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10 of the Best Hidden Gems in Canberra to Discover

You’ll feel like a local in no time once you unearth the best hidden gems in Canberrs.


Canberra may be meticulously planned out with fewer nooks and crannies than other cities around Australia, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely without a few hidden treasures. Scratch beneath the surface, and you’ll find all sorts of locals-only hotspots across dining, shopping, and exploring.

While some – or many – of these may be fairly well-known to long-time Canberrans, this list is perfect if you’re new to the city or just visiting for the weekend.

Ready to uncover the best hidden gems in Canberra? Here are out top ten favourites.

Old Parliament House Gardens

Old Parliament House Gardens

On both sides of Old Parliament House, you'll find breathtaking gardens that feel like you're stepping into a magical picture book. Made up of blossoming roses, wisteria-arched walkways, and perfectly manicured lawns, it's a delightful place to go for a stroll, read a book or have a picnic. 

East and west of Old Parliament House



Fancy an indulgent pamper in a blissful, serene setting? Adytum is a holistic health and wellness retreat based in Braddon, offering visitors a place to immerse themselves in ancient rituals of self-care and indulgence. 

It offers a full-service day spa, movement lounge, holistic health clinic, and their highly coveted Bathhouse that offers guests a thermotherapy experience with a hot rock sauna, mineral pool, and a cold pail shower.

The sleek and serene space also has a complimentary café, as well as a self-care and wellness store. 

101/16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

Kambah Pool (Image Credit @visitcanberra)

Kambah Pool

If you’re after some respite from Canberra’s summer heat, look no further than Kambah Pool. While not really a pool at all – it’s actually a reserve on the Murrumbidgee River in Namadgi National Park – Kambah Pool is a fantastic spot to cool off when the temp skyrockets. The water isn’t overly deep and there’s plenty of space around the reserve to picnic or relax.

You can also canoe or kayak, fish, birdwatch or set off on a walk around the river. And if you’re so inclined, Kambah Pool has a nude bathing section a little further down from the main swimming area.

Kambah Pool Road, Kambah

Alpaca Magic

Alpaca Magic

If having breakky with an alpaca is on your bucket list, then we have just the place for you. Just outside of Canberra, you'll find Alpaca Magic, a charming farm where you can dine amongst their alpacas, llamas and donkeys. Bookings are essential and will guarantee a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you feed the animals, walk the llamas around the farm, and tuck into your breakfast. 

2771 Sutton Road, Sutton

Department of Pizza

Campbell’s local shopping precinct isn’t exactly where you’d expect to find one of Canberra’s best Italian restaurants, but such is the case with Department of Pizza.

This casual pizza joint is exceptional, with a simple but excellent menu packed with classic flavours. Try the garlic prawn, pancetta and zucchini, or the equally simple but epic margherita, alongside a caprese salad and some confit garlic cheesy flatbread. Make sure to order the tiramisu to finish.

Plus, the pizza bases are made with a 30-year-old family sourdough rather than yeast, making even the (usually discarded) crusts taste like absolute heaven.

12 Blamey Place, Campbell

Sweet Bones Bakery and Cafe

Sweet Bones Bakery & Café

Located right next door to Eighty/Twenty Food, mouth-watering smells waft from the doors of Sweet Bones Bakery & Café. Perfect for Canberrans with dietary requirements, Sweet Bones is one of our favourite hidden (and vegan!) gems in Canberra. They also dish out gluten-free dishes. Their cakes and cupcakes are truly to-die-for making this one of our favourite spots to buy cakes in Canberra.

8/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

Tocumwal Lane (Photo credit: @visitcanberra)

Tocumwal Lane

Canberra isn’t especially famed for its street art, but if you know where to go, you’ll find some amazing examples of it.

There are a few spots across the city where local artists showcase their work, with Tocumwal Lane in Civic a particular highlight. The space is mostly decked out with superhero-themed creations in a range of mediums, but is a bit of an evolving beast with new artworks added over time.

If you’re after more stunning street art in Canberra, Woden Town Square and various streets and alleyways around Braddon are also worth visiting.

Tocumwal Lane, Civic

Ainslie IGA

Ainslie IGA

If you’re a newly minted Canberran or hail from the southside, you may not yet be familiar with this stellar supermarket – but you really should be.

Here, you can grab all kinds of exciting, exotic and extra-high quality produce, ingredients and other foodstuffs, making it the ideal place to go if a recipe calls for something you’re unlikely to find at major supermarkets.

You can also browse a stellar cheese and smallgoods section (perfect for picnics), pick up delicious ready-made meals or check out many of the awesome products made right here in Canberra. In short, it’s a foodie’s heaven.

9/11 Edgar Street, Ainslie



With a physical address like 35°16'44.5"S 149°07'42.0"E and an email like, everything about Molly screams hidden gem. This clandestine bar sits in the iconic Melbourne Building behind a big wooden door and down a pretty non-descript staircase.

But once you get inside, you’re greeted by a bustling atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, and an incredible 350 different types of whisky – along with gin and many other spirit varieties – behind the bar. Everything on the drinks list is good here, but we particularly love the nutmeg-laced espresso martinis.

35°16'44.5"S 149°07'42.0"E (Wooden Door, Odgers Lane, Civic)

11e Cave

11e Cave

From the same team behind one of the best restaurants in Canberra, Onzieme, 11e Cave is one of the city’s coolest hidden bars. You’ll have to head underground to visit this place; it’s actually inside an old bank vault beneath the restaurant. Once you get inside, you’d never guess you’re in a subterranean chamber.

The spacious-feeling wine bar has a lovely atmosphere alongside an excellent playlist, great cheese and charcuterie options, and, naturally, a fantastic drinks list. You can order all kinds of wines here, but we recommend ordering one of the bar’s seasonal cocktails – each one is shaken, stirred or blended to perfection.

35 Kennedy Street, Kingston

Finished exploring the best hidden gems of Canberra and keen to keep enjoying the city? We’ve got you covered. Here are our picks for the best markets in Canberra and the top museums in Canberra.

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