See one of the largest robots in the Southern Hemisphere
Deakin is a small suburb of Canberra, located less than 10 minutes south of the city centre. It may be small, however it has a number of important buildings within its boundaries such as The Lodge (the official residence of the Prime Minister) and The Royal Australian Mint, where all of Australia's coins are made. The suburb also contains the embassies of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Hungary and Italy and the High Commissions of Brunei, Cyprus, Fiji, Mauritius and Solomon Islands. The rest of the suburb is made up of hospitals, medical centres, office buildings, eateries, local shops and residential homes.
Deakin is a quiet suburb of Canberra which doesn't get a lot of advertising, however you may be surprised by the variety of things to do there. These are my favourite 5 things to do in Deakin, however if you are a local and have any more suggestions, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article. The first attraction on this list contains something that we all have an interest in - money!
Look through the windows and watch Titan the robot, at The Royal Australian Mint
1/ The Royal Australian Mint makes all the circulating coins for Australia and other countries including Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and more. It also makes collector coins and medals, such as the gold, silver and bronze medals for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, 2018. When you walk inside the Mint you can browse the collector coins in the shop and also make your own coin for $3, which has a "C" mintmark stamped on it for "Canberra". When you walk up the stairs, which is full of 5 cent pieces, there are exhibitions about the history of coins in Australia and visitors can also walk along the factory viewing area, to see through the windows collector coins and circulating coins getting made. If your kids love robots, ensure you walk to the very end to see Titan, Penny and Robbie in action. This tourist attraction is open 7 days a week (see here for opening times), however there is no production of coins on weekends. Ensure you arrive in time for a 30 minute free tour, to hear the stories behind the coins. See here for details.
2/ Beaver Galleries is a tucked away art gallery in Deakin, which has changing exhibitions throughout the year which showcase contemporary and unique artworks - in all its forms. It is located just a short walk from the Royal Australian Mint and has 3 large red pot plant sculptures out the front, so you know where to find it. There are four gallery spaces to walk through and an attractive sculpture garden to explore. After looking at the exhibitions, stay and enjoy the atmosphere with lunch in their Palette Cafe. See here for details.
3/ Skydive Canberra take date-devils for a flight over Canberra and then drop them over the Royal Australian Mint each weekend. Although I have never personally tried it before, it is entertaining to watch the tandem skydivers land in the oval next to the Mint and see their excited and relieved reactions as they reach terra firma. Prices start from $348 for a 10,000 feet skydive - see here for details. If you would like to see what it looks like to skydive over Deakin, see here for a YouTube clip.
Go skydiving in Deakin! Image: Skydive Canberra website
4/ School Holiday Programs for kids are run in two venues in Deakin - the Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre, located next to the Royal Australian Mint and Kids Pantry Cooking School, which is located just a short walk away from both. Firstly, the Ian Potter Foundation is run by the Questacon science museum, so they offer science and invention-based school holiday workshops for kids aged 10 - 15. Secondly, just 400 metres away is Kids Pantry Cooking School, which run classes after school and all through the school holidays for all ages. Both of these venues offer a quality experience with dedicated teachers to guide them through.
School holiday science at the Ian Potter Foundation Technology Centre. Image: Questacon Facebook
5/ Popular Cafes in Deakin include Double Shot Cafe, Café D'Lish and Locale Pizzeria, which can all be found at the Deakin local shops in Hopetoun Circuit. Further away in Deakin there are also two popular venues side-by-side - EQ Café and Lounge which is a modern and leafy restaurant and next door is the more casual EQ Bakehouse, with its wide range of pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches and cakes. This spot is popular with local workers, hospital staff, tradies and locals for lunch and to pick up delicious bread to enjoy at home later.
Every suburb in Canberra has its own unique highlights, attractions, hidden local secrets, top places to eat and fun things to do all week long. Whether you feel like throwing yourself out of a plane, making your own coin or tucking into a stack of pancakes at Double Shot café, Deakin has a lot to offer for this weekend...