When people think of Canberra, they think of Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin. From a coffee in Kingston, or for politics in action and serene lake views, the Parliamentary Triangle will have something to surprise you.

HIGHLIGHTS

To understand the beauty and history of the nation’s capital, it doesn’t get better than Parkes. Go for a jog or bike ride around the banks of the man-made Lake Burley Griffin, or take in an art exhibition at the National Gallery.

Attend the current Parliament House while parliament is in session to view the nation’s politicians debate the topics of the day. A visit to the Old Parliament House will provide more information on the establishment of Australia as a nation, and allow you to get a more ‘hands-on’ experience.

For science buffs – or the young-at-heart – Questacon offers interactive science and technology exhibits for people of all ages.

Early risers should head to Silo Bakery and Cafe on Giles Street, Kingston, to discover the delicious baked goods that make it one of Canberra’s best bakeries. Equally worth an early start is Penny University Coffee Roasters on Kennedy Street. It too offers baked treats and quality coffee to help ease your way into the morning.

After a lazy afternoon, Kingston picks up the pace again at night. The area is one of a few in Canberra known for its restaurant culture with dinner spots covering Italian, Tapas, Indian and Vietnamese. Friday nights also see an influx of young professionals to the neighbourhood’s bars and pubs. Muse is perfectly designed for losing hours in, find a spot to relax with a book and a coffee or glass of wine. Next door, also in the East Hotel, you will find Joe’s Bar serving a range of Italian cuisine and quality cocktails.

Kingston Foreshore is an exciting new development in Canberra. The new precinct has rejuvenated the area and has brought in top quality art exhibition offerings, and high-class dining options to residents and visitor alike.

Nearby Manuka is also a hotspot for entertainment, dining and shopping. The suburb also features an Art Deco swimming pool and an oval, Manuka Oval, that plays host to cricket and Australian rules football matches.

COMMUNITY FACILITIES

The National Library of Australia, overlooking Lake Burley Griffin, is a great place to read, learn, and soak in the history of Australia. It plays a key role in ensuring that documents and literature of national significance are preserved and made accessible to the public. Featuring numerous literary collections and rotating exhibitions, there will be something for everyone.

Kingston library, on Giles Street, offers free library services to the public Monday to Saturday. Here you can find a cosy spot to read or browse one of the international newspapers on offer. They offer a selection of international language collections and have free internet and Wi-Fi services to members.

The Ochre Health Medical Centre, also on Giles Street, provides the community with high-quality healthcare across a range of services, including gynaecology and men’s health. And with a number of physiotherapists also in the area, you’re well covered for all your health needs.

FREE & FRUGAL

It really doesn’t get better than the view from the banks of Lake Burley Griffin. Go for an early morning jog around the bridges, or grab a bike and get out on the road. Pack a picnic and relax on the grass of Commonwealth Park, which provides stunning views of Parliament House. If you venture over to Parliament House, you can even snap a selfie under the giant flag, for free.

In Kingston, ordering a muffin or sandwich and coffee to-go from the bakery and having it on the grass in Green Square is a lovely way to enjoy the neighbourhood in summer and a relaxing alternative to a sit-down meal.

Monday night is two-for-one pizza night at Public Bar and Dining, or you can get a burger and beer for $15 at Little Brooklyn, and chow down on some American-style burgers. The Durham serves up a $10 schnitzel lunch every day of the week too, so you’re sorted for every meal in Kingston.