Outer Towns and Suburbs, Canberra
Pialligo is a Canberra suburb beside the airport. Contains an approx km long strip of nice garden centres most of which have gift shops and quite good quality cafes. Cafes very popular especially at weekends when bookings are recommended. I especially recommend the cafe at Rodney's garden centre. Cafes generally open for breakfast and lunch as per the garden centre hours.
Easy to spend a pleasant half day here.
Getting there :drive, taxi or short walk from airport.
Next Review – North Canberra
If you are visiting Canberra you must go to Batemans Bay in the South Coast, it is only two hours drive. The South Coast is the beach destination for Canberra people. You can spend the day or stay overnight. There are lots of Hotel/Motel and Caravan Park at the Bay and surrounding area.
Every time we visit Batemans Bay we always go to our favorite restaurant Sams Ristorante. They serve traditional Italian cooking. Their pasta and pizza are great, I recommended. They make spaghetti like my mama use to make. I just love their cooking. Only problem is they don't open on Sunday for lunch, I guess I don't blame them, who wants to work seven days a week in Batemans Bay, on Sunday arvo I rather go fishing.
Recently we found a new restaurant Blank Canvas which serves new Australian cuisines, so much variety, the range is from sandwiches & baguettes, burgers, salads, wedges, pastas and risottos. They also have Kangaroo fillet in their menu. When you sit outside enjoying your meal the view of the bay is just so relaxing that you don’t want to go.
Oh yeah at the Bay don't forget to try the Bay famous Clyde River oyster which is locally produced.
On high season around December to February Batemans Bay is invaded by tourist from all over, especially from ACT and Victoria.
It will take me many pages to explain Batesman Bay, so if you want to find out more go to //www.corriganscove.com.au/south-coast-tourist.html or just Google Batemans Bay NSW Australia
I am sure you will love Batemans Bay especially if you are from overseas, because you will get to see the beautiful beaches of the South Coast.
Believe me man South Coast has the best beaches, coastline in the world. If you got time go to Meringo Bergaila or Bingi :-) Not far from Bateman Bay.
As a Canberrans, if we want to get out of Canberra for a short drive, we usually headed towards South Coast.
The drive from Canberra is quite pleasant. On the way to the South Coast you will pass a small town call Bungendore and Braidwood. On the weekend these two towns are usually invaded by tourist. Before you reached Batemans Bay you will drive through spectacular and breathtaking view of Clyde mountain.
This time our destination is Mogo. Mogo is about two and half hour drive from Canberra. It is located on the Princes Highway, fifteen minutes drive south of Batemans Bay. Mogo is run by the Eurobodalla Shire council. Large number of Aboriginal population still lives in Mogo.
In the old days Mogo was a gold rush town. The gold was found in 1851. During the gold rush Mogo was a thriving town, it had post office, shops, hotels, church and schools. Last gold mine of Bimbimbie was closed only 23 years ago in 1984.
Now Mogo is a thriving tourist town. Tourist can browse for couple of hours in Mogo looking at the many of the art and craft shops and gift shops. Shops selling jewellery, leather craft, woodwork and others. Art gallery exhibits some of the local and Australian artist. They are also shop selling furniture and specialty stores. You will not go hungry in Mogo as they are many great cafés catered for lunch or even try the ice cream parlour as a starter.
Mogo is proud of their private zoo, which specializing in breeding programs for endangered species, which is unique in itself.
The tourist can visit Old Mogo Town which is a reconstruction of the town during the Gold Rush. It will tell you of the history during that time. They are guided tours provided for the tourist. There are accommodation of 3.5 stars and the Digger Tavern Restaurant available at the Old Mogo Town.
OLD MOGO TOWN:- Open 7 days – 10.00am – 4.00pm. Cost - $14.00 adult and $6.00 child. Phone 02 4474 2123
Canberra is well situated to use as a base for trips to quite a diverse range of places and scenery. Anywhere within the ACT (see separate tips) can be reached within an hour's driving. Within one hours' road travel from Canberra, you can visit the following towns:
If you're not interested in towns, how about visiting a winery (see following tip) - they are out there, under an hour away.
Still using Canberra as a base, two hour trips in each direction fit comfortably into a day's outing. Two hours driving from Canberra will take you to either the beach on the NSW south coast, or to the Snowy Mountains (summer bushwalking, winter skiing). The accompanying photo was taken at Moruya.
I actually called into the Narrabundah Shops (Narrabundah is a relatively close suburb to the city centre though somewhat off the tourist map) to have breakfast at a nice looking café I had spotted a little time before. It was closed. In fact everything was closed apart from an IGA store (Canberra’s equivalent of a Seven-Eleven) and the place was pretty much deserted, as well as looking rather decrepit (that is apart from the café and a couple of restaurants which I have not frequented). Granted, it was 8am on a Sunday morning – though that doesn’t account for the decrepit look!
I should add in reference to Narrabundah Shops that all Canberra suburbs have a small concentrated shopping area with a varying number of retail outlets. There is no such thing as corner shops, which some readers may be familiar with, in Canberra. Some of these 'Shops' are great little centres of social activity, some are not. Suffice to say, Narrabundah Shops has seen better days and is no longer the place to be seen breakfasting on a Sunday morning. Narrabundah is clearly a casualty to the nearby trendy and popular Manuka and Griffith Shops.
Not deterred and not yet famished I determined to have a look around – I can generally find something of interest in most places. Having parked my car, I went for a short wander and came across the street art depicted in pictures 1- 3, across from the shops, and not far from the rather ugly looking public toilets. I probably didn’t need to add that last location marker but now you know there are toilets here should that need arise while you are here.
I fear I have digressed, back to the art-work.
It is a 1998 work, in two parts, by Susie Bleach and Andrew Townsend and relates to the social history of the area. In the foreground, on the pavement, is a black hawk (in slate, I think) set in a white pebble mosaic. This is a link to the Aboriginal history of the area with Narrabundah meaning ‘little hawk’ in the local aboriginal language. To the rear is a similar leaf shaped steel structure held aloft by some steel poles on the top of one of which is a weather vane comprising of a flying hawk and a yellow disc, which may depict the sun. This part of the artwork identifies with European construction workers who settled in Narrabundah post WWII. Many of these workers were refugees from WWII seeking a better life than that of post war Europe.
Paradoxically, this influx of construction workers, who came at the outset of a post war building boom in the then very young national capital, caused rather a stir in Canberra as there was no housing for them to live in!
The solution was ‘the Narrabundah pre-fabs’ which comprised 362 ‘temporary’ prefabricated homes, shipped in by rail from Sydney and erected on the outskirts of the then city in the post war years to accommodate the new tradesmen and their families. Picture 4 – courtesy of the Old Narrabundah Community Council Inc – shows these new homes in the early1950s. The vast majority of this early construction has long since gone and though a few uninspiring remnants remain they need not figure on the visitor's ‘must sees’ in Canberra unless you have a particular predilection for such things.
What may be of more interest is some more modern aboriginal artwork in the immediate vicinity of the Narrabundah Shops. I have prepared a separate review on Aboriginal Artwork in Narrabundah.
Location : Iluka Street, Narrabundah
Next Review – South Canberra
Next Dec 14 - 5 May 2015 Review
Apart from the St John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church on the outskirts of Narrabundah there is little to attract the tourist into this Canberra suburb. That said, if visiting the church, which I recommend you do, or if you otherwise find yourself here, there is, in addition to the Aboriginal artwork I refer to in this review, a piece of street art just across from the shops also worthy a look. Please see my separate review – Narrabundah – The Little Hawk.
It was while looking at this piece, having been denied breakfast early one Sunday morning as the café I sought was closed, that I eyed some Aboriginal artwork a short distance (50 metres) away to the rear of the sculpture, on the walls of the local health centre building. Indeed, there are also a couple of pieces of Aboriginal art, one of which is depicted in picture 5, on the building to the right of the sculpture.
Narrabundah is home to a significant number of Canberra’s small Aboriginal community and consequentially home to a number of Aboriginal organisations including the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service which provides free health care for local Aboriginal people. As noted earlier, the outside of the Health Centre building hosts a number of rather nice Aboriginal paintings, some of which are depicted in pictures 1-3 attached.
A short walk, some 50 metres, back towards the shopping centre along Kootara Crescent the bus stop is also worthy a look – or rather the interior of it is for its rather beautiful Aboriginal artwork as depicted in picture 4.
Its amazing what a short walk , even in an area you don’t expect to find anything, can uncover.
Location: Iluka Street and Kootara Crescent, Narrabundah
Next Review – South Canberra
Next Dec 14 - 5 May 2015 Review
Eden is south of Canberra down the Sapphire Coast in Twofold Bay, NSW. It has the 3rd deepest natural harbour in World and started its life as a whaling town.
There is a whale museum, shell shop, wood turning, art gallery, cruises out to watch dolphins and whales as well as fishing (surf/rock/deep sea/reef/lake/river). A favourite spot with the Abalone divers as well. I travelled several times to Eden to stay with my dearest friend who owned a motel there at the time. What we didn’t get up to, wasn’t worth doing. They were fun times. It is a wonderful leisurely spot with Pambula and Merimbula (coast resort town) very near.
We left Eden in the morning and drove to Canberra.
Each year there is a yacht race from Sydney to Hobart which starts on Boxing Day I think. One particular year I was at Eden, the weather was shocking. Many yachts pulled into Eden with broken masts and severe damage to their boats.
The town was really abuzz with crew, news reporters all scrambling for accommodation.
Bywong Town Gold Mining Village, 28 kilometres north of Canberra, recreates something of those early days.
Here you can see an active gold mine with working machinery, and even try your hand at panning for gold in a bushland setting.
Jervis Bay is situated between Sydney and
Canberra but belongs to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The clear waters of Jervis Bay provide ideal conditions for growth of extensive sea grass beds. See for more info and pics in the Jervis Bay travelogue please.
The Ettomogah Pub just out of Albury (15 kms north). Albury is only a few hours drive south of Canberra. It is worth a quick stop for a look...there is some fun stuff out the back also like dodgem cars, shops etc...
Wagga Wagga (or just Wagga to the locals) is about 2.5 hours drive south west from Canberra. It is a city of about 58,000 people and is known as the 'biggest inland city in NSW'. It is also my hometown. :)
Check out my Wagga Wagga page if you would like to see more about the city and area.
Beechworth. An old Victorian village. It reminds me of the villages in Western United States. Home of Ned Kelly's cell.
The Blowering Dam is just out of Tumut. It is a great place for camping, fishing, site seeing, swimming, finding native animals etc.