Water views & cocktails, just minutes from the CBD
Canberra has many different areas for locals and tourists to explore, with museums and galleries in the Parliamentary Triangle, shopping in the city centre, a thriving café culture along Lonsdale Street, and a relaxed vibe down by Lake Burley Griffin. Another area to explore, just a 5 minute drive south of the city centre, is the suburb of Kingston - located at the eastern end of Lake Burley Griffin. This bustling area is a magnet for people on weekends, with a wide variety of things to do and see. So why is Kingston so special? Pop on your coolest sunnies, work up an appetite and discover it for yourself this weekend.
1/ The Kingston Foreshore is a popular strip of cafes, restaurants and gastropubs that overlook an inlet of Lake Burley Griffin. This new foreshore area is surrounded by multi-million dollar apartment buildings - most of which have been built, however there are still more in construction. This relaxed, modern precinct often has kayakers paddle up to the wharf areas to tie up their kayaks, so they can walk up and enjoy a coffee before paddling off once again. Start your day with breakfast at some of the local favourites such as Local Press or 38 Espresso, have lunch at Beef and Barley or The Dock and why not stick around for cocktails and share plates at Walt and Burley, as the sun sets over the Capital. These are just some of the many degustation options available - walk along and find your favourite.
Take a walk along the scenic and colourful, Kingston Foreshore
2/ The Old Bus Depot Markets are located at the back of the Kingston Foreshore in a large warehouse that - you guessed it - used to be an old Bus Depot. Today it houses a popular market each Sunday with local producers, growers, creators and designers showing their wares. Walk the aisles and shop for bread, flowers, pies, artworks, clothing, furniture, leather works, knitting wool, chocolate, plants and so much more! Throughout the year they also have themed market events such as Portobello Road, Creative Fibre and Multicultural Sunday. See here for details. Also check out the Kingston Night Markets on Friday nights, in the same location.
In front of the Old Bus Depot Markets is a smaller warehouse called the Fitters Workshop. This periodically also has markets on at the same time as the Old Bus Depot Markets, such as the hugely popular Three Sixty Fashion Market - which is a one-stop-shop for everything retro, vintage, second-hand and unique.
Spend a lazy Sunday shopping at the Old Bus Depot Markets. (This photo shows the ground level only - there is another half level up a ramp)
3/ Canberra Glassworks is located next to the Old Bus Depot Markets and Fitters Workshop, behind the Kingston Foreshore. This striking, historical building was built in the early 1900's and was used as the Kingston Powerhouse to supply electricity to the new capital city. In 2007, the building was given a makeover and now houses one of Canberra's most interesting tourist attractions and working glass studio. Walk into the building and browse the Glassworks shop, where you can buy unique pieces from some of the resident artists. After you have finished, take the lift upstairs and watch the artists in action as they create glassworks in the Hot Shop. Watch as some of the world's best glass artists mould, heat and create artistry right in front of you. There is a tiered seating area, so you can watch for as little or as long as you like. See here for details.
Watch artists at work at the historical Canberra Glassworks
4/ Brodburger is arguably Canberra's most popular burger joint, located at the entrance to the Canberra Glassworks. This busy establishment makes particularly huge, tasty burgers, which have the locals lining up for more. You know the type - juice starts running down your arm and you need to dislocate your jaw to take a bite! They also have an outlet at Capital Brewing Co. in Fyshwick. Get there early, before the crowds roll in. See here for details.
5/ Kingston Local Shops are tucked away back into the suburb and have a whole block of cafes, which are particularly popular with the locals. Buy your French pastries from Silo Bakery, enjoy a healthy breakfast at Penny University, have a beer and burger at Durham Castle Arms and come back and enjoy dinner at any of the international restaurants on offer. Also a short drive away is the Kingston Hotel and the eateries at East Hotel - Muse, Joes Bar and Agostini's. One thing is for sure - foodies can't accuse Kingston of not having enough choice!
Try one of Canberra's best burgers at Brodburger, underneath the Canberra Glassworks
Another feature that you may notice about Kingston, is the number of energetic people running, cycling or walking their way around the suburb. If you visit Kingston Foreshore in particular on the weekend, especially if you get up early, you will see the local exercise enthusiasts parking their cars at the foreshore and taking on the 9 kilometre Eastern Loop of the Lake Burley Griffin Circuit. It is then an ideal place to return to at the end, for a post-exercise coffee, breakfast or catch up with friends.
There is a real holiday feeling to Kingston, which attracts tourists and locals alike. Whether it be the calming waterside location, friendly locals, delicious food, or simply that everyone is just happy that it is the weekend - your spirits are lifted in Kingston. It really is a pocket of Canberra worth tracking down.
A healthy start to the day on the Lake Burley Griffin Circuit - Eastern Loop