The cliché of roundabouts and politicians haunts the national capital, but it’s important to remember that Canberra is anything but boring.
Here are 10 quirky Canberra food, art, outdoor and instore experiences to try when the classics just don’t cut it.
Taste the original FreakShake
For sugar lovers, visiting the home of the FreakShake is a must. Patissez in Manuka sends taste buds into overdrive with their monster milkshakes, topped with an assortment of brownies, pretzels, puff pastry and toasted marshmallows, earning them world-wide fame. It’s the only place where you can get a 100% real deal FreakShake experience, so grab a spoon and a straw to enjoy the experience.
Unit 2/21 Bougainville Street, ‘The Lawns’ Manuka, Griffith
T: 0402 808 191
Try something different at Frugii
Another one for foodies, Frugii Dessert Laboratory is a family-owned business that offers something for everyone. Frugii sells ice-cream, sorbet, gelato, cake, chocolate, coffee, tea and more, all while taking pride in creating superb-tasting desserts “the proper way”. Frugii uses all-natural ingredients and makes its own bases, extracts and pastes to maximise your happiness. Try a standard vanilla flavour or test your taste buds with something different. VB vegan gelato anyone?
Unit 57/28-30 Lonsdale St, Braddon
T: 6248 5748
Pop into the pop-up wine bar
For wine lovers, Canberra’s first pop-up wine bar is a must find. Appearing in a different location each day, The Pop Inn by Wine Bar Co. is a sophisticated style of pop-up that brings life to Canberra’s beautiful and under-utilised locations. Visit the website to check their hours and to see where they’ll pop up next.
T: 0424 760 898
Think big in Canberra’s smallest gallery
The Gallery of Small Things in Watson is one of Canberra’s hidden treasures. The tiny walk-in gallery showcases works from both emerging and established artists, representing Canberra’s art community. See works in textiles, ceramics, paintings, photography, jewellery and print media all enclosed in a space less than 6 square metres.
27 Wade Street, Watson
T: 0422 263 533
View the subversive, the radical and the vernacular
An iconic cultural space in Canberra, Nishi Gallery explores human experience through the lens of local identity, objects and their meaning; the natural and built world; design experimentation and artisanal making. Have a staycation at Ovolo Nishi, a hotel conceived of and made by artists, makers, designers and fans for the full experience.
The Gallery is open Wed to Sat 11am-6.30pm
Go Boat Canberra
There’s nothing like walking around Canberra’s iconic Lake Burley Griffin but why not experience it from a different perspective? With Go Boat Canberra you and seven of your closest friends can go boating for up to six hours and even watch the sunset. Grab some snacks, create a fun playlist and your day is sorted.
Jetty 2 & 3 Kingston Marina, Trevillian Quay, Kingston
T: 6189 0342
Camp with the Naked Cubby Collective
For guests of Naked Cubby Collective, it’s encouraged to be “naked” – leaving technology and Wi-Fi behind. Guests can glamp among Canberra’s vineyards, immersing themselves in the wine region, each cubby offering luxury and comfort without the distractions of home. While clothes are also optional, it’s recommended to pack something warm for chilly winter nights.
88 Lime Kiln Road, Majura
T: 0438 284 422
Visit the Pink Lake
Located in Eardley Street, Bruce, Canberra’s pink lake has become the site of many Instagram pictures. The lake is covered in a blanket of pink water plants, making it a unique Canberra spot.
Escape into the virtual world of flight
For the thrill seekers, Jet Flight Simulator Canberra will get your adrenaline pumping by allowing you to [virtually] fly a large commercial jet, with no previous flight experience required. Locally owned and operated by experienced instructors, guests of Jet Flight Simulator Canberra can experience Australia’s only ICAROS active VR machines that are available for entertainment, making it an amazing experience.
4 Montford Crescent, Lyneham
T: 0438 834 026
Feel the magic at Quizzic Alley
Australia’s most magical store, Quizzic Alley started in Canberra, hidden among the warehouses of Fyshwick. Grab your wand and explore the floor-to-ceiling Harry Potter merchandise, try their unique version of Butterbeer or enjoy the replica of the Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia. Don’t forget to try on the Sorting Hat to complete your Harry Potter adventure!
5 Pirie Street, Fyshwick
T: 6179 8856
Know a quirky Canberra experience? Let us know in the comments below.