As Australia’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?
“Usually 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 plants plus rare and endangered species from around the world.”
What’s your favorite café?
“For coffee and light meals, it’s Tilley’s Devine Café Gallery (tilleys.com.au) in Lyneham. The atmosphere is very relaxed and it’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. It’s probably my favorite place in Canberra.”
And your favorite restaurant?
“The Chairman & Yip (chairmangroup.com.au). It’s been around for more than a decade, but the Cantonese food is still unbelievable and the service is impeccable.”
Where do you go for shopping?
“I usually head to the Canberra Centre (originally the Monaro Mall, launched in the 1960s; canberracentre.com.au) because it just seems to be getting bigger and better and has everything from department stores to branded boutiques.”
How do you spend a lazy Canberra Sunday?
Probably at my favorite little café, Tilley’s, or going to the Cotter River for a swim if the weather is right—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 you’re away?
The trees and the freshness of the air. And the people.