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Canberra’s best study spots

Sometimes it takes a change of scenery to spark some much-needed motivation.

Here are some suggestions for places to park yourself and enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, a coffee or some food, and put in some good quality hours of work.

‘The Nash’, Kingston

The National Library of Australia, nicknamed The Nash, is no secret in terms of great study spots.

With one main large reading room and a smaller one downstairs with extended opening hours, students can go in and enjoy access to free Wi-Fi and power outlets. The chairs are comfy, there’s a café inside the building, and you can stay for as long as you need.

Lonsdale St Roasters

Lonsdale Street Roasters 7, Braddon

Not to be confused with Lonsdale Street Roasters 23 or any of the Canberra coffee roaster’s other locations, the 7 is especially great for pulling out your laptop and getting some work done.

Order a coffee downstairs and then head upstairs to their spacious seating room with quirky décor and huge glass windows that looks over Braddon’s Lonsdale St (great for people-watching if you value some procrastination time). With large tables and chairs, lounges and coffee tables, relax without the feeling of having to hurry.

There’s no private Wi-Fi, but you can pick up a great connection to CBR-free Wi-Fi. You’ll even find a couple power-points.

Chatterbox Cafe

Chatterbox Espresso Bar, Belconnen

You won’t find a ‘Chatterbox Wi-Fi’ option come up in the list of available networks on your laptop, but ask one of the friendly staff and they’ll let you in on this little tip: the building Wi-Fi is free to the public, and it works fast!

Located in Belconnen, the good thing about Chatterbox is that you don’t have to go too far from campus and into the CBD, where most of Canberra’s popular food and drink spots are. Sit at a table and get typing.

Monster Kitchen and Bar, New Acton

You won’t find a more inspiring interior layout than that of Monster Kitchen and Bar, located in the reception area of the internationally acclaimed Hotel Hotel. But don’t let the buzzwords ‘internationally acclaimed’ deter you; a tea or coffee isn’t any costlier than your campus café.

During the day, this is a place for lounging out on their couches or sitting at a table, enjoying the fireplace and getting some work done. In fact, it seems encouraged – plenty of people plant themselves here because Monster has a colossal 18-hour opening time.

If you can’t get any work done within 18 hours in this creative space, covered in colour, art, and originality, then when will you?

Meadow cafe

Meadow, Civic

Meadow hasn’t been around for long, but being tucked away in a laneway off London Circuit makes it an ideal study spot. This quiet and humble little cove has mostly outdoor seating and serves great coffee and lunch food.

Again, the connection to CBR-free Wi-Fi works well and the small, but intimate tables are great for a laptop setup. On a nice day, this should be your first point of call, but even in rain and wind, the plastic coverings will keep you warm and dry.  

ONA on The Lawns, Manuka

If you’re a bit of a foodie, then you will know of Cupping Room – one of Canberra’s busiest and most popular cafes. But their sister café, Ona on The Lawns, is the less crazy alternative, where the coffee and food are as good and you can zone into your assignments.

Free Wi-Fi is available. And if the suns out, be sure to sit by their big windows – it might make you feel a little better about that 3,000-word research essay.

Two Before Ten Cafe

Two Before Ten, Civic

If a coffee fan, you’ve probably already stopped by Nomad in the UC Refectory, which serves Two Before Ten coffee. In the sheltered courtyard of Hobart Place, find a seat and stay for breakfast or lunch while working away.

Words by current student Ruby Becker

Images courtesy Two Before Ten, Chatterbox, Meadow