Local's guide: Queanbeyan

Queanbeyan Mobile

The Queanbeyan region, which straddles country NSW and the ACT is well placed for those who want to escape from the city.

  • The Queanbeyan Museum
  • QBN Steakhouse 
  • Queen Elizabeth II Park
  • Villa Olivo

A charming town within easy reach of Canberra, the NSW South Coast and the Snowy Mountains – it can’t be denied that Queanbeyan has its own distinct personality. So whether it’s for a weekend getaway or a longer visit with friends, the charms of Queanbeyan are the perfect remedy for whatever ails you.

Where to eat

A local favourite for a hearty meal, icy beers and a cheery atmosphere – you can find QBN Steakhouse on Monaro Street. A sleek interior of white marble, layered stone and settings feels bright and glossy, warmed by tantalising aromas wafting from the kitchen of juicy steaks on the grill and fluffy breads baked in house by hand. After ordering a round of drinks, peruse a tasty selection of Modern Australian dishes taking influences from exotic cuisines with a spotlight on premium char-grilled meats and traditional style pizzas. Snack on artistic entrees such as pan-fried scallops with celeriac puree and chorizo and stuffed zucchini flowers before devouring a 400g rib eye steak with demi-glace shallots and jus with beer battered chips.

Are you a fan of wood fired pizza? Villa Olivo serves a wide variety of pizzas that you can feast your eyes (and stomach) upon. With its alfresco ambiance and casual dining area, Villa Olivo will take you on a sensory journey into the taste, spirit and culture of classic Italian food. If you’re after a place with vegetarian and gluten-free offerings, then 4th Seed Café has you covered. Perched on the side of a hill overlooking the Queanbeyan River – Riverbank of Queanbeyan is a quaint little café. Around the side of the café is a peaceful place to sit with tables for two or four in a scenic garden setting. For some summer shade, an ideal place to sit is under the small pergola at the back of the outdoor seating area, with hanging greenery shading your position. This outside area is also a great spot if you are popping in for a coffee while walking your dog along the river path. There is even a menu for the pooches, with Poochy Pasta, Canine Chook Bits and Homemade Dog Biscuits.

What to do

While Queanbeyan is not home to large shopping centres, or the kind of shops you’d find on Rodeo Drive – the region is known for its artisan makers, local produce and beautiful boutiques. Drop into Gifts on Q and find yourself surrounded by local, handmade art works, craft items, botanical art and gourmet goods. If you’re after an artistic haven, then head to Form Studio and Gallery. Nestled between the car yards and industrial buildings of Aurora Avenue, the gallery showcases the works of established and emerging creators. From watercolours to sculpture and oils to drawings, you’ll never know what you’ll find on show at Form.

Each year Queanbeyan is painted with vibrant autumn and spring colours. Be sure to soak up the colourful palette with a walk around Queen Elizabeth II Park or the Queanbeyan River, where hiking and biking trails wind through a pretty landscape. You can also pick up a copy of the Canberra and Queanbeyan Cycling Map which shows the network of paths available for cyclists if being on two-wheels is more your style. The great thing about Queanbeyan is that it’s close to a number of spectacular natural attractions. Popular with fishing and boating types, you too can gather at Googong Foreshores to catch trout, perch and Murray Cod. And if you’re after sourcing the local seafood and produce itself, head to the Queanbeyan Town Market, where you can meet the farmers and growers from around Country NSW.

Stroll across the river to The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, a great venue for theatre, musicals, dance and exhibitions. You don’t want to miss the annual Big 3 Car Show, biennial 4WD Spectacular and the colourful Queanbeyan Multicultural Festival. The Queanbeyan Museum, housed in a building from 1876, tells fascinating stories about the local Ngambri Aboriginal people, early settlers, explorers and bushrangers of the gold rush era. Explore more heritage, history and tales with local author Nichole Overall on her Mysterious Queanbeyan by Moonlight tour. The intriguing Queanbeyan Printing Museum nods to the past with its collection of restored machines dating from the 1870s to the 1960s. Informative exhibitions are also held throughout the year at Queanbeyan Art Gallery, housed in an 1880-built cottage near a pretty stretch of the meandering Queanbeyan River.

Where to stay

Stay at Central Motel and Apartments and indulge in one of the city’s premier motel accommodation and serviced apartments, nestled snugly in the tree-lined haven of historic and picturesque Queanbeyan. Guests enjoy top-line facilities and services including free unlimited, high speed WiFi, onsite bar and restaurant, swimming pool and barbecue gardens. With abundant free parking right at your door, convenience is a given.

Canberra Avenue Villas is a unique, comfortable and affordable 19 villa accommodation complex in the heart of Queanbeyan, only one block from the shops. The villas are self-contained and enable visitors to live independently, while away from home. Single, Double and Twin Rooms are all provided. There is a guest laundry, large outdoor areas and plenty of room to park near your room. All parking is free. The villas are well maintained, have recently been refurbished and contain new kitchens.

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