If you’re ever in Canberra, make sure you take a trip to the nearby city of Queanbeyan, which is what tourists usually call a hidden gem. It’s a small city of little more than 36,000 souls, which is a guarantee that you’ll have a little peace and quiet there. But you’ll also have a lot of wonderful places to visit and relax, because that’s what holidays are for, relaxation.
Here are a few of the most sought-after tourist attractions in Queanbeyan.
Queanbeyan Art Gallery
Did you think you can only find art galleries in the big cities with imposing museums? A visit to the charming O’Neil cottage that houses the art gallery in Queanbeyan will change your mind! This wonderful little place has monthly exhibitions with the latest creations of local artists and you’ll be surprised by the quality of their creations. What’s even better is that you can also take part in an art class of your choosing while in Queanbeyan and, who knows,you might get yourself a new hobby.
This is a must-see. The museum is dedicated to Queanbeyan history, but in many ways it’s typical for a lot of Australian cities. In the rooms of the museum you’ll find exhibits from many different eras, starting with the days of the earliest inhabitants of this place, the fascinating Ngambri people.
If you’re travelling with kids this is a wonderful educational opportunity, as they will get to see how life used to be centuries ago as the museum has rooms dedicated to everyday life but also exhibits illustrating the lives of shopkeepers, plumbers or barbers of the early 1900s.
This is the perfect spot for a picnic close to nature and, also, a great place for some selfies. The London Bridge, an amazing natural limestone arch is the most photographed attraction in the whole region. The Googong Foreshores area is located some 10 km south of the city, but you can easily get there using the local Queanbeyan taxi service, which operates not only in Queanbeyan, but also in the surrounding areas. On a warm day, you can also swim in the clear waters downstream of the water wall. By the way, the name Queanbeyan comes from an aboriginal word meaning exactly that of ‘clear waters’.
Queen Elizabeth II Park
When you get tired of visiting the city, go to the beautiful park on the water banks. It’s larger than you’d expect of such a small city and it’s splendidly designed. You have a big picnic area, but also playgrounds for the little ones and a barbecue spot.
Queanbeyan Printing Museum
Turn off your mobile phone and take a cab to the Queanbeyan Printing Museum where you will learn how news used to travel before the digital era. Most of the exhibits come from the local newspaper, the Queanbeyan Age, which first appeared in 1860 and managed to survive until 2020. You’ll see real old printing machines with lead letters people gathered by hand to create words and write whole articles with them, way more complicated than tapping on a screen and pressing send.
Bonus Tip: If you want to find the best places to eat in Queanbeyan, just ask your taxi driver. Ask him where he would like to have dinner and he’ll probably be quite happy to show you!