Where to eat, shop, play and live in Molonglo Valley

Where to eat, shop, play and live in Molonglo Valley

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Canberra’s newest and smallest region, Molonglo Valley is close to the city yet sits right in the middle of a stunning natural playground.

The region’s original residents have moved in and made Molonglo Valley home, and this vibrant and active community already enjoys brand new facilities including schools and shopping centres. And there’s more to come, with new suburbs and land releases on the way, and a $36 million leisure centre currently under construction.

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No matter where they live, residents all enjoy expansive views across Canberra and the surrounds, and Stromlo Forest Park, the National Arboretum and the Cotter Reserve are also nearby, with easy access to the Molonglo River.

PLAY

STROMLO FOREST PARK

Molonglo Valley’s suburbs have the world-class Stromlo Forest Park right on their doorstep. Set amongst stunning forest, the world-class, multi-use recreational sporting facility includes a 1.2 kilometre road criterium cycling circuit, a 2.5 kilometre grass cross country running track, a network of equestrian trails and over 40 kilometres of mountain bike trails.

NATIONAL ARBORETUM

With one of the world's largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees, the National Arboretum is one of Canberra’s most impressive natural attractions. Walk, drive, cycle or even horse-ride around the 250 hectare site, which features 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world, plus a large bonsai collection, and is also home to one of the most exciting playgrounds in Canberra.

COTTER RESERVE

Set on the banks of the Cotter River, the Cotter Reserve is a popular spot for barbeques, picnics, swimming, fishing, bushwalking and relaxation. Walk the Cotter Dam Discovery Trail, lined with stories of Canberra's water history, to the 16-metre wide, amphitheatre style viewing platform where you can enjoy the majestic views of the dam wall. The Cotter Campground is one of the most popular spots to pitch a tent in the ACT, and has facilities including an electric barbeque plus toilets and showers. The reserve is also a great spot for spotting wildlife

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SHOP

THE CURATOREUM

The Arboretum isn’t just a great spot for enjoying nature. Located inside the Visitor’s Centre, the Curatoreum gift shop is a treasure trove of books, homewares, jewellery, stationery, unique gifts and toys.

DENMAN VILLAGE SHOPS

The main retail hub for the area, Denman Village Shops has an IGA, doctor’s surgery, chemist, liquor store, gym, cafe and more. The architecturally-designed shopping centre boasts impressive views of the National Arboretum and stunning public art.

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EAT

MORNING DEW

The first cafe to open in Molonglo Valley, Morning Dew serves Canberra’s famed Ona Coffee, plus an all-day breakfast and lunch menu and locally made pastries. Located at Denman Village Shops with an impressive outlook over the valley, it’s the place to be for a relaxed weekend brunch.

THE CONSERVATORY RESTAURANT

Sitting in the National Arboretum’s visitor centre with a sweeping outlook across Lake Burley Griffin and back towards the city, the Conservatory Restaurant offers the epitome of a meal with a view. Open for breakfast and lunch, food is elegant yet simple, and centred on local organic and biodynamic produce.

THE HANDLEBAR STROMLO

After a day out at Stromlo, kick back, relax and enjoy the spectacular views from Handlebar. Run by a group of local mountain bikers, the family-friendly cafe serves coffee, jaffles, pastries, and snacks, plus wine and local beer, with plenty of space for the kids to run around.

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LIVE

As some of Canberra’s newest suburbs, Molonglo Valley is flush with new houses on larger blocks, from architecturally designed homes, to spacious family houses, and apartments and townhouses, some which enjoy waterfront living.

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No matter where you’re based in the valley, nature is never too far away, and most houses enjoy expansive views across Canberra and the surrounding natural habitat.

Houses in the new suburbs also have a strong sustainability focus - Denman Prospect was Australia’s first suburb to have a minimum requirement for solar installation on all dwellings.

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