As Australiaâ€™s purpose-built capital celebrates its 100th anniversary with a yearlong program of art and cultural events, we asked local Olympian and basketball star Lauren Jackson to share her favorite hometown haunts.
Where do you take visitors to Canberra?
â€śUsually to Barton to visit the Aboriginal Tent Embassy [a semi-permanent collection of tents erected in the 1970s by activists representing the political rights of Aborigines] on the lawns of Old Parliament House, or to Questacon (the National Science and Technology Centre; questacon.edu.au) for its fun and educational exhibits. And of course to the National Museum of Australia (nma.gov.au). I also like to show off the new National Arboretum (nationalarboretum.act.gov.au), which has gardens of native Australian trees and plantsÂ plus rare and endangered species from around the world.â€ť
Whatâ€™s your favorite cafĂ©?
â€śFor coffee and light meals, itâ€™s Tilleyâ€™s Devine CafĂ© Gallery (tilleys.com.au) in Lyneham. The atmosphere is very relaxed and itâ€™s a great place to catch up with friends over salads and burgers, listen to live music, or just get a serious amount of study done. Itâ€™s probably my favorite place in Canberra.â€ť
And your favorite restaurant?
â€śThe Chairman & Yip (chairmangroup.com.au). Itâ€™s been around for more than a decade, but the Cantonese food is still unbelievable and the service is impeccable.â€ť
Where do you go for shopping?
â€śI usually head to the Canberra Centre (originally the Monaro Mall, launched in the 1960s; canberracentre.com.au)Â because it just seems to be getting bigger and better and has everything from department stores to branded boutiques.â€ť
How do you spend a lazy Canberra Sunday?
Probably at my favorite little cafĂ©, Tilleyâ€™s, or going to the Cotter River for a swim if the weather is rightâ€”there are barbecue facilities at Cotter Bend. Canberra also has a lot of great weekend markets, including the Old Bus Depot (obdm.com.au; open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) for arts and crafts and farmhouse cheeses.
What do you miss when youâ€™re away?
The trees and the freshness of the air. And the people.