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A look around Canberra – Campbell

By Alexandra Craig 19 June 2015 10

campbell canberra

The suburb of Campbell in Canberra’s inner north is one of our oldest suburbs and has a whole lot of history behind it. Named after Robert Campbell, a politician in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, a merchant, and the owner of Duntroon Station.

Campbell, in my opinion, is one of the nicest parts of Canberra. With beautiful views of Mount Ainslie, daily visits from kangaroos, trees galore, the War Memorial, and a great little set of shops which is also home to restaurant Lanterne Rooms which came in at number ten in the top 20 restaurants in the ACT last year. The Campbell shops also hosted a hugely successful Parties at the Shops earlier this year.

campbell shops

There are three schools here: Canberra Grammar Northside Infants School (the main campus is in Red Hill), Campbell Primary and Campbell High. One super cool thing about Campbell High is that Barack Obama visited in 2011! Pretty much every time I pass that school I think about Obama’s visit to Canberra.

Duntroon falls into the area of Campbell and once upon a time was a sheepstation established in 1825 by James Ainslie. 21 years later Robert Campbell renamed the property Duntroon after his ancestral Duntrune Castle in Scotland. Duntroon House is the oldest building in Canberra and is said to be haunted by Sophia, the granddaughter of Robert.

She died at the age of 27 from bleeding at the brain caused after she fell from her bedroom window. However, there are lots of rumours as to whether she fell or was pushed or perhaps even jumped. There is speculation that she was having an affair with the gardener and her family disapproved, however this has never been proven. There are also records of Sophia’s great nephew stating that he believes she had an epileptic fit which caused her fall.

Several accounts suggest that a ghostly woman in 19th century clothing wanders the floor she fell from, while others suggest that things get thrown around in her bedroom and even that the bed can be made in the morning and a few hours later will look as if someone has slept there.

While Campbell looks like a lovely place to live, it’s definitely not cheap. The median property price so far this year is $967,000, with the top sale of all time smashing it out of the ballpark at $4.6 million in 2005 after first being sold in 1995 for $790,000.

Surprisingly, Campbell is quite a young suburb with a median age of 27. I would have expected it to be a bit older – perhaps with a median age of mid-30s.

Campbell is a picturesque, historic, and expensive suburb all rolled into one. I imagine it’s towards the top of people’s ‘if I could live anywhere in Canberra’ list. It’s definitely on mine.

Quick stats
Streets are named after:  Defence personnel
Federal Electorate: Fraser
Federal MP: Andrew Leigh
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population: 4928
Population breakdown: 58.9 per cent male, 41.1 per cent female (this is a huge difference!)
Average children per family: 1.8
Crime: 276 incidents in 2014 (not including parking infringements)

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10 Responses to
A look around Canberra – Campbell
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Skyring 9:36 am 12 Oct 15

I lived in Campbell for over fifteen years. Fabulous lifestyle for Canberra, with lots of open space, close to Civic, the nearby nature reserves, the lake and the War Memorial. The new developments along Constitution Avenue are not helping things along. The ASIO building blocks off access and views to the lake for many, and that big new development on Anzac Park East is not a positive in my view. Not unless they bring in some public amenity to go with the flats. The multiple occupancies near the shops haven’t really helped except to add more traffic, more cars and their need for parking, block off visual sightlines and remove trees.

The shops have long been a delight following the awful times in the Nineties. Sadly, the newsagent is gone, but the others are thriving. The grocery is one of Canberra’s best IMHO.

I live in Reid now, a different vibe, but I still love Campbell.

Weatherman 10:16 am 20 Jun 15

Campbell, Australian Capital Territory is an affluent suburb of Canberra. A major tourist attraction in Campbell, ACT is the war memorial and monuments. It is possible to view the aspect of the parliamentary triangle and parliament houses along Anzac Parade. Anzac Parade is occasionally used for military parades, ceremonies and processions, which can sometimes result in traffic disruptions, such as detours when events take place in Campbell, ACT. There are mainly older residents in Campbell, such as retired diplomats and politicians among other residents. The exception is the Royal Academy district and community known as Duntroon, Australian Capital Territory, which has a younger demographic due to its tertiary educational facilities.

DeadlySchnauzer 2:50 pm 19 Jun 15

I remember the old nunnery building… shame it went, was an awesomely unique suburban feature sitting right on a residential street.

churl 2:38 pm 19 Jun 15

vintage123 said :

I couldn’t find any info on that record sale, does anyone know which house it was?

It wasn’t a house, it was a nunnery!
Now lots of >55 y townhouses and the remnant snowgums killed by overwatering/fertilising

John Moulis 2:04 pm 19 Jun 15

DeadlySchnauzer said :

FWIW the suburb population stats are massively skewed by the military populations at ADFA/Duntroon/RMC, which are included under Campbell stats and are primarily young guys.

Population breakdown: 58.9 per cent male, 41.1 per cent female (this is a huge difference!) – Duntroon/ADFA again.

arescarti42 1:48 pm 19 Jun 15

vintage123 said :

I couldn’t find any info on that record sale, does anyone know which house it was?

2 Key Street/19 Ryrie Street. It’s now a unit development.

vintage123 12:04 pm 19 Jun 15

I couldn’t find any info on that record sale, does anyone know which house it was?

vintage123 12:00 pm 19 Jun 15

Difficult to get a park at the shops. I wonder how many mr fluffy homes are in the suburb?

DeadlySchnauzer 11:11 am 19 Jun 15

FWIW the suburb population stats are massively skewed by the military populations at ADFA/Duntroon/RMC, which are included under Campbell stats and are primarily young guys.

bryansworld 11:04 am 19 Jun 15

I guess all those young people living at Duntroon and ADFA drag the median age right down!

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