Four Canberra staycations to beat border lockdown blues | HerCanberra

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Four Canberra staycations to beat border lockdown blues

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Let’s face it—many of us are suffering from a bad case of border lockdown blues.

Whether you were halfway out the door, ready for a well-deserved break during the school holidays or planning for a special getaway in the future, the mass border closures across Australia have impacted holidaymakers everywhere.

Planning for a holiday interstate may be off the agenda for a while, so why not spend holiday dollars here instead? With these four vibrant precincts, you’ll be sure to forget home is just around the corner with a Canberra themed staycation.


Home to the beautiful Kingston Foreshore, head to the suburb of Kingston to test out endless shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment areas.

There is plenty to do and see so make sure to plan out your itinerary to make the most of your holiday at home.


Canberra’s oldest permanent public building has something magical inside. Combining spacious industrial cathedral interiors with the science of glassblowing, the Canberra Glassworks is a centre for Australian art, craft and design.

With new exhibitions always popping up, it’s always worth checking in to see what’s on. Once you’ve explored the magic of glass, take a walk around the Foreshore.

11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston Foreshore | 02 6260 7005 |


Trendy and modern, Kingston is home to some of the best eateries and pubs. Head to Patissez Cafe to enjoy the all-day menu which includes a pulled pork benedict, hotcakes and a breakfast platter for two. We’ve also heard the tacos are something else.

Bookings are recommended.

2/21 Bougainville Street, Griffith |  0402 808 191 |

Indulging in some pasta in Italy is off the cards, so head to Molto Italian on the Kingston Foreshore. Named ACT’s Best Restaurant in 2020, you can choose from mouth watering share plates, traditionally made Italian pizza and dessert to die for. Make an evening of it and enjoy the beauty of the Foreshore as you dine in decadence.

Element building, Eastlake Parade, Kingston Foreshore  | +6140 7039 |


While your stomach may be full, there’s always room for liquid dessert. Pop into Joe’s Bar located at East Hotel to enjoy a nocturnal meeting with some fine wine, classic cocktails and, if you’re tempted, some Italian beer. Enjoy the cozy yet cool atmosphere and be sure to mingle  until late. 

69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston | 02 6295 6925  |



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You’ve walked all around Kingston and eaten to your heart’s content, so now what? Settle in for the night at the boutique East Hotel.

The contemporary and cool apartment hotel offers a Canberra experience like no other, even for the locals. Nestled between the shopping and food hubs in Kingston, it’s the perfect place to end your night.

69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston | 02 6295 6925  |


Conveniently located next to one of the oldest parks in Canberra, Barton mixes architectural history with modern cuisine.

Enjoy eating, drinking and sleeping near Parliament House and use this staycation to explore the Canberra classics.


While going to the National Gallery of Australia sounds a little cliche for a staycation, we promise it’s anything but.

As Australia’s leading national visual arts institution, the collection has almost 160,000 pieces of art that will take hours to discover and enjoy.  Take a look at the NGA website to see what’s on and plan the day around a visit to the epic gift shop.

Add the National Portrait Gallery, Parliament House and the National Library to your list for the full Canberra cultural experience.

Parks Place East, Parkes  | (02) 6240 6411 |



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For the most important meal of the day, visit Maple and Clove and enjoy the Realm Precinct Park. You can eat in or grab some takeaway to explore the surroundings.

The wholesome meals are made with fresh, local ingredients and that are sure to get the stomach growling. With buttermilk waffles on the menu all day, it’s definitely worth the visit (or two).

7 Burbury Close, Barton | 

As the day gets dark, The Boat House is the place to be. Watch the sunset over the lake as you  treat yourself to the four course dinner menu, starting with bread and ending with petit fours to finish.

Make sure to book in advance to enjoy the award-winning restaurant.


Grevillea Park, Menindee Drive, Barton | 02 6273 5500 | the



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Located underneath Hotel Realm, Ostani Bar and Restaurant is the perfect drinking destination for a nightcap.

With a menu of elevated pub staples and a cocktail list that includes the iconic Ostani Espresso, settle in next to the open gas fireplace and let the night take you away,

18 National Circuit, Barton | 6163 1808 |



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Nothing says ‘staycation’ like booking into a five-star hotel. With Ostani downstairs and Canberra’s icons within walking distance, checking into the luxurious Hotel Realm is a great way to see a different side of town.

Or, perhaps you’d prefer your hotel with a panoramic view of Canberra? Little National Hotel (feature image) is just across the road from Hotel Realm and offers a compact hotel room bursting at the seams with luxury inclusions like fluffy bathrobes and some of the comfiest hotel beds in Canberra (or so we hear)

If you don’t feel like leaving Barton, book into the precinct’s array of fine and casual dining (think: Lilotang, Chairman & Yip, Buvette), day spa Hale Spa or enjoy Hotel Realm’s health hub for some ‘me’ time.

18 National Circuit, Barton | +61 2 6163 1800 |


Any true Canberran knows Civic has the best shopping in town, so why not stay a night or two to truly enjoy some retail therapy?

With plenty to do and see, step outside the usual view of the city and enjoy something new.


While exploring incredible food is a must in Braddon, a walk in Canberra’s own heritage listed urban forest should also be at the top of the to-do list, especially on Sundays with the Haig Park Village Markets.

Haig Park is always brimming with activities so don’t be surprised if you’re not alone in your outside adventure. Pack a picnic, grab a take away coffee from one of the nearby cafes or wander down Lonsdale Street to check out some boutiques.


Eighty/Twenty might be opening a brand new vegan cafe in Belconnen but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop into the OG Braddon cafe.

With the 80/20 philosophy driving the menu, you can satisfy your sweet and savoury cravings.

1/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon  | 0451448018 |


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Serving up hearty pizzas and burgers into the night, stop off at Yaki Boi for Japanese infusion inspired food.

Open from midday, stop in for lunch or treat yourself to a well-deserved dinner. They also have vegan and vegetarian options.

ORI Building, 72/30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon  | 6156 9166 |



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Tipsy Bull is one just of the many wonderful restaurant-bars that fill Braddon.

Sample over 230 varieties of  gin or stick to a cracking cocktail. They even have mocktails for those getting doing Dry July!

2/5 Lonsdale St, Braddon |02 6248 7999 |



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Designed by acclaimed architects Fender Katsalidis, Midnight Hotel is perfectly positioned to enjoy all the city has to offer.

Situated in the middle of Canberra’s best design, culture, food and fashion and offering stunning views, you’re sure to see a different side of Canberra as you relax.

1 Elouera St, Braddon | 02 6220 0000 | 


Cool little Canberra’s own art precinct, NewActon goes hand in hand with creativity.

Explore the sculptures and public artworks that pepper the area or settle in for a night to remember.


Offering some of the best selections of international cinema, there’s sure to be something to see at Palace Electric Cinema.

With eight luxurious theaters, prosecco, coffee and snacks on offer, it’s sure to make your movie going experience electric.

2 Phillip Law Street, Acton |02 6222 4900|



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ILY (an acronym for ‘I Love You’) serves up homely, simple food with a focus on execution and local produce, with creative flair and a strong dose of good humour. Serving breakfast and lunch, grabbing a coffee and treat at ILY is a great day to start the day.

Pavilion 2/15 Edinburgh Avenue, NewActon | 02 6230


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At night, head to Capitol Bar & Grill to enjoy antipasto grazing, prime cuts and dessert to die for. Canberra natural oysters and truffles are shucked to order while the low lights add to the atmosphere.

Expect bold freshness with hints of Italian flavour and local produce sourced from the rooftop garden.

1  London Circuit, NewActon |  02 6247 1488|


Located on the ground floor of Ovolo Nishi, Monster Kitchen and Bar offers an incredible list of beverages, from seasonal cocktails to classic wines. With an industrial fit out and a feeling the night is always young, you’ll have a monster of a time.

25 Edinburgh Ave Canberra |02 6287 6287 |



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Check out of the day and into QT Canberra. With vibrant interiors mixed with luxury chic cheek, it’s the perfect way to enjoy the quirks of NewActon during your home-based holiday away from home.

1  London Circuit, NewActon |02 6247 6244|


If you are looking for something a little out of town, might we suggest Van du Vin’s winery tours? This winter they even have a truffle hunt and degustation option. Delish.

Feature image: Little National Hotel via Facebook

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