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NewActon Precinct

Home > Canberra > Art | Bars | Cafes | Food and Wine | Nightlife
by Sue W (subscribe)
New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published July 21st 2015
Sculptures and surprises at every turn
NewActon Cultural precinct is a mix of architecturally stunning apartments, cafes, restaurants, shops and galleries only a few minutes from the CBD. The area covers a couple of blocks and has sculptures and surprises at every turn. With rusted signage, eco friendly cafes, bikes parked everywhere - this industrially cool area is on the cutting edge of design and sustainability.

NewActon Cultural precinct, Canberra
Park your car, or your bike, and start exploring...


If you are after a coffee or lunch, Mocan and Green Grout is an eco friendly café in the south quarter - they even grow their own vegies out the front of the cafe. It is edgy and inviting - they want you to feel like you are sitting in a friends kitchen having a coffee and a chat, which is how it feels. Their coffee is particularly popular - with a crowd of people often seen waiting outside for their takeaway coffee order.

Mocan and Green Grout, NewActon, Canberra
Photo courtesy of Mocan and Green Grout website.


Out the front of this café is the striking presence of "Modern Man" by Sydney sculptor Tim Kyle.

Mocan and Grout, NewActon precint, canberra
This vision will stop you in your tracks...


As "Modern Man" is located in the junction of a few walkways, the artist is showing him as "a man lost because of his choice of direction, on the verge of going forward but as yet uncertain as to which way".

His friend "Saltimbanque", also by Tim Kyle, is sitting outside the Nishi Gallery, which is an exhibition space for contemporary artists which changes regularly.



If you love a good coffee, there is also Max Brenner and TwentyOne café and Groceries.

TwentyOne cafe and Groceries, NewActon precinct
TwentyOne Cafe and Groceries.


For restaurant dining the precinct has a modern range of restaurants perfect for a night out socialising with friends or an intimate dinner for two. There is Bicicletta (Italian restaurant with courtyard), Bicicletta Library Bar on the ground floor of Peppers Gallery Hotel (spirits, wines, tapas), , Monster Kitchen and Bar on the ground floor of Hotel Hotel (Modern Australian with shared meals) and A.Baker which is combination of Bakery, Basement Bar and Restaurant.

A.Baker, NewActon precinct, Canberra
A.Baker's distressed walls and open kitchen. Photo courtesy of their Facebook page.


If you are after a fine wine experience, Parlour Wine Room showcases wines from around the world and local wineries to the Canberra region. Shared with Spanish tapas,the Parlour Wine Room is a special night out for any wine connoisseur.

Parlour Wine Room, NewActon, Canberra wines
Parlour Wine Room.


If you are after a quiet wine with a movie, The Palace Electric Cinema shows latest release movies, art house cinema, documentaries and independent films where you can take in a drink from the Prosecco Bar.

cinemas, NewActon precint, Canberra, licenced movies
Palace Electric Cinemas


You can also live in the award winning precinct, with three different types of stylish and sustainable apartment blocks to live in. There is NewActon East, NewActon South and the final stage Nishi - which has an energy rating of 8 stars with the use of solar energy - a huge achievement when the average Canberra home is 2.5 stars. Nishi also won the International Project of the Year at the 2015 Building Awards in London.

newActon precinct, Canberra
Look up and you will see why...


NewActon precinct, Canberra
The award winning Nishi apartments contrasted with the heritage listed NewActon Pavilion


This is just small example of what the precinct has to offer. If you love architecture, art and design this precinct will be an interesting area to walk around and discover something new around every corner. With a love of public sculpture, this precinct has more statues and artworks for you to discover yourself.

For the people that live in the precinct, they have a network of social events and concerts that bring them together as a community within a city. Although we may not be able to live there (unless you are in the market to rent or buy), the rest of Canberra can still enjoy this area that has it's own eco friendly charm and village feel, in the hustle and bustle of Canberra's CBD.

NewActon map. Image courtesy of their website.
NewActon map. Image courtesy of their website.
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Why? Explore the streets, sculptures and architecture before stopping for a coffee to enjoy the view.
Where: Marcus Clarke St, Canberra ACT 2601
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