Set your sights on Canberra this summer. The nation’s capital is ideal for a quick weekend jaunt, or even a longer sojourn. With a slew of waterfront cafes, small bars and cultural must-dos on offer this season, there’s no better time to pay the city a visit.
Rise early and take to the skies in a hot air balloon and enjoy the glorious summertime mornings as you drift slowly over iconic attractions. Toast your experience with a champagne breakfast at the historic Hyatt Hotel, just as the rest of the city awakens.
Pop in to Močan and Green Grout in this inner-city suburb for a coffee, a bite to eat or a cool drink, while watching the talented chefs in action. The popular cafe was conceived as a place that evokes the warmth ad familiarity of eating in a good friends’ kitchen.
Take a wander through the NewActon precinct, see a local art exhibition at Nishi Gallery, enjoy a long lazy lunch at A. Baker, admire the outdoor sculptures and art, and treat yourself to an afternoon tipple alfresco-style at Parlour Wine Room.
After you’ve explored the alfresco cafes, restaurants, bars and food vans of the Braddon precinct, you won't be able to say no to the desserts created by Canberra’s ice-cream alchemist John Marshall from Frugii Dessert Laboratory.
Finish off your day with a beer at BentSpoke Brewing Co. The local craft beers are all brewed onsite and have Canberra centric names like Walt and Barley, Mort’s Gold and Braddon Bitter. The brewery also produces some apple ciders using Batlow apples.
With a Spanish name that translates as ‘seasonal’, Temporada offers a tapas-style menu, featuring locally sourced produce and a wood-fired grill. Artfully plated, the dishes are as much a visual feast as they are delicious.
Molly is as authentic as a speakeasy comes, with even the point of sale hidden away in an attempt to strip the bar of technology. Once you find the location (the only indication is a set of coordinates outlining its location), sip gin and vermouth, sample their extensive whisky collection and snack on charcuterie platters.
Enjoy a super healthy breakfast at Local Press Cafe, one of a number of dining options on the Kingston Foreshore, while taking in the views of the lake.
The Old Bus Depot Markets are somewhat of a Canberra institution, with their regular Sunday markets promising to stock just about everything you need for summertime festivities. Another must-visit market is the quarterly Handmade Market, or if shopping malls are more your style, head to the Canberra Centre to browse through the more than 300 retail outlets.
One cafe you won’t want to miss is social media sensation Patissez, which produces over the top FreakShakes like the Cookies n Freaks, made from Lindt white chocolate ganache, Oreo chocolate cookie crumb, chocolate fudge, and perched on top is a giant white chocolate mousse and chocolate cookie sandwich!
Venture only eight minutes out of the city to Pialligo Estate, where you can sample melt-in-your mouth cured meats and seafood produced in the Smokehouse. Pialligo Estate Farmhouse Restaurant is a mecca of locally sourced produce that showcases the best of the region.
Just up the road is the picturesque Mount Majura Vineyard. Their cellar door features a unique seated tasting allowing an interactive yet relaxing tasting experience. Be sure to ask them about their ‘Gumboot Tours’, which will see you donning a pair of gumboots as you take a self-guided ‘nature trail’ through the vineyard.
EXPERIENCESHyatt Hotel Canberra
EXPERIENCESNational Arboretum Canberra, The
EXPERIENCESAustralian National Botanic Gardens
EXPERIENCESFour Winds Vineyard Cellar Door
EXPERIENCESNamadgi National Park and Visitors Centre
EXPERIENCESNational Film and Sound Archive of Australia
EXPERIENCESNational Gallery of Australia
EXPERIENCESNational Zoo & Aquarium
EXPERIENCESLittle National Hotel
EXPERIENCESCockington Green Gardens
EXPERIENCESCanberra Rex Hotel