New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published September 29th 2016
Follow the locals to the best places in town
Every Sunday, all around the region, many people decide to have a lazy day to sleep in, chill out, grab a takeaway coffee (or two!) and enjoy what the city has to offer. Due to the amount of public servants that live in Canberra who work Monday to Friday, you really notice the amount of people out and about on the weekends. Saturday is the day to fit in a few chores and errands that didn't get done during the week - however Sunday is all about leisure time and getting out into Canberra's thriving cafe scene. There are places around the city that are popular each Sunday in particular, as Canberrans stretch out the weekend for as long as possible and fit all their recreation into the one day. It is the locals who have discovered the best places to go for cafes, markets, beers, wines and relaxation, so why not follow the locals and give one of these venues a try - to enjoy a lazy Sunday in the Capital.
The Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston are held every Sunday and it attracts thousands of people through its many doors. Literally situated in an old bus terminal, there are two levels of shopping to browse for plants, gourmet food, clothing, handmade creations, jewellery, wood work, antiques and so much more. Walk around the 200 stalls selling handcrafted and hand made produce and I can guarantee you will buy something - whether a present for a friend, a gift for yourself or a bag of hot roasted nuts to munch on as you walk around - at the very least. See here for details.
The Kingston Foreshore is the the next point of call for locals who have visited the markets, as it is just a short walk from the Old Bus Depot Markets above. Here you will find a stretch of restaurants and cafes along an inlet off Lake Burley Griffin, which has multi-million dollar apartments built all around it. Meet up with friends for coffee or breakfast at any of the popular cafes including Local Press, 38 Espresso, 7th Bake and Patisserie, The Merchant (also known as the Brasserie on the Foreshore) or Walt and Burley, to name a few. This is also a popular venue later in the day for an afternoon beer or wine at The Dock, before dinner at any of the other restaurants that open up later in the evening.
Lonsdale Street in Braddon is also another Sunday hot spot with a long stretch of cafes all up the busy street. Years ago, the street was full of car yards, car washes and auto supply shops, before cafes opened up and now it is an industrially modern venue to enjoy a meal, with some of the city's best eateries all located along this road. In the morning, meet up with friends for breakfast at the popular Lonsdale Street Roasters Eatery, Lonsdale Street Roasters 7, Eighty Twenty, Elk and Pea or Sweet Bones, to name a few. By lunch time, The Hamlet is buzzing, where food trucks have congregated together to emit amazing smells that will entice you in. By Sunday afternoon, BentSpoke Brewing Company and Debacle are popular places for an afternoon drink, as afternoon turns to evening over the Capital.
Lake Burley Griffin is another popular venue on a Sunday, for lazy walks along the waterfront with a coffee or to enjoy a gelato in the sunshine. This is a particularly popular venue for families, with the carpark opposite the National Library full of cars with full bike racks, so all ages can enjoy a ride along the lake side. On the other side of the lake at Kings Park, Boundless Playground is also busy, with families coming from all around the city to enjoy this large playground in the trees. Commonwealth Park, a few hundred metres around the lake is also popular, with another playground, café and scenic areas to lay out a picnic blanket in the shade.
The NewActon Precinct is another café scene where you can enjoy a lazy Sunday, just a few minutes from the CBD. Monster Kitchen and Bar inside the architecturally striking Nishi building, is a popular breakfast spot on Sundays to meet up with friends, however it is also open all day and night until 1am, so there is no hurry to leave. A. Baker across the road is also a busy café, to enjoy a delicious breakfast in style. Stop for a coffee at Močan & Green Grout and then watch a movie at Palace Electric. From here there is a bridge over the highway so you can then visit the next venue on this list.
The stylish Monster Kitchen and Bar, open at 6:30am for early risers
Westside Acton Park shipping container village is an enjoyable place to relax by the lake, at their Westside Village Markets on Sundays. The place comes to life by lunchtime when the food outlets inside the shipping containers are open and the grillers are lit up. Grab a coffee from Damn Fine Roasters or international food from Miss Vans (Vietnamese, Laos and Thai street food), Habibiz (Middle Eastern Food and BBQ Chicken) and Lolo and Lola (Filipino traditional food), just to name a few. By the afternoon, the lazy Sunday comes into full effect upstairs at Aviary Rooftop, with chilled out tunes and beers while the sun sets over the Capital. At the time of writing, the ACT Government is considering whether to keep this shipping container village open, so check the Westside Acton Park Facebook for more details in 2017.
The Canberra Wine District is a popular destination for residents who live in the northern suburbs of Canberra, for a relaxing Sunday amongst the wineries. Poachers Pantry in the Murrumbateman region is a popular choice for a Sunday breakfast, brunch or lunch, before enjoying some wine tasting with friends. Four Winds Vineyard is popular with families in particular, with their wood fired pizzas and tables in front of the vines. Further afield at Lake George is Lerida Estate Winery, which often has Jazz and Shiraz afternoons in their cafe, so you can enjoy music at the vines. See here for a list of wineries around the region.
Escape the city at the scenic Lerida Estate Winery...
This is just a short list of some of the most popular venues in Canberra on a lazy Sunday, to soak up some sun and enjoy the city sights. Around the region there are numerous options of things to do, for all ages and interests, to keep you busy all weekend. On Sundays in particular, there is a real "vibe" around the city to get swept up in, as locals enjoy their last day of the weekend. So kick back, grab a coffee and a Sunday paper and enjoy a lazy Sunday in Canberra with the locals.
Only 6 more days until we get to do it all over again!