This week I’m heading back up the GDE (or via Northbourne and Flemington Road, depending on which you prefer) to my first hometown in Canberra: Gungahlin. The suburb of Gungahlin is named after the Aboriginal word meaning ‘white man’s house’ or ‘little rocky hill’. It was originally spelt ‘Goongarline’.
I moved here back in 2011 when I was a brand new jellybean to Canberra and thought ’20 minutes seems like a reasonable time to travel to work.’ Unfortunately no one told me about the GDE roadworks (probably because I didn’t know a single soul here) and some days it would take me 45-50+ minutes to get to work. I saw out my 12 month lease and then high-tailed it out of there.
The above paragraph comes with a big ‘however’, because although I moved, I actually didn’t mind Gungahlin. It’s a pretty nice place and I found that most people were generally quite friendly and community oriented. Sadly the same can’t be said for other parts of Canberra that I’ve lived in.
It’s no secret that Gungahlin is booming. I probably head up there every couple of months and am always astounded as to how different it looks to the last time I visited, and even moreso how much it’s changed in the last 5 years. I had zero friends for a period of time after moving here so I used to spend my weekends doing a lot of walking, so I feel like I’ve seen all of Gungahlin on foot. I visited a couple of weeks ago and there’s a giant Bunnings Warehouse smack bang where there was a vacant block what seemed like 3 months ago. It popped up out of nowhere!
Hibberson Street, the main drag of Gungahlin, is a bit of a hot issue at the moment. Local MLA Meegan Fitzharris is pushing for Hibberson Street to become closed to vehicular traffic, a pedestrian only zone. She ran a survey recently and there was a strong show of support for her proposal. I have to say that I agree, and I think it’s a great idea. That street was quite congested with traffic when I lived around the corner in 2011, and it’s even worse now. I also think closing it off to traffic would open up the possibility of Gungahlin having their very own Sunday markets, and would also allow for the local restaurants to open up more al-fresco dining options.
One of my favourite parts of Gungahlin is Yerrabi Pond. Not only is it a lovely spot for a picnic (there’s also communal BBQs available) or an afternoon walk or cycle with your leashed dog, but it’s also great for kids with a playground and flying fox – I wish I wasn’t too tall for the flying fox!
Street theme: Industrialists, aspects of industry, and Gungahlin district pioneers.
Federal Electorate: Fraser
Federal MP: Andrew Leigh
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population breakdown: 49.5 per cent male, 50.5 per cent female
Average children per family: 1.8<
Crime: 720 incidents in 2015 (not including traffic infringements)