Red Hill in the inner south is probably the only suburb in Canberra that is named after exactly what it is: a red hill. The red soil in the area is believed to be why early settlers named it Red Hill. It’s an older suburb with a gazettal date of 20 September 1928 and is nestled in between Forrest, Griffith and Narrabundah, with Garran and Hughes adjoining over the hill.
Red Hill lookout is one of the best views in Canberra. A short walk, and even shorter drive from Parliament House and Manuka, the view extends past Parliament House down to the lake and even the War Memorial is visible. If you head up there at dawn or dusk you’re likely to see a lot of kangaroos also taking in the view, or eating grass. Mostly eating grass.
The lookout also boasts two eateries; restaurant Onred which is a fancy-ish dining experience, and Little Brother (downstairs) which is a cafe, relaxed style venue.
Down the hill in the actual suburb of Red Hill is a small set of shops. There’s a pharmacy, a butcher, a newsagent/post office, an Asian restaurant and an IGA supermarket. I’m surprised that Red Hill shops don’t have a trendy little cafe, as many of the inner south suburbs do, but perhaps Little Brother at the lookout suffices.
On Mugga Way you’ll find a lot of big, fancy houses, a lot of which are official residences for High Commissioners and Ambassadors. One building, Calthorpes’ House, that sits at number 24 Mugga Way, was built in 1927 and contains original furnishings, appliances, and photos that tell the story of what family life was like in Canberra’s early days. There is even a World War II bunker in the backyard. Calthorpes’ House is open (for a small fee) on weekends from 1.00pm-4.00pm, with tours at 1.00pm, 1.45pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm. Calthorpes’ House has been on my to-do list for years, every time I see the sign in Manuka I think ‘I should do that this weekend’, so maybe this weekend I’ll finally visit!
Street theme: Ships and explorers
Federal Electorate: Canberra
Federal MP: Gai Brodtmann
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population breakdown: 50.9 per cent male, 49.1 per cent female
Average children per family: 1.9<
Crime: 219 incidents in 2015 (not including traffic infringements)