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Bungendore is a common stop off for petrol, a pie at the bakery or a place to stretch your legs and wander round the shops, but many Canberrans now call this beautiful region home.
The once-sleepy town is less than a 40 minute drive from Canberra and just three hours from Sydney. With cosy cafes, a rich history and amazing art scene, it’s a place that is secretly super cool.
Nearly 5,000 people live in Bungendore, with a great blend of charming old homes mixed with newer housing estates. There are also many house and land packages available.
This cosy, country cafe takes the cool factor up a notch with a hip fit out and genuinely friendly service. Start your day with a nourishing breakfast dish or one of the more hearty brunch options, all bursting with fresh, local produce, teamed up with great coffee.
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped straight into the French countryside at Le Tres Bon. Perched in one of the oldest buildings in town, the bistro serves exceptional regional French cuisine, with a seasonal menu by French head chef Christophe. Also keep an eye out for their regular cooking classes, where you can attempt to master the cuisine yourself.
The George Bar and Dining offers something for everyone, whether it be a bed, hearty pub grub meal for the weary traveller, a cold one after a hard day’s work or live music for a fun Friday night out. Dating back to 1838, the venue is where the bushranger Jacky Jacky was captured in 1840. Love craft beer? It’s also home to the Lake George Craft Beer Club.
Escape to the tranquility of Yanununbeyan State Conservation Area. Explore the park by horse, bike or foot, with remnants of Aboriginal heritage and colonial history to discover along the way. Pack your lunch and thermos and stop amongst the Eucalypts at Apple Box Flat picnic area for lunch. It’s also home to a large number of species of birds, so don’t forget your binoculars.
During truffle season (May to August), head just outside Bungendore to Turalla Truffles where you can go on a truffle hunt. Follow the nose of the truffle dog as they unearth the expensive black funghi and learn all about the process, before you get to indulge in a truffle tasting.
Manon and Moss is the little Bungendore shop that has been compared to high-end boutiques in Los Angeles and Melbourne. Sitting inside a quaint 1890s cottage with a classic grey and white exterior, the boutique has an incredibly stylish array of antiques, homewares, garden pieces and high-end candles from France, Italy, Belgium and beyond.
If you appreciate antiques, you can’t go past Village Antiques in Bungendore. The home and gardenware store specialises in unique, timeless antique furniture and garden essentials from around the country.
The Wood Works Gallery is a famous institution in Bungendore, showcasing some of the finest handcrafted wood furniture, homewares, art and sculpture in Australia. Shop for exceptional homewares, in-house designed gifts and artworks, then head upstairs to the upper level which houses regular exhibitions by visual artists across a wide range of mediums.
Leather enthusiasts look no further than Bungendore Village Leather. Sitting right in the heart of Bungendore, the gallery and leather studio sells a range of beautifully crafted leather products including animal hides for the home, akubras, belts, wallets and jackets.
Held every Saturday morning, the Southern Harvest Farmers Market is the place to stock up on a range of tempting regional produce and gourmet treats, including fruit, vegetables, meat, preserves, cheese, eggs, wine, oil, honey and more.
Living in Bungendore means being able to enjoy a tree change but take advantage of working in the city with Canberra so close by. Housing is a blend of charming old homes mixed with newer housing estates, with many house and land packages available.
By Zango Team