Escape to Gungahlin: how one mum rediscovered Gungahlin shops
Gungahlin is an ideal place to plot a Mum Escape. You know the one: you’ve managed to steal a few hours to yourself to get. stuff. done. Time is ticking. You’re armed with a list of errands and the vain hope of some ‘me’ time. Dilly-dallying is not an option.
But for a while now, Gungahlin, you’ve been a real pain to get around. Like, root canal pain. So many orange cones, closed lanes and confusing detours. Luckily my kids have endless patience. Ha!
Except – hold up - what do you notice about this picture? Or, more importantly, what don’t you notice?
Mums rejoice – Gungahlin has its groove back! Yes, it’s finally free of roadworks! And not a moment too soon, amiright?
You can now return to the trifecta zone – Kmart, Big W and the supermarket in one trip –and not waste a minute of your precious alone time navigating traffic obstacles.
The Mum Escape
The kids are at school or with the babysitter, you’re off work… and you already feel anxious about how to use this precious time to yourself.
That was me last week.
I had three hours and more things to get through than a kid opening one of those LOL doll balls. Plus I was hoping for a moment of me time. Ambitious? Indeed. But thankfully most of what I needed was all in one place – Marketplace Gungahlin.
First we get the coffee, then we do the workee – sound familiar? Even if you’re more of a tea drinker like me, head on over to Atlas for a quiet, top-notch cuppa. You can grab it to go or take a seat inside and enjoy the ambience. And by ‘ambience’ I mean no one asking you to make them a sandwich.
Their fitout is best described as ‘what my house would look like if I didn’t have kids’. SO on trend. My favourite part was all the amazing ivy sprawling across the ceiling beams like a mini rainforest. And, yes, it’s real. I asked!
My budget doesn’t allow for as much pampering these days. I had to give up those weekly full-body seaweed wraps and 24k gold facials when the kids came along. Still, a gal likes to look her best so if you’ve got twenty minutes and twenty-five bucks, do what I did and grab the shape, buff and shellac from Beauty Central (near Kmart).
Shellac isn’t new but, for the uninitiated, it’s a nail polish option that doesn’t chip. I used to walk out of the salon and immediately ruin a nail just by getting out my wallet to pay! No more. This manicure is (mostly) damage proof for up to three weeks – and I’m a mum so you know I’m not gentle on my hands.
If you haven’t walked into Big W and come out with more stuff than you can physically carry, are you even a parent? Hands up who has met another mum for a grown-woman playdate at Kmart once the kids are in bed? Thank you longer opening hours. Almost anything on your shopping list can be found at one of these two places.
More socks to build on our collection of mismatched ones, boom. Contact to cover school books, boom. Utterly indispensable homewares item that you saw on Instagram this morning, double boom.
And for everything else, there’s Woolies
. My kiddos always come home starving so I headed right to the back and checked out their fantastic bakery section. A little pizza roll and some veggie sticks on the side = winning at mum life.
Gah! Pretty soon there was only half an hour left! How does time travel so quickly when I’m shopping alone but feel like an eternity when I’m at the gym? A sit-down lunch would be nice but it would also cut into the time I needed to buy a present for the lady at work who’s leaving. (Why do I always volunteer for these things?)
Luckily, Soul Origin
has a huge window of salads and sandwiches to pick up on the run. Have you tried their pesto barley salad? It’s so good that I think it must have bacon hidden in there somewhere. (It doesn’t. But there’s an idea.)
Almost out of time and just that gift to buy. You’ve probably walked past Book Face
before and thought, books. An astute observation. But did you know they sell gifts too? Not just baseline gifts either, legitimately cool presents. I’m talking, people will think you went to Braddon kinda gifts.
With an emphasis on trying to find local makers, there’s an ever-changing range of items. Their kids section is super cute and keep an eye out, they sometimes have authors making appearances in store.
Oh! And they sell beeswax wraps too for when you want to help the environment… or photograph your child’s lunchbox for Facebook. (Or run out of clingwrap!)
Though three hours went waaaaaaay too quickly, I managed to cross off a whole section of my thirty-five page to-do-list. Best of all, I didn’t have to contend with a single lollypop sign wielding person or road closure. And in the time I saved not having to loop through Throsby and Sutton to enter the Marketplace carpark, I may have treated myself to an ice cream from Gelatissimo on the way out. Totally destroyed the evidence before school pickup – I’ve done this before. See you on our next date, Gungahlin, can’t wait!