Once a destination reserved for year six school excursions (hello, Questacon!), Canberra has more recently undergone a renaissance, with new hotels, shops, cafes and galleries popping up all over the city. Just a few hours drive from Sydney and a quick flight from Melbourne, Canberra is a great spot for a speedy weekend getaway, with Expedia’s Kiwi travellers usually spend around 1-2 nights in the city. We recently did the road trip from Sydney to spend a couple of days in our fair nation’s capital and here’s our guide to help you get planning your own trip!


Mocan & Green Grout, 1/19 Marcus Clarke Street, Newacton South

This is the place where breakfast dreams come true. Excellent fair trade coffee, locally sourced produce and a menu that reflects the seasons of Canberra and surrounds; rhubarb, truffles, and black garlic all made an appearance on the breakfast menu when we dined. Brass tables and repurposed building supplies make up the interior, feeling warm and welcoming – but not cramped or noisy, despite the cafe being packed out for most of the day.

Patissez, Shop 2/21 “The Lawns” Bougainville St, Manuka

A trip to Canberra isn’t really a trip to Canberra unless you manage to get yourself a slurp of worldwide viral sensation the ’Freakshake’. The widely acclaimed and highly sought after milkshakes created by this small cafe in Manuka feature decadent additions to the point of being barely recognisable as a beverage. Queues start each day from 6.30am for the limited number of Freakshakes made on-site.

Not for the faint hearted (or the diabetic), the Freakshakes come in a variety of options, such as the Nutella & Salty Pretzel (Nutella shake, scoops of Nutella, whipped cream and crushed pretzels), the Muddy Pat (warm hot chocolate, fudge brownie, chocolate fudge, whipped cream and toasted house made marshmallow), and a special option is added to the Freakshake line up each week, such as Red Velvet, Salty Nutz, and the absurd Pork Star. The freakshakes are made freshly baked ingredients and Tilba Jersey Milk.Tackle them if you dare.

If you have a stomach that defies the laws of normal human consumption and are still after more, there’s also an extensive breakfast and lunch menu at Patissez, and a very impressive cake counter.