Journey with our writers as they take you into the ACT’s top 3 emerging travel experiences from our 100 Emerging Destinations and Experiences series.
1. The tail-end of the Tiger Lane precincts
Travelling with: Carla Grossetti
Executive chef Shaun Presland (ex-Saké) has adopted and adapted food and flavours from hawker centres around Asia to inform the culinary direction of the new Tiger Lane dining precinct at the Canberra Centre.
Satisfy your palate with a Japanese feast. (Image: Harry Chalker)
Expect the food and beverage options at the 12 eateries to nod to the neon-lit laneways in downtown Tokyo, the bustling riverside markets along the Mekong River and the diversity of the regional dishes of China for the final phased opening of the precinct mid-May.
Snag a spot for a wine night. (Image: Ben Calvert)
Restaurants Taki and Inari opened in 2022 and trace Presland’s culinary journey back to the time the sushi master lived and worked in the Yamagata Prefecture in Japan.
Dine at INARI. (Image: Ben Calvert)
2. Canberra’s newest village
Travelling with: Christine Aldred
On Ngunnawal Land in a place once reserved for car yards and industrial warehouses, Fyshwick’s Dairy Road precinct on the edge of Canberra has surfaced as a funky and fun place, rethinking how creative businesses and community can combine. A small village has been fashioned within transformed warehouses from the 1970s, alleyways with soaring ceilings and exposed timber trusses now leading the way through a string of eclectic enterprises, some with windows to peer through to witness the action.
Soak up sky-high architecture at External Dairy Road. (Image: Christine Aldred)
Dairy Road is a place to gather with friends over coffees or craft beers, to pick up a freshly distilled gin, browse an art gallery or to pick up everything from mid-century treasures to chocolate treats. But it is also where business is done. You can test your muscles bouldering, reset with a yoga or wellness session or indulge in a night of drama at the tiny but thoroughly professional Mill Theatre. Perhaps top it off with pre-theatre dinner and drinks, belly-warming ramen and sake from Japanese-inspired Canteen or casual pizza by the fire in front of indoor ski slopes. It’s an intriguing mix.
Order up a warm bowl of ramen at Outside Canteen. (Image: Christine Aldred)
Outside, the kids will relish exploring the running stream and garden spaces or run among a towering concrete art installation. If your timing is right, the professional entertainers employed on site may be around to inspire small people with open-ended and creative play while you relax. Watch out for regular community events and markets showcasing local produce. With planned residential accommodation, it’s a forward-thinking place worth visiting and watching.
Mingle over a beer at Capital Brewing Co.
3. Canberra Wine District: a new stomping ground for oenophiles
Travelling with: Carla Grossetti
There are just too many cellar doors to squeeze into a weekend stay in the Canberra Wine District. Luckily, this year’s inaugural Stomp Festival made inroads into addressing this dilemma by showcasing more than 25 wineries and producers. Missed the 29–30 April event? No biggie. Just pore over the program and use it as a starting point to inspire your own itinerary. Book a table at Agostinis at Lark Hill, built into the side of Lake George Escarpment.
Plot a winery trail through Canberra’s wine region.
Grasp the allure of the region’s cool-climate syrah during a tasting at Eden Road Wines. Or order a tutored tasting at Mount Majura Vineyard and pop into boutique Dionysus Winery.
The Canberra region is divided into three distinct subregions, so be sure to book a few return visits to check out the 140-plus vineyards that make up this exciting cool-climate district.
Don’t expect to see it all in one visit – there are over 140 vineyards. (Image: Tourism Australia)