New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published April 15th 2018
Wine, glamping & black truffle hunts
The area of Majura is located less than 15 minutes east of Canberra city, in the direction of Canberra Airport. Just like its neighbour Pialligo, it is an area of both rural land and urban development which comes together in an interesting assortment of things to do. Not many people live in Majura and at the last census, only 171 people called Majura their home. Despite this, you will find within its boundaries a black truffle farm, a winery, glamping accommodation, a solar farm, a shopping centre, Mount Majura, IKEA, a golf course, an international airport and according to Google maps - the most popular lookout in Canberra - Mount Ainslie. The following list contains 5 of the top things to do when you are in the area, so why not visit one - or all - of the attractions this weekend? If you start at the first one however, you may never want to leave...
Wine tasting at Mount Majura Vineyard. Image: Mount Majura Vineyard website
1/ Mount Majura Vineyard can be found near the top of Majura, perched on the side of a hill which happens to be perfect for growing vines. The valley below gets frosty, however the hill drains the cold, faces east and sits on a bed of 430 million year old volcanic rock and limestone underneath, making it the perfect conditions for a vineyard. Shiraz, Riesling and Tempranillo thrive there, however they experiment with new varieties to take advantage of this unique position. The Cellar Door is open between 10am - 5pm 7 days a week for tastings, which costs $5 - $10 per person. When you've finished, take a self-guided Gumboot Tour through the vines and take in the views. See here for details. Whilst there, also consider staying the night at the next attraction...
2/ The Naked Cubby is a new glamping experience that has recently opened in April 2018, on the property of Mount Majura Vineyard. Above the vineyard, with the best views in the district, is a glamorous bell tent with a small deck to take in the views and enjoy the peace and quiet. Its name Naked Cubby refers to the experience of being free from technology, with books, board games, star gazing and wine to enjoy in the natural environment. Bookings are now open - see here for details.
Get back to basics at Naked Cubby. Image: Naked Cubby website
3/ The Truffle Farm Canberra is located further up the road from Mount Majura Vineyard and is a popular venue to visit during the Canberra Region Truffle Festival, between June and August each year. Canberra has the same climate conditions as the truffle-growing regions in France, where they grow the prized Périgord Truffle - a black fungus that is eaten as a delicacy and is the most expensive fungus in the world. At the time of writing, due to strict quarantine and security procedures operating on the farm, visitors can only enter the farm if they have a booking for a Truffle Hunt or degustation event during the festival. See here for details of this year's events at The Truffle Farm - book early to avoid disappointment!
Some of the spoils from the 2017 season. Image: The Truffle Farm Facebook
4/ Majura Park Shopping Centre is located in the heart of Majura. It is designed as a long and narrow shopping centre, with majors such as Aldi, Big W, Woolworths, Toys R Us/ Babies R Us and Costco Wholesale. If you have kids there is Lollypops Playland and also free school holiday activities throughout the year. Outside the shopping centre there are more shops and across the road is the ever-popular IKEA, which has a huge 11,200 square metres of furniture and décor displays.
5/ Mount Majura towers over the region, sitting at 888 metres above sea level. It is a popular hill for locals to walk up, with a path which zig-zags up the side of the hill and takes in the views along the way. This walk isn't easy, however there are plenty of locals who you will see along the way to give you encouragement. See here for a full article on Mount Majura.
These are just some of the attractions you will find in the area of Majura, however keep exploring and you are sure to find your own. On a personal note, what I enjoy about living in Canberra is the variety - where else can you be at a rural truffle farm and take part in a truffle hunt one minute - and be shopping for furniture inside IKEA the next? It is the combination of both the rural lifestyle and city attractions, which makes this city such a surprise to live in. Once you start exploring, it is hard to stop!