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36 hours in Kingsborough

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The events of the last 18 months have seen our worlds become smaller, as travelling too far afield became risky (or indeed unachievable).

But one of the unexpected benefits of this has been our newfound appreciation of the richness of experiences available in our own backyard.

This has seen a resurgence in popularity of the staycation (“a vacation spent at home or nearby”)—an option that provides an escape from the day-to-day—without leaving the city.

Now, I like to think I know Canberra pretty well—the inner south even better, having lived here for more than 20 years. But it turns out that literally five minutes from my front door there’s a little village that may as well be a world away.

Introducing Kingsborough

If you’re not familiar with Kingsborough, let me introduce you to the award-winning precinct. It’s a quiet, leafy slice of the Kingston Foreshore with a focus on placemaking—creating a village-like atmosphere with an emphasis on community and connection.

The mixed-use development is home to a variety of businesses (from eyelash experts to psychologists and a vet, to name just a few), health and wellness facilities, cafés and more. As I found out, there’s plenty to fill a weekend without leaving the village.

Here’s how to spend 36 hours in Kingsborough.

STAY

The Onyx Apartment

While permanent residents make up most of the population, Kingsborough has a selection of rooms available for booking through Airbnb—five one-bedroom apartments, and the brand-new Onyx Apartment ,where we spent our staycation.

The spectacular two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment is located on the first floor of the Woolstore—a Manhattan-esque structure featuring recycled red bricks and sky-high exterior mural of Canberra’s architects, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin.

The New York vibe continues inside—the apartment styled in collaboration with local company BDA Interiors. A thoughtfully designed open-plan living and dining space nestles next to a kitchen that is an entertainer’s dream.

Large sliding doors open to a private north facing balcony that overlooks the 25-metre magnesium lap pool and Village Square—it’s a lovely spot to sit and read, or enjoy a breakfast pack from Three Mills Bakery or glass of wine.

There are plenty of thoughtful touches, like generous pantry staples, a Nespresso machine with coffee, chai and decaf pods courtesy of Pod Co Melbourne, a French Press and freshly-ground beans courtesy of Kingsborough’s own Axis Roasters.

In terms of practical inclusions, there’s loads of storage, a separate laundry, and access to a portable cot and high chair.

airbnb.com.au

EAT + DRINK

At the heart of the development is the Village Square, which includes a variety of small shops and food outlets.

Whether you’re keen for an excellent coffee, a local wine, a nutritious meal or a taste of street food, you’ll find something to fit the bill (and fill your stomach).

The Warehouse Roast, Tap, Brew

The Warehouse Roast, Tap, Brew’s philosophy is coffee in the morning, beer in the evening. It operates as an espresso bar Monday through Saturday mornings, and a taproom and wine bar Thursday through Sunday afternoon and evenings. It is also home to Axis Roasters.

The thing that struck us during our stay was the fact that Kingsborough really is a village—on Friday nights, locals gather for a drink and a meal at The Warehouse, sharing tables and tales. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

A weekly rotating food truck parks just near the bar, allowing you to order whatever’s on offer (we had burgers from Boss Burgers—delish!) and enjoy a local drop or two.

Oh, and watch this space—there’s a very special something new planned for this space, and it’s coming soon.

thewarehousertb.com

Eighty/Twenty

Offering clean, natural and unprocessed breakfast and lunches, nutrient-packed smoothies, delicious acai bowls, superfood salads and more, Eighty/Twenty has become synonymous with healthy eating in Canberra, boasting locations across the city.

The Kingsborough offering is a pocket-sized café, but it’s a perfect sunny spot for a post-yoga smoothie, tasty breakky (the Green Eggs and Beans is delicious!) or lunch.

eightytwentyfood.com.au

DIY

If you’re keen to keep it low key, the apartment’s kitchen is a joy to cook in, but there’s also the option of firing up The Woolstore’s rooftop BBQ.

A little farther afield

If you’re keen for a little culinary exploration, Kingston Foreshore and Old Kingston are both just minutes away, and are brimming with a diversity of cuisines and dining experiences.

In the opposite direction, Dairy Road is another precinct worth exploring—it’s a few minutes by car, 10 minutes by bike, or about half an hour’s walk.

Expect to find loads of food and drink—everything from gin to chocolate, beer to burgers—as well as ways to work it off (skiing…no, really…and bouldering).

PLAY

The sauna at AEQUUS.

Kingston Yoga

Kick off your weekend with a slow flow yoga class at Kingston Yoga and stretch out your body after a hard week at work.

It’s an intimate, welcoming space and the class is suitable for all abilities. If you’re feeling social, the neighbourhood yogis are a friendly bunch and happily gather for a post-practice coffee.

kingstonyoga.com.au

Kingston Foreshore Cycles

Kingsborough’s proximity to Lake Burley Griffin and the Jerrabombera Wetlands make it a cyclist’s dream.

Hire a Lekker Amsterdam-style cruiser bike from Kingston Foreshore Cycles and explore! Perhaps head for the Central Basin and take in the architecture of the national cultural institutions, or just enjoy the natural beauty of the lake—Phil and his friendly team will be happy to point you in the right direction.

kingstonforeshorecycles.com.au

AEQUUS Movement

One of the best things about being a temporary Kingsborough resident is that you get access to AEQUUS Movement—a premium wellness facility featuring a 25-metre magnesium two-lane lap pool with a pool deck that’s perfect for lazy reading, a Scandinavian-style sauna and boutique gym with a tailored menu of functional fitness classes.

Feeling energetic? There are plenty of ways to move—take the plunge into the pool, or get moving in the gym. Sweat it out in the sauna post-workout or swim, or just head there for some much-needed zen.

Longing for your own staycation?

With travel restrictions likely to be in play for a while longer, it’s natural to have itchy feet.

For us, a weekend at Kingsborough was just what we needed—although minutes from our home, it really did feel like we were somewhere else entirely. And just being away from the ‘same-old’ did wonders for our state of mind—we slowed down, we ate great food, we explored new places.

It was the holiday we craved, and we didn’t even have to leave town to enjoy it.

Ready for your staycation? Book the Onyx Apartment at airbnb.com.au.

Craving a post-lockdown reset?

If you’re feeling a little depleted by our recent lockdown, AEQUUS’ Wellness Weekend in November may be just what you need.

A Kingsborough staycation to help you reset and begin your wellness journey, the experience combines seasonal, local, whole foods, massage treatments, sauna, movement, relaxation and vital wellness seminars in a low-tech environment.

Pop 26-28 November into your diary and find out more at aequusmovement.com.au.

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