Swoon over some of Canberra's finest food, wander through its most popular weekend market and breeze around its bikeways in the leafy, lakeside suburb of Kingston.
Kingston is pure swank with a classic touch. Its aura of traditional timelessness is probably due to the fact Kingston is one of Canberra's oldest suburbs. In the 1920s it was a residential area for workers and mid- to top-ranking public servants and now modern Kingston is flush with apartments, bars, parks, shops and restaurants. There are two distinct zones: Kingston Shops and Green Square, a grassy pedestrian area ringed by cafes. Further towards Lake Burley Griffin, the Kingston Foreshore area, hosts the Old Bus Depot Markets, Canberra Glassworks and a swathe of bars and restaurants.
- Peruse the food stalls, art, clothing and craft at the Old Bus Depot Markets
- Devour a sweet pastry treat from Canberra's best bakery, Silo
- Cycle to Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and see six national buildings en route
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Top things to do in Kingston
Juice up at local press
Start your day by watching the morning sun ping light off the surface of Lake Burley Griffin while you sip on cold-pressed juice at Local Press. This juice bar and cafe at the Foreshore serves vegan, vegetarian and wholefood meals out of an eclectically furnished nook with exposed-brick walls. We love its sparkling grape juice (AUD$6) made from Pankhurt Winery Pinot grapes, as well as its nut milk smoothie (AUD$8.50) that blends peanut butter, banana and cacao.
Stroll through the Old Bus Depot Markets
Kingston's Old Bus Depot Markets is the biggest collection of art, clothing, craft, food and fresh produce stalls in town. The market runs every Sunday and occasionally features themed Sundays – Designer Sunday, Multicultural Sunday, Collectables Sunday and Retro Sunday – when the markets grow even larger to include extra themed stalls. Don’t miss the tucked away Photography Room, a two-storey gallery displaying exhibitions and prints from a suite of local artists.
Gaze at a glass-blowing demonstration
Based inside the former Kingston Powerhouse, Canberra's oldest permanent public building, Canberra Glassworks is a working artist space and showroom that allows you to a take a seat around a studio furnace and peer in on glassblowers working their magic at different times of the day (for a gold coin donation). The site is open from Wednesday to Sunday and features a gallery shop, exhibition room, paperweight making workshops and history tours. Adjoining the Glassworks' back section is the hip, American-style burger joint, Brodburger.
Lounge over lunch at Silo Bakery
Silo is legendary with locals for its delicious pastries that teem with fruit and flavour, its cheese room and its exquisite breakfast and lunch meals. Spotting a federal politician or a high profile out-of-towner here is commonplace, and it follows that finding a seat isn’t always easy. Wander up to Kingston Shops, follow the orange-chequered tiles inside and peruse Silo’s European bistro-style menu. Highlights include the Tarte Flamiche (AUD$22), a Flemish-style leek and cheese pastry, as well as the octopus, broad bean and fennel salad with fermented lime (AUD$24).
Cycle the bridge-to-bridge trail
Burn off lunch with a gentle five kilometre (3.1 mile) cycle along the popular bridge-to-bridge trail, which can also be undertaken as a walk or run. Cycle Canberra delivers bikes directly to your hotel (AUD$45 per day), or you can collect a bike for $5.50 an hour (minimum two hour hire) from one of the bike share stations in the city run by Spinway Canberra. Cruise from Kingston to the nearby King’s Avenue Bridge and make a return journey via Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. The trail skirts the lake’s edge and takes in the National Carillion, the National Gallery of the Australia, the High Court of Australia, the National Library, Regatta Point and Commonwealth Park.
Feed your mind and your sate your appetite
Wind the day down at new literary restaurant Muse. Muse is based inside the stylish and modern East Hotel, which also hosts Joe’s Bar, a cool, offbeat Italian restaurant and bar. Muse’s shelves hum with a range of new and second-hand books and the space regularly puts on author talks and events from prominent Australian writers such as Tim Winton and Melina Marchetta. The restaurant, which took out the city’s LGBTI Business of the Year in 2016, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try its house-smoked and cured duck breast with cauliflower, beetroot chutney, buckwheat and sour cherry jus (AUD$28) with a glass of the Canberra region Sapling Yard Riesling (AUD$12).
How to get there
Kingston lies four kilometres (2.5 miles) south of the city centre. Drive 10 minutes via Parkes Way and Wentworth Avenue, or catch bus 80 from City Bus Station, platform nine.