Canberra, it’s been a while since we were able to really explore our city.
It’s home to national museums and galleries, but the Inner South is so much more than just culture.
It’s next in our Canberra Unlocked series that explores the city’s seven regions, revealing hidden gems and giving you the ultimate playbook for your next adventure.
This vibrant district has a rich food scene and an intriguing mix of history and modernity, with everything from retail therapy to family fun, art exploration and quality ‘me time’, making it the perfect place to unlock as the city opens up.
Excellent dining options can be found around every corner of the Inner South, but a spark plug brunch experience at ? Double Shot Deakin never disappoints. The perfect place to relax and enjoy healthy sweet or savory treats, this cafe is the definition of a chic suburban vibe.
Just down the road you’ll find the home of those viral Freakshakes and fully loaded tacos, patisserie. Known for their decadent meals, excuse us if you become obsessed with their custom French Toast menu.
While the Inner South serves cafe culture in abundance, it’s also the place to find some of Canberra’s most elegant eateries.
Griffith’s Eggplant, at the helm of acclaimed chef Ben Willis, has carried the auspicious title of Canberra’s most acclaimed restaurant for the better part of two decades, as it recently opened stupid in Kingston offers an ever-changing menu from the imaginative French-trained chef Louis Couttoupes.
Something to celebrate? The boathouseSituated on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin in Barton, Barton is an iconic venue that combines a million dollar view with cutting edge cuisine from one of Canberra’s finest chefs, John Leverink.
Looking for a view with a more relaxed atmosphere? Snapper on the lake has the best (fish and chips) seat in the house just a seven minute drive up the road.
With the aperitif season with us, a cocktail from Joe’s Bar at the East Hotel is a must if you’re looking for the perfect place to start your evening.
Snack on a delicious antipasti platter while sipping on a classic Italian Aperol Spritz or sample Canberra with the Smokey Foreshore.
Just a hop, skip and short e-scooter ride, queenies in Kingston is a bar full of ingenuity if you’re looking for a cocktail that’s both smart and tasty – we love the Stevie Nicks, a combination of Archie Rose Original Vodka, Elderflower Liqueur, Thyme, Lemon. Indigenous Australian and Asian flavors dominate the intriguing bar snack menu.
If a waterside pub is more your calling during the warmer months, head to the local Kingston Foreshore pub, the dock, to experience the best combination: a beautiful view with a cold pint.
Alternative, Armada Bar, an airy outdoor extension of The Boat House, takes full advantage of spectacular sunset views.
Ready to explore the zen side of the Inner South? Start your day at Muse in Kingston (a combined cafe and bookshop) to sample their daily menu and a carefully curated selection of titles, before heading to Barton’s Hale Spa for some Scandinavian luxury in the form of a massage and facial. Did we mention the plunge pool and sauna?
When in the Inner South Kingston and Manuka enclaves, shopping is essential for some relaxing retail therapy, and you’ll find an array of boutiques bursting with clothing, accessories, jewelry and more.
Book lovers are also spoiled for choice with Manuka’s Paperchain Bookstore and Kingston’s The Book Cow brimming with excellent books (and there’s more in Parkes, with The Curatoreum, Art Store and the National Library of Australia bookshop all bibliophiles’ dreams are made of).
The Inner South is home to many of Canberra’s cultural institutions, and they are all worth exploring. Book a free ticket COVID-safe session at the National Gallery of Australia to see or visit modern and contemporary icons from all eras and continents Canberra Glass Factory in Kingston – it’s a haven for handmade works where you can watch the artists at work as they bring glass to life in the Hot Shop.
Choosing an outdoor adventure is easy with Lake Burley Griffin at the door. Sit back and relax (or take on skipper responsibility!) as a self-drive cruise on an electric GoBoat show you a new side of the lake. It’s taken sightseeing to a whole new level: BYO picnic optional.
Do you want to take steps? The 5km bridge-to-bridge walk around Lake Burley Griffin takes in many of Canberra’s iconic attractions, making it the perfect way to tour with friends.
For family fun like nothing else, look no further than Yarralumla Playstation: a hidden gem for the little ones in Weston Park. With a Canberra themed putt-putt, mini train, farm animals and more, you can easily make a day of it.
End a sunny day from November 15th at Manuka pool for relaxation with a side of history (first opened in 1931) or picnic in the leafy heart of the Inner South—Telopea Park.
The Pop InnAn ingenious traveling wine bar, can often be found in the park, setting the stage for an afternoon of fine wine and fun with friends.
Feature image: Doubleshot Deakin by Pew Pew Studio