gov.au
12. Square Rock Walking Track begins at Smokers Gap, 20km south of Canberra, and is a walk of one to two hours through high-country bush. The highlight is Square Rock – a prominent outcrop of granite boulders that offer expansive views over the upper Cotter and Tidbinbilla. Take caution as there are some stone steps, steep cliffs and steel ladders along the way. tams.act.gov.au
13. Within the Murrumbidgee River Corridor just south of the city is a 14km trek for advanced hikers stretching from Casuarina Sands to Kambah Pool. It largely follows the river through native scrub, but also veers into open grazing country and high above the river. It takes about eight hours and is only suitable as a one-way walk. tams.act.gov.au
 

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