Our full-proof guide to make an ultimate girls weekend away for Cartier: The Exhibition.
Lunch at Pollen Café
Head to the Australian National Botanic Gardens for lunch at the bright and idyllic Pollen Café. This award-winning cafe, recently make-overed by Tracy Keeley of Bookplate (at the National Library of Australia) serves up delicious and wholesome food, great coffee and fresh juices amongst the beauty of the most diverse collection of Australian plants in the world. Another plus, Pollen’s menu offers plentiful vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Take a stroll through the Botanic Gardens
Follow brunch with a stroll through the peaceful surrounds of the Botanic Gardens and marvel at the extensive collection of Australian native plants and wildlife. The cool Rainforest Gully and Red Centre collections are both highlights. Entry is free.
Spoil yourself at Jindii Eco Spa
It’s time to be nurtured by nature. Take a short walk to the bottom of the Gardens where enriching, botanical treatments at Jindii Eco Spa await. Inspired by the native flora found in the lush rainforest surrounds of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Jindii Eco Spa has an extensive offering of wellness and beauty treatments, designed to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect you with nature.
Hours: Mon – Wed & Friday – Saturday, 8am – 5pm
Thursday, 8am – 8pm
Afternoon drinks at Parlour Wine Room
An elegant venue at NewActon, Parlour Wine Bar is a delight for wine lovers and gourmet grazers too. Browse an extensive list of local and international boutique wines and cocktails, meticulously compiled by acclaimed sommelier Peter Bell and be sure to pair them with a few delicious tapas plates. Take a seat on their garden-facing terrace, or inside where eclectic, vintage interiors and a toasty fireplace take front and centre.
16 Kendall Lane, NewActon
Hours: Mon – Sun, 12pm – late.
Dinner at Raku
It’s time for dinner, and in Canberra you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the variety and quality of dining destinations. If you love modern Japanese cuisine, you can’t go past Raku in the CBD. Raku combines the precision and artfulness of Japanese culinary history with the vibrant energy of modern Australian dining. Executive chef Hao Chen is a master with the sushi blade, so we recommend indulging in his signature tasting menu, accompanied by some of Raku’s many sakes of course.
148 Bunda Street, Canberra
Hours: Mon – Sun, 11am – 3pm & 6pm – 11pm
Brunch on the Kingston Foreshore
Enjoy a sleep-in, you’ve got the luxury of a 12pm late checkout after all*, then head to staple brekky spot, Local Press on the Kingston Foreshore. Serving up wholefood dishes and cold pressed juices prettier than Lake Burley Griffin at dawn, this cosy café is big on fresh and flavour and caters to all dietary requirements. Rug up in one of their colourful blankets and take in the waterfront setting.
35 Eastlake Parade, Kingston
Hours: Tues – Friday, 7:30am – 4pm
Sat – Sun, 8am – 5pm
Explore Cartier: The Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.
This is what you came for. Cartier: The Exhibition is a first for Australia – never have we seen so many incredible diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones in one exhibition.
The exhibition showcases more than 300 items, some of which have been exclusively loaned to the National Gallery of Australia by royal families, celebrities and the Cartier collection, in exquisite settings such as royal tiaras, necklaces, brooches, earrings and timepieces. This exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the intimate world of Cartier’s famous international clientele from Hollywood superstars to royalty, revealing fascinating stories about the history of the stunning jewellery and the inimitable icons of style associated with them.
Parkes Place East, Parkes
Hours: Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm (Easter hours may vary)
Shopping in Braddon
It’s time to shop til’ you drop in Braddon! The retail revolution has really heated up here in the past months, with the new Nibu and Palko buildings joining the scene on Lonsdale Street. For those after unique homewares and gifts, there’s KIN Gallery, Bison Home, The Hive, Handsomepretty, Timber Tailor, among a stylish mix of fashion boutiques including Assemblage Project, itrip iskip, Koji Collection, Rebel Muse, Pink Ink and Designer Op Shop.
Eclectic homewares in the Ori Building, Braddon. Image Credit: VisitCanberra
Where to stay: Abode Narrabundah
Nestled within a prestigious and leafy green 1940s suburb in Canberra’s south, Abode Narrabundah is a stone’s throw from the fine-dining and shopping centres of Griffith, Manuka and Kingston. This stylishly appointed hotel is conveniently located within a few minutes’ drive of the Parliamentary Triangle, making it the perfect place to stay when visiting Canberra for NGA’s blockbuster Cartier: The Exhibition.
The Abode Hotels Cartier Package includes:
- Discounted overnight accommodation in any Abode Hotel
- 2 adult tickets to Cartier: The Exhibition
- A bottle of sparkling wine
- Late checkout of 12pm
- FREE parking
- FREE unlimited Wi-Fi
- FREE bottled water