Both Bruce and Belconnen are home to a large and diverse student population, with easy access to a shopping mall, exciting nightlife, and even a lake for outdoor activities.
Why not start your day off with breakfast at Black Pepper overlooking Lake Ginninderra. When you’re full of coffee, head to the shops at Westfield Belconnen. With over 250 different stores, you’ll easily fill an entire morning before realising you should stop for lunch.
If you want a nice spot to catch up with friends, head toward Lake Ginninderra. This lake is home to a huge range of native wildlife and is the ideal location for a walk, picnic or a bike ride.
On Benjamin Way in Belconnen you might notice the giant owl statue guarding the entrance to the town centre. Launched in 2011 but already an iconic landmark, the statue honours the Ninox strenua, ‘Powerful Owl’, which is the largest owl species in Australia.
To continue your cultural experience stop off at the Belconnen Arts Centre and check out of their range of exhibitions. The centre also hosts regular events, including markets where you can pick up a range of creative and crafty products.
If you prefer to get fresh produce from the markets then the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets are definitely worth a visit. In addition to a vast range of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood, they also offer various cooking classes.
On the banks of the lake you will find popular local pub, The Lighthouse. From Thursday through to Sunday they host live music, and the pub is also a great spot for watching some live sport. Another excellent live music venue is Zierholz@UC on the University of Canberra’s campus. As well as music, this venue features a range of craft beers on tap, with something to suit everyone’s taste.
If you want a more upmarket experience and don’t want to lose your view of the lake, head to Ha Ha Bar. Enjoy a share plate with some friends, but don’t forget to leave room for dessert. Try the local favourite Goodberry’s Frozen Custard for something a little bit unique.
In Bruce you can try out Canberra International Sports Aquatic Centre (CISAC). CISAC includes both gym and aquatic facilities, medical and health facilities, and even a day spa. They offer swimming lessons for all ages, and a fully-catered gym to help you reach your fitness goals.
If you’re more of a sports spectator, Bruce is also the home of the Canberra Raiders (rugby league) and the University of Canberra Brumbies (rugby union), who play at GIO stadium. Pick your colour and become part of Canberra’s sporting family.
In Belconnen you’ll find the Belconnen Health Centre, servicing all your medical needs, and also the Capital Health Centre of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where you can get traditional acupuncture, massage therapy, and more.
The Belconnen Library is open seven days a week and offers not only an extensive collection of reading materials, but also a number of collections in languages other than English, and free internet and Wi-Fi services for members.
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The Australian Institute of Sport is a must visit for anyone slightly interested in Australia’s sporting history, with students getting discounted entry. Tour the Australian Institute of Sport and learn about our elite athletes, and test yourself by taking on the many sporting challenges that are open to visitors. You can even have a casual swim at the Aquatic Centre for a nominal fee.
Lake Ginninderra is the ideal place for a picnic. Bring your own sausage and chops and have a barbecue on one of the many available barbecues, or grab a coffee and freshly made wrap from Black Pepper café, and have a picnic under the trees. You can even go swimming in the warmer months, so bring your towel just in case.
If you fancy somewhere more indoors, set yourself down and grab one of the $10 lunch specials at Pot Belly in Belconnen, available all week. If you’re feeling thirsty you can get a tasting paddle of three craft beers for only $10.