Canberra Unlocked: Belconnen | HerCanberra

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Canberra Unlocked: Belconnen

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Framed by the Murrumbidgee River to the west, Black Mountain to the south and the New South Wales border in the north, Belconnen may seem fairly suburban to the untrained eye.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find much more—a treasure trove of exceptional food and coffee hidden in bustling town centres, and quirky boutiques nestled in leafy suburban shops.

Full of great options to tantalise your tastebuds, plenty of outdoor adventures and some of the best shopping on the northside, Belconnen is the place to go if you’re looking for an all-day adventure—and this week’s instalment of our Canberra Unlocked series.

EAT

Looking for a taste of Belconnen? This diverse population is well represented by authentic Italian pizza from Pizza Artigiana in Jamison. Using handcrafted, artisanal dough and fresh ingredients, the woodfire deliciousness is designed to give maximum flavour, alongside a variety of other classic Italian fare.

Keeping with the Italian theme, Pasticceria Amelia at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets offers sweet tooths a taste of traditional Italian sweets (hello, handmade tiramisu!) and pastries, as well as homemade pasta. Craving something sweet?

Alternatively, if you’re craving Japanese, the authentic ramen noodles and Gyoza dumplings at cult-favourite Ramen O await for dine-in or takeaway, but a word of warning—the lines for a table can be epic on weekends.

Brunch is also a favourite weekend pastime in Belconnen. Swing by the newly opened Tinker Tailor for loads of artisanal goodness (handmade sourdough crumpet anyone?) or stop by the OG Jamison brunch spot—Ricardo’s Cafe and Patisserie. It’s been dishing up some of Canberra’s most imaginative breakfasts since 2005, and their signature cakes are the stuff dreams are made of.

 

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Speaking of treats, are you even Canberran if you haven’t been to Goodberries? Practically an institution, it’s known for to-die-for frozen custard—smoother and creamier than ice cream.

Their trademarked Concretes allow customers to choose from any of their sweets, fudges, fruits, and nuts to have it blended into a choice of frozen custard base. A visit to their Belconnen Town Centre Creamery is one to tick off the bucket list.

DRINK

For a Belco-made brew, head to the original home of Two Before Ten in Aranda and enjoy coffee or brunch in this bustling community hub, which features a café, bar, roastery, yoga studio, fruit trees and an expansive vegetable garden.


Sunny day? The Lighthouse Pub is the perfect place for Sunday afternoon catch ups with water views before finishing the night off at 54 Benjamin for some creative cocktails that are sure to surprise and delight.

 

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CHILL

Keen to have a few laughs? Head to the heart of Belconnen to see some of the biggest local and international comedy acts at The Basement. This subterranean live music venue offers laughs a minute, as well as great food from Chompy’s and the choice of three bars.

 

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LEARN

Creativity meets curated wares at Aranda’s Meet Gather Collect. Home of Australian designers and makers in one of Canberra’s most beautiful boutiques, there are always plenty of workshops and classes on to help you pick up a new skill or two.


Strathnairn Arts also has workshops galore to help you discover your creative side. This grassroots organisation is located on the edge of Belconnen with sweeping views across the Brindabellas and is home to a strong community of artists who work in diverse mediums, from painters to printmakers.

Art lovers will also love the Belconnen Arts Centre—the northwest’s home of unique exhibitions that often feature locals, as well as national and international artists. There’s always plenty on, including theatre, comedy, dance workshops and panel discussions.

 

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MOVE

Looking to break a sweat? GroundUP Studio is an effortlessly cool reformer Pilates, yoga and barre studio that promises sweat dripping, muscle shaking workouts—with a side of zen.

With a curated line-up of classes, the light-filled studios are purpose-built to be a remedy to the hustle ‘n’ grind culture, making it the perfect place to chill out while you move.

 

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If walking is more your style, Lake Ginninderra has beautiful views and scenery to take in during your stroll. Pack a blanket and stop for a picnic or power out the 7km lake loop.

For a more off-track experience, Shepherds Lookout at the northern edge of Belconnen offers the best bushwalks in Canberra along with stunning views that showcase sweeping natural beauty.

 

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PLAY

Belconnen has plenty to offer if you’re looking for the perfect spot to play and explore. Laser tag at Zone 3 is fast-paced fun in an all-weather environment—take up to 30 of your closest friends or let the kids run wild.

But as the weather warms, there’s nowhere kids big and small would rather be than local icon Big Splash Waterpark—a must do for the whole family. Big on attractions and aqua fun, race down the Speed Coaster or bond over the family slides before jumping over to Splash Island.

This year, spend and support local as you explore Canberra unlocked.

See visitcanberra.com.au for more inspiration.

Feature image: Meet Gather Collect by Sister Scout Studio. Image supplied courtesy of Meet Gather Collect.

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