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CBR Trails: The art lover’s itinerary

Javier Steel

Take a day to immerse yourself in culture, from contemporary art to architecture, craft, photography, print, design and cuisine.

You may be surprised to find that some of the most stunning and creative spaces in Canberra are its under-the-radar gems. Here is our suggested itinerary for an artful day in Canberra.

8.30am A monster breakfast


Fuel up for your journey with breakfast at Monster kitchen and bar. Admire the buildings interior, the quirky furnishings, considered use of sustainable materials and, of course, the art, so much art! It is a place like no other.

Monster kitchen and bar

Hotel Hotel, 25 Edinburgh Avenue, NewActon

9.30am Discover NewActon

Now that you’re fuelled up, grab a coffee to go and wander through the weird and wonderful art precinct that is NewActon. You’ll discover fascinating sculptures, large-scale metalwork, communal gardens, street art and more in every pocket of the precinct (even the elevators).

10.15am The imaginists

RCB Starclouds, by Claire Pendrigh. 'Innerspace' exhibition at CCAS

RCB Starclouds, by Claire Pendrigh. ‘Innerspace’ exhibition at CCAS

Head north-east to Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS)Gorman Arts Centre, Braddon. Here you’ll find contemporary art exhibitions by emerging local, national and international artists. CCAS aims to provide audiences with imaginative, innovative and daring visual art as well as performances between exhibitions. For visitors, this means variety – you’ll never get tired of ‘the same old’ here.

CCAS Gorman Arts Centre

55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon

11:15am Let us shop

Make your way a couple of blocks over to The Hamlet on Lonsdale Street. It’s a cultural hub of local makers, creators and foodies. Now’s the time for another caffeine hit or a snack from one of the street food vans parked out front. Venture through to POD Gallery – a rotating space leased out to makers, artists, writers and designers.

Also head in to Kin Gallery and check out the stunning contemporary jewellery and objects by local artisans. The Hamlet is a hive of activity and creative inspiration, but with a low key, local aspect where you can discuss art practice with makers and creators or simply grab a coffee and roam at your own pace.

If you’re looking for those one-of-a-kind designer items, you’ll love the shopping in Braddon. While you’re there, head down to the Ori building and check out Agency, showcasing local craftsmanship and designs that you’ll want to buy immediately.

The Hamlet

16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon


30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

12:30pm Suburbia


Take a drive on the suburban side, all the way over to Beaver Galleries in Deakin, filled with fascinating Contemporary Australian art. Of all the privately owned galleries in Canberra this one is the largest and most diverse – meaning that there’s something here for all tastes.

Within the four galleries you’ll find various exhibitions showcasing everything from ornate ceramics to vibrant paintings and in the garden you’ll see captivating, chunky sculptures and intricate metalwork. The quality of wares in the gallery shop is outstanding and if you’re an art collector you’ll be pleased to know that the gallery has plenty of stunning pieces of art for sale.

Beaver Galleries

81 Denison Street, Deakin

1:30pm A palatable lunch

For lunch, you need only walk through to the Palette café. Set within the contemporary gallery space, the Café offers a sophisticated menu that won’t disappoint. Enjoy the downtime while you can, a world of art awaits you.

The Palette Cafe

Inside Beaver Galleries,
81 Denison Street, Deakin

2:30pm stay Southside


Art and photography lovers alike will enjoy a stop at PhotoAccess in Manuka. It’s the leading destination for viewing contemporary photo and media based art in Canberra. With three intimate gallery spaces, PhotoAccess can be showing multiple experimental and innovative exhibitions at a time.

Manuka Arts Centre

Corner Manuka Circle and
New South Wales Crescent, Griffith

3:00pm Megalo


At the heart of Kingston lies Megalo Print Studio and Gallery, exhibiting and facilitating the practices of etching, lithography, relief painting and screen-printing. See artists at work, noting the extraordinary process of printmaking. Take in the up-close detail and texture of a screen-printed piece and marvel at the vibrancy of layered paint on paper.


21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston

3:30pm Craft in the City

Head to Civic and make your way to the Craft ACT art gallery on London Circuit. Check out the amazing talent that this city has to offer in all of its forms, from textile design to metalwork through to glasswork, jewellery design, ceramics, furniture and object making.

Craft ACT

Level 1, North Building,
180 London Circuit, Canberra City

4:00pm Sip and chill


It’s been an art-tastic day, but you’re still up for more? Spend the afternoon relaxing with a drink or two (or more) while you sit back and absorb local art at the gallery-bars of Canberra’s CBD. Get your culture and Mexican food fix at Beach Burrito Civic – be sure to try their sangria, it’s delicious, fresh and fruity.

When you’re ready, make your way over to Honkytonks, where the atmosphere is as thick as the incense. Try an interesting beer, or sip on a Margarita and spend the night chilling, listening to and admiring yet another one of Canberra’s alternative creative spaces.

Beach Burrito Company

181 City Walk, Canberra City


Garema Place, Canberra City

Photography by Javier Steel. With special thanks to George Rose, Cohen Gum, Matt Tindale and Vanessa Wright. 



Javier Steel

At 18, Javier left her home in the country in search of greater opportunity, leading her to Canberra's creative industry. A visual person and problem solver, Javier has been working as a Graphic Designer in the marketing industry for over eight years. In her time in Canberra, Javier has worked on countless local brands and projects including Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s identity, Brand Canberra (CBR), The Future Sessions, YWCA Canberra, CBR Innovation Network and HerCanberra. Javier is now the Creative Director of HerCanberra. More about the Author

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