Summer daze: what are your plans for the break?

12 December 2016

As the year continues to wind down and some of our students prepare for graduation, others may be hanging around Canberra and the ANU campus doing extra study. New students may also be preparing to move to Canberra ahead of studying their undergrad or postgraduate qualification.

If you're hanging around in the capital this summer, our ANUSA and PARSA presidents share their plans and tips on where to have fun.

James Connolly, ANUSA President for 2017

For the summer I'll be based in ANUSA. My term as President commenced on 1 December so for me the summer will be about planning for 2017 and ensuring that we continue to get student input on significant changes going on in the University, particularly the Union Court redevelopment.

The University will reopen on 3 January so ANUSA will continue to be the undergraduate student voice over summer and our office will be open. So when in doubt, ANUSA should be students' first port of call.  We're also organising ANUSA's O-Week and First Year Camps so get excited for a fresh and engaging social calendar.

With spare time on my hands a trip to Cotter Dam is well worth the 30-minute drive for a swim with friends whilst the weather is fantastic. When not working, summer is a fantastic opportunity to catch up on reading (that isn't mandatory). Some of the cafes on Lonsdale Street are the perfect venue to spend some time by yourself and enjoy a good book.

Alyssa Shaw, PARSA President for 2017

If you're staying in Canberra, definitely going out to Canberra's equivalent of a beach - Uriarra or Casuarina Sands. To keep out of the heat heading to the galleries are a great starting place. For me it's important to just have a really good break to regenerate I think that students can get quite burnt out by the end of the year so relaxing and doing things that you find enjoyable is important.

Canberra can be pretty isolated, just because of how it is structured. For new students, sorting out housing and then familiarising yourself with the area, particularly around ANU, Braddon and the City can be worthwhile. We obviously have a lot of great cultural centres in Canberra so for international students that can be a really good way of getting across the history of Australia and Australian culture.

PARSA is also open from early January so postgrads should definitely feel welcome to drop in and say hi. We're planning to run a bit of a summer program as well to make sure students have an opportunity connect with other postgrads and feel welcome.

Otherwise, my sister is coming up from Melbourne so we'll be going to the coast for a couple of days but otherwise we'll be staying put and doing some walks in Namadgi - as long as it's not too hot - and probably doing some creative projects -pottery, sewing and definitely some gardening.

On Campus top things to do over the summer:

- visit the Cotter Dam Recreation Area and enjoy the scenery and serenity;

- check out the fireworks and enjoy the party at New Year's Eve in the City;

- visit the National Gallery of Australia's Versailles: Treasures from the Palace exhibition;

- visit the National Museum of Australia to see their exhibition A history of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum;

- walk around and enjoy the creativity of the nation's newspaper cartoonists in Behind the Lines 2016: The year's best political cartoons at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House;

- enjoy a coffee and a book at Lonsdale Street Roasters;

- have a burger (and perhaps a beer) at the Kingston Foreshore;

- do what the locals do and take the famous 'bridge-to-bridge' walk around Lake Burley Griffin (take your camera and be prepared to take lots of pics);

- visit the National Arboretum to the west of Lake Burley Griffin;

- explore one of Canberra's iconic mountains via the city's walking paths and trails: Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain, Mount Majura, Mount Wanniassa, Mount Taylor (again, take your camera and enjoy the views);

- visit the new ANU Mount Stromlo Visitors' Centre.