Best Places to Elope in Canberra (ACT)

Best places to elope in Canberra, ACT! This is your planning guide to having an elopement in Canberra, the amazing capital city of Australia in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). We’ve done all the work for you, and discovered the perfect locations around Canberra for you. Get inspired for your awesome day and try to narrow down the locations that inspire you and appeal to you both.

Canberra is Australia’s largest inland city and is located 248 kilometres from Sydney and 654 kilometres from Melbourne.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are around 1500 marriages each year in Canberra, ACT.

Canberra has so many amazing locations for the elopement of your dreams. All these places and locations are absolutely gorgeous and you can have an awesome small wedding or elopement at each of these locations. It really just depends on the style of elopement you want.

Say your vows on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, on the top of a mountain or at one of the many parks and forests around Canberra. The choices are endless.

So if you are planning an elopement, micro wedding or just a small wedding in Canberra, we hope this list is helpful to you. So in no particular order, are the best places to elope in Canberra.

1. Little Weddings

If you are looking to elope in a stunning garden property, where everything is coordinated for you, then Little Weddings is the perfect place for you.

Little Weddings is a small elopement venue located in the Canberra region that exclusively caters to micro weddings, small weddings and elopements. Their wedding package includes the use of this beautiful property, an experienced marriage celebrant and a professional photographer. Everything you need for a simple, yet special wedding and all at a very affordable price.

The Old Stone House and gardens is the stunning location at Little Weddings. These beautiful and picturesque grounds are private and exclusively yours for two hours. The gardens feature large mature Elm and Cypress pine trees, weeping cherries, soft pink roses and lilac hedges. And within the gardens, there are a number of garden rooms, including a Japanese-inspired garden, rose garden and a formal garden. So you are bound to get some really beautiful wedding photos here.

Little Weddings offers a beautiful garden setting for your wedding with everything you need included in their packages. They take the stress and fuss out of wedding planning so that all you need to do is arrive and have an amazing wedding.

2. Aspen Island and The National Carillon

Get married in the centre of Canberra on Aspen Island with the National Carillon overlooking you.

Aspen Island is the biggest of the islands in Lake Burley Griffin and is linked by a pedestrian bridge. The island is full of trees and surrounded by water and it would make a beautiful location for a small wedding or elopement.

Places to Elope in Australia

3. Square Rock, Namadgi National Park

Elope at huge granite boulders which overlook the beautiful Australian bushland makes this one of the best places to elope in Australia.

Square Rock is not the easiest location for an elopement, but it is well worth it. Located just under an hour from Canberra at the Namadgi National Park, it is an 8.5-hour return walk, About two hours each way.

Namadgi National Park is a huge National Park in the ACT. It makes up 46% of the land in the ACT. So if this location isn’t the one for you, then chances are there is another place in the National Park that would be better suited to you.

4. Mount Ainslie

If you are looking for a mountain top view over Canberra, then Mount Ainslie just might be the location for you. Mount Ainslie is located on the northeast part of Canberra and is part of the Canberra Nature Park

The lookout at the top of the mountain has lovely views, but this is a tourist attraction and there will always be people around at the top. There are also walls and handrails… which don’t look great in wedding/elopement photos. The best location for an elopement ceremony here would be to walk down the path just below the main lookout area. Follow the trail around and you will see some beautiful, unobstructed views out over Canberra. There are a few good options, so scout it out yourself and decide what like.

5. Booroomba Rocks, Namadgi National Park

Booroomba Rocks has one of the best views in Canberra over the Brindabella Ranges and it is again located in the Namadgi National Park.

From the Booroomba Rocks carpark is 2.5 return journey, which is pretty good for such a beautiful location. It is a steep climb, but once you are up there, enter massive granite rocks with huge cliffs and you have panoramic views out over Canberra.

Pick the right time of day and you will get some amazing elopement photos.

6. Shepherds Lookout

Shepherd’s Lookout is the northern-most viewing point of the Murrumbidgee River and was named after it’s nearby property owners.

I wouldn’t have an elopement ceremony at the actual lookout, because there is an ugly fence. But if you do it to the left or right of the lookout, wherever the view is best, you will get stunning uninterrupted views.

There is a water quality control centre facility, but don’t let that put you off. It is near the road and doesn’t affect the beautiful views of the river and hills. There are about four Nature Reserves on either side of the river, so you can walk around most of the land you can see and it would be wonderful for elopement photography.

7. Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House

If you love politics or just the heritage of old Australian buildings, then an Old Parliament House elopement might be perfect for you.

Old Parliament House was where parliament sat from 1927-1988. It is a heritage-listed venue that has been fully restored to its old grandeur. There are a number of spaces to choose from, and you can even get photos in the House of Respresentatives Chamber and the Senate Chamber.

Canberra Elopement Information

There are some marriage guidelines you need to follow to make sure your marriage is fully legal. Your marriage celebrant will go over all these, but basically they are:

  • Neither of you can be married to someone else.
  • You cannot be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister.
  • Both of you must be at least 18 years old.
  • You need to understand what marriage means and freely consent to marry.
  • Each partner has to sign a witnessed Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) at least one month prior to the elopement. This is done through your authorised celebrant. (So it takes at least one month to get married in Australia).
  • A registered civil celebrant must conduct the marriage ceremony and submit all the legal paperwork for you.
  • You need two witnesses over the age of 18, to sign your marriage certificate and other legal documents at your ceremony. (So that means there needs to be at least 2 other people, not including the celebrant at your elopement. You can use your photographer, videographer, stylist or someone from your elopement venue).
milton gan weddings
Photo by Milton Gan Weddings

Other Information About Eloping in Canberra

  • If you’re an overseas couple dreaming about eloping in Australia, you may marry here lawfully and legally. You do not need to be an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident to get married legally.
  • Same-sex marriage in Australia is officially legal .. Woohoo! As of December 2017, Australia has equality of marriage. The act read out at the elopement ceremony now reads “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
  • At your elopement ceremony, you and your witnesses will need to sign all the relevant papers with your marriage celebrant. Your celebrant then turns in the papers to the ‘registry of birth, deaths and marriages’ in the state where you got married, within 14 days.