1 December 2023

A dozen delightful gift ideas to help you shop local this Christmas

| Morgan Kenyon
Decorative reindeer made from metal

With Christmas rapidly approaching, the buy local movement continues to gain traction in the nation’s capital. Photo: Zen Creation Photography.

Christmas is less than a month away, but there’s no need to panic if you haven’t quite crossed off your shopping list.

We’ve compiled some of the best local businesses to make thoughtful gifting a breeze this holiday season, with everything from tasty treats and dining experiences to lovingly crafted stocking stuffers, coveted gifts and hampers.

Each can be enjoyed on their own or brought together with other favourites to create a selection with distinct local style.

Hartley Hall Markets

Find some unique gifts at Hartley Hall Markets Christmas Market on Sunday 3 December. Photo: Zen Creation Photography.

Hartley Hall Markets

The Hartley Hall Markets have been a Canberran staple since the 1980s, for good reason. These days the market at scenic Hall Village Showground is one of the largest in the country, a premier destination for homegrown, homemade, and handcrafted goods that boasts more than 150 stalls to peruse.

Perhaps put together your own hamper, filled with the freshest local produce, baked goods, wine and spirits, plants and quirky garden displays, new and reclaimed furniture, clothing, pottery, gifts and more.

This year’s Christmas Market is on Sunday, 3 December. Entry is a gold coin donation, dogs on leashes are welcome, and with plenty of entertainment and live music to enjoy, these markets inspire holiday cheer in all comers.

Kismet Toys

Kismet Toys at Niche Markets in Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, selling handmade toys from Nepal. Photo: Ben Calvert.

Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, Fyshwick Niche Markets

Canberra’s oldest market is the perfect place to find a thoughtful gift or stocking stuffer. Browse for four-legged family members at Teacher’s Pet Treats, sate literary appetities in Book Lovers Lane or go for something with sparkle at Andez Jewellery & Gems.

The markets also provide a unique opportunity to refuel after shopping and source the best local ingredients for your Christmas spread – check out The Nut Shoppe, Mikes Meats and Wiffens.

lerida estate wine and food platter

Lerida Estate is most famous for its Pinot Noir, but it also produces delicious Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz. Photo: Lerida Estate.

Lerida Estate Winery

Calling all wine enthusiasts – just up the road in Collector, NSW, Lerida Estate produces multi-award-winning cool climate wines recognised on national and international levels.

Whether your loved ones prefer sparkling, white, red or rosé, a tasting at this local legend is sure to impress. If drinking at home is more their thing, vouchers and gift packs are available online, including a limited edition ’12 days of Christmas’ box with a dozen varieties to sample.

vodka bottle and gin bottle

Go the extra mile with a customised gift. Image: Underground Spirits.

Underground Spirits

Personalised gifts never go astray, and Underground Spirits’ Star of the Season range promises to hit the spot with a chance to customise their 500ml ‘Vodka with Caramel’ or ‘Signature Gin’ bottle with a name or short message (up to 20 characters) of your choosing.

Get in quick – custom orders close on 3 December.

People dining in a Waters Edge dome

Waters Edge offers a lakeside view and a beautiful meal with some semblance of privacy, thanks to its unique dining domes. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Waters Edge

Waters Edge is a truly special dining experience that allows visitors to soak up a gorgeous view across Lake Burley Griffin right from their table. Taking out the TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award three years in a row, this restaurant offers gift packages ranging from a three-course lunch for two to a five-course degustation for four, complete with wine pairings.

It even has a few spots left for Christmas Day reservations…

Louis Terrace

Nothing says ‘I love you’ like quality time spent over food and wine. Photo: Romello Pereira.

Louis Dining

Deep in the heart of the Parliamentary Triangle, Hotel Realm plays host to Louis Dining. ‘Canberra’s most accomplished chef’, Ben Willis leverages three decades of experience to serve high-style European cuisine that has diners hooked. With vouchers available from $50 to $500, there’s a price point to suit every gift giver.

Christmas hamper

Let Canberra Southern Cross Club do the hard work with its range of hampers. Image: Canberra Southern Cross Club.

Canberra Southern Cross Club Shop

Canberra Southern Cross Club provides a one-stop online shop filled with potential presents from local producers, artisans, creators and providers. Gourmet hampers, snack selections, body and beauty gifts, Christmas homewares and fitness memberships are always popular, as are vouchers for the club itself.

Two people standing in POP Canberra store

A huge supporter of buying local, POP Canberra brings together thousands of products from 250 Canberran ‘makers’. Photo: Pew Pew Studio.

POP Canberra

POP Canberra bravely opened its doors during the 2020 COVID lockdown and has been one of Braddon’s most coveted shopping destinations ever since.

With goods from small, medium and micro businesses all within 150 km of Canberra, POP hosts a stockpile of edible treats, homewares, art and craft, jewellery, accessories and more.

Help your friends and families kickstart their New Year resolutions with a range of healthy meals. Photo: Tyron Boorman.

Gym Meals Direct (GMD)

Give the gift of quality nutrition this Christmas by registering a loved one for GMD. Taste and health meet convenience in these mouth-watering, high-protein meals – care for a chicken curry, poke bowl or passionfruit pancakes?

GMD has kept things exclusively local from the beginning – it is Canberra owned and operated, supporting talented producers in and around the ACT.

The Curatoreum at National Portrait Gallery

The Curatoreum is much more than a book store. Photos: National Portrait Gallery.

The Curatoreum

If your loved one is notoriously tricky to shop for, try The Curatoreum. In this lovingly crafted collection of Australian publishers, authors and artists, rare international titles, and enigmatic jewellery, art and designs, there’s bound to be something extra special at hand.

Browse online or visit stores at the National Arboretum and National Portrait Gallery.

National Library of Australia Bookshop

Find a well-loved title at the National Library Bookshop. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

The Bookshop

The National Library of Australia doesn’t just loan books, it sells them too. Here you can find all manner of titles (fiction, non-fiction and everything in between) alongside prints, journals, stationery, puzzles and games.

Available online or in store at the National Library of Australia.

iron on patches of skywhale, belco owl and galah

Celebrate your love of Canberra with an iron-on patch by Missy Minzy from the NMA Shop. Photo: National Museum of Australia Shop – Instagram.

The Museum Shop

The Museum Shop is yet another curious collection of just about everything. Candles, coasters, cushions and Christmas decorations meet art, books and accessories that are all ethically and Australian made using the best sustainable practices.

Shop in-person at the National Museum of Australia or online.

Original Article published by Morgan Kenyon on Riotact.

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