Canberra offers opportunities for some enjoyable daytrips. A small but vibrant local wine region provides tastings, dining, and lovely scenery. The Tidbinbilla nature reserve to the south of the city is a wonderful place to spot some Aussie fauna. And the adjacent Namadgi National Park is a great place for camping and hiking.
The south coast is a two hour drive from Canberra, and the ANU has a beautiful outpost there at Kioloa with accommodation and research facilities in a rural setting by the beach. To the south the Snowy Mountains offer skiing in winter and array of other outdoor activities in the warmer months. For more urban excitement, Sydney is a three and a half hour bus ride away. Visit Murray's or the Greyhound website for timetables.