Here’s your guide to the best places to go, shop, eat, stay in Kingston and Manuka, just a short 10-minute drive from Canberra’s city centre.

WHERE TO GO

In summer take a dip at the art deco style Manuka Pool – a great spot to cool down. Across the road from the Manuka Village shops is Manuka Oval, where in autumn and winter you can watch the GIANTS play Australian Rules Football or national or international cricket games during summer.

An oval full of cricketers as the sun sets.
Catch a game at Manuka Oval.

If you are looking to see something creative, be assured there is always something happening at the Canberra Glassworks in the Kingston Foreshore precinct. It’s Australia's only cultural centre that is wholly dedicated to contemporary glass art and forms part of a broader arts precinct currently in development. And it also has a popular local Brodburger as its café.

Glass making at Canberra Glassworks
Witness glass making up close at Canberra Glassworks.

For a truly exceptional view of Canberra, hire an electric GoBoat picnic boat from Kingston Foreshore and cruise on Lake Burley Griffin. The experience will evoke the sense of adventure you need to make it a memorable trip.

A boat on the lake as the sun sets with black mountain tower in the background.
Enjoy a floating picnic on Lake Burley Griffin by hiring a GoBoat.

WHERE TO SHOP

Both Manuka and Kingston offer a boutique shopping experience of high-quality apparel, shoes, jewellery and beautiful homewares.

In Manuka Village, you’re spoilt for choice with a number of popular jewellery stores including Bijoux, Creations Jewellers, and The Village Jewellers. You’ll find fashion brands Witchery, Gazman, Trenery and more sitting alongside boutique stores like Things of Desire, Momento Dezigns and kids fashion store Wolfie. Escala, Carla Zampatti and Ambia also add to the high-end Manuka offerings.

People shopping on a buzzing street full of cafes in Kingston.
Take a stroll around Manuka and Kingston to discover hidden gems for yourself.

Manuka is also popular for its homeware finds, with stores like Lily Cooper and Home by Creations among the offerings.

Foodies will love The Essential Ingredient at Kingston for its extensive range of kitchen homewares and its showcase of specialised, locally produced food from the Canberra region. A delicious way to remember your trip. Another store in Kingston offering a unique momento of the nation’s capital is Scott Leggo Photography, a local photographer renowned for his landscape work. Boutique stores Honeysuckle & Lace and Stephanie’s Boutique Lingerie among the popular fashion stores here.

Reflection of autumnal trees on the shoreline of Lake Burley Griffin.
See Scott Leggo's beautiful scenic photography at his flagship store.

WHERE TO EAT

There are plenty of options in the village squares of Manuka and Kingston as well as the lakeside Kingston Foreshore.

The locals flock to Manuka on weekends for brunch, with Urban Pantry, Typica, My Cafe and Patissez always popular. For day and evening dining, there’s Public Bar, Timmy’s Kitchen, Abell’s Kopi Tiam, Belluci’s, Caph’s and the Thai Cornar among others on the Manuka block.

People enjoying beverages at Public Bar in Manuka, Canberra
Enjoy a pre-game drink or post-game meal, Manuka’s Public Bar is an easy stroll from Manuka Oval.

Newcomer in Kingston, Queenies, is an eclectic bar that keeps you on your toes with a native twist to meals plus impressive drinks selection.  Green Square Kingston is known for its outdoor café dining scene featuring Bittersweet and Kiosk and across the road, Lava Kingston. Other popular haunts include Canadian pub Caribou, Penny University, Portia’s, Silo Baker & Café, Pomegranate and Otis Dining Hall.

A selection of tarts at Silo Bakery, Kingston.
A mouth-watering selection of Silo's famous tarts.

Roughly nestled between Manuka and Kingston village centres is the Kington Hotel, known as the Kingo to locals, and Agostinis Italian restaurant, uber trendy Joe’s Bar and Muse, all at East Hotel.

The lakeside Kingston Foreshore (keep walking north down Giles Street and you’ll find it) is an eating hub in itself overlooking this modern residential area. Magoo’s Café and Bar and The Dock are popular for a drink or pub meal, while there’s a string of popular cafes including Local Press Café and Bean and Table. Popular restaurants include Morks, Molto Italian and La Rustica.

Where to sleep

At East Hotel, you will be enveloped in a style of hospitality that encapsulates the Manuka and Kingston precinct flawlessly. Three minutes’ walk north are the Kingston shops and three minutes south-west is Manuka Village.

East Hotel in Canberra’s trendy inner south really is a home away from home
East Hotel in Canberra’s trendy inner south really is a home away from home.

Just a few steps away from the Kingston shops makes Abode Kingston a perfect base for exploring the area on foot.