An industrial suburb with a brewery, burgers & bird hides
The suburb of Fyshwick is a large industrial area, located just 10 minutes south of the city centre. Each street is lined with caryards, mechanics, auction houses, furniture shops, lighting stores, tiling warehouses, takeaway shops and tradie outlets. On a few of the backstreets, you will also find a legal "red light district" element to the suburb - with the ACT Government restricting it to Fyshwick in the south and Mitchell in the north. Throughout the day however, it is bustling with couriers, delivery trucks and workers, all going about their workday business. Its streets are named after Australia's industrial towns and regions, such a Isa Street (for Mount Isa), Townsville Street and Newcastle Street. Due to its industrial nature, it isn't a place where many people live, as only 56 people were registered as living there in the 2016 census.
Amongst the traffic and exhaust, there are also (at least!) 5 hidden gems to track down, while you are travelling around this busy suburb. There is more than meets the eye!
Arguably the best burgers in Canberra - Brodburger at Capital Brewing Co
1/ Capital Brewing Co is a brewery, bar and burger joint, located on Dairy Road on the outskirts of Fyshwick. It is a surprising place to find such a funky bar and eatery, set amongst the office buildings and car auction sites. Out the front of the brewery there are tables with Tahitian umbrellas to sit under and lawn games for kids (and big kids!) to play. When you walk inside, you can order a paddle of drinks from the friendly bar staff, learn about their different brews and also see the row of huge tanks at the back of the warehouse. To the right hand side there is a red food truck called Brodburger, which pumps out some of the best burgers in Canberra (they also located in Kingston). Keep an eye on their Facebook for market events, band nights and news on their latest beers to try. For a full article on Capital Brewing Co, see here.
2/ Jerrabomberra Wetlands is located a short drive further along Dairy Road, only a couple of minutes from Capital Brewing Co above. It is free to walk around the small wetlands area - just look for the signage near the car park with the map showing the various paths to take. Ensure you check out Kelly's Loop, which is a path around the main wetlands area, with bird hides to sit in and watch the variety of migrating birds come and go. Also through the centre of the wetlands is the Lake Burley Griffin Eastern Loop, which is a 9-kilometre bike path around this end of the lake and wetlands.
Jerrabomberra Wetlands also has school holiday activities and events to teach visitors about the wetlands - its wildlife, indigenous history and wartime connections. At various times throughout the year, local historian Mark Butz takes tours to where World War 1 soldiers from Duntroon Trench Warfare and Bombing School would train, to see the remains of the trenches. Although there are no remnants of it today, the area was also the site of the Molonglo Internment Camp between 1918-1919. See here for details and directions, and also here for an online brochure.
Sit quietly in the bird hides and watch the birds in Kelly's Swamp
3/ Canberra Outlet Centre is a popular shopping centre in Canberra, as it has all your favourite brands at outlet prices. Check out the outlet stores for Under Armour, Nike, Puma, TK Maxx, Bonds, Cotton On, Rivers, Factorie, Supre, Jeans West, Just Jeans and more. See here for a full listing. If you have kids, also check out Mini Golf King and Monkey Mania, for some rainy day ideas. Also outside the centre there are more large warehouse stores to track down, including Anaconda, Pauls USA Direct Outlet and Baby Bunting. If you are looking for a quick bite to eat outside the centre, also try Stirato Bakery.
4/ Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets is a permanent market that is open between Thursday and Sunday each week, with a car park in the centre and all the shopfronts located around the outside. Each weekend it is a popular place to pick up your fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood, bread, wine, gourmet food and almost everything you need for a weekly shop. It is particular popular before Easter and Christmas, as people line up to pick up their seafood from Sea Harvest.
As well as being popular for the produce, it is a social place to meet up with friends at the cafes that also line the outside of the market. Popular eateries include Crust, for some of the best pies and sausage rolls in Canberra and Deli Planet, for a delicious range of European delights. See here for details. For a full article on the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, see here.
Pick up your produce and catch up with friends at the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets
5/ Popular cafes are tucked away in the backstreets of Fyshwick - you just need to know where to look. Some of the ones that I have discovered (even though there are dozens more!) include the hugely popular Ona Coffee House in Wollongong Street, Box Diner in Tennant Street, Remy's Bakery in Townsville Street, Two Hands Café in Lyell Street, The Flute patisserie on Barrier Street and BSpoke café on Collie Street. Although Fyshwick doesn't look like it holds some of the best cafes in Canberra, it continues to surprise me all the time. Who knows what other gems are tucked away in the next street?
I personally enjoy exploring the industrial suburb of Fyshwick. It may not be the most scenic or relaxing suburb of Canberra, however if you are looking for something obscure, such as a plumbing fitting you can't find anywhere else, or a kids toy that is no longer available, you will find it in one of the thousands of stores around the suburb. Next time you need to go for something that you can only find in the industrial suburb, why not keep exploring - you are sure to find your own hidden gems!
Remy's bakery and cafe - a popular lunch spot for local workers