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A look around Canberra – Yarralumla

By Alexandra Craig - 11 September 2015 26

Yarralumla suburb sign

One suburb that almost always makes the list of the ACT’s top three most expensive suburbs is Yarralumla. Nestled in the inner south, between Parliament House, Lake Burley Griffin and Curtin, Yarralumla was named for an Aboriginal word meaning ‘echo’. The suburb was first gazetted in 1928.

Yarralumla is home to a whole whack of embassies and official residences of ambassadors from across the globe. A self-guided tour around the embassies is always an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. The National Capital Authority has even published a leaflet with a summary of each embassy and a map showing where each is located. If you forget to print out the leaflet you can always make a game of it and guess which country is represented by each embassy.

Yarralumla is home not only to foreign dignitaries but also to Australia’s Governor General who resides at Government House. Often visiting dignitaries will stay overnight here. From memory, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently visited with their son Prince George.

Yarralumla shops

This suburb has a pretty good set of shops too. It has the basics like an IGA and a bakery, but also has a few fantastic cafes and what I think is the world’s best kebab shop. While there have been debates on the RiotACT before as to how good the kebab shop is, I think the line snaking out the door at lunchtime speaks for itself.

Yarralumla playground

There’s also the Yarralumla Brickworks which closed in the mid 1970s after operating since around 1913. There is a development proposal for the site but a lot of the locals are against it. It seems that the developers take one step forward, three steps back. The Brickworks is said to be haunted – maybe the locals just want to protect the ghosts!

Yarralumla also has several parklands that are fantastic to take the dog for a walk in or to go for a run. It also has close proximity to the lake if you feel like you need a water view.

Quick stats
Streets are named after:  Governors and botanists
Federal Electorate: Canberra
Federal MP: Gai Brodtmann
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population: 2922
Population breakdown: 48.2 per cent male, 51.2 per cent female 
Average children per family: 1.9
Crime: 198 incidents in 2014 (not including traffic infringements)

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26 Responses to
A look around Canberra – Yarralumla
Maya123 11:23 am 14 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

They are deciduous trees at Yarralumla. This can be seen in he above photograph and by checking Google maps. The outside sitting area on the west of the building does have northern access.

I’m rather familiar with the half dead landscaping of the area, but if you are content with the deciduous trees, how are you going to perish in the sun?

I am also familiar with the western seating area in the shade of the awnings, toilet block and building for most of the day.

Again why is it so difficult to grasp the concept of orienting to winter sunshine and summer shade?

Having seen yet more insanely awful interpretations of supposedly “solar” housing this weekend, I am coming the conclusion there was not just asbestos in all those early Canberra houses but lead in the paint of the windowsills Canberrans chewed on as children.

I live in a solar house that never needs cooling and rarely has a heater on. In fact, it was built without heating. So I know about orientation. In fact, whenever I looked at a house with purchase in mind, I always took a compass with me. A small blow heater is all that is needed for the rare occasion it is cold enough, although I have now had an efficient wood-fired stove included, as because it isn’t needed very often, I am able to gather enough free wood to use in it. My winter electricity use was about $90, and it was that high, because I needed to turn the booster on for the solar hot water, not because the house was heated (with electricity). I maybe heated the house one evening with electricity; that’s all.
Anyway, back to the subject, Yarralumla Shops. The shops were built in an era before outside dining, and were not designed with that in mind. Short of knocking the whole place down and starting again, it is limited what can be done with them. In winter I usually sit inside cafes, because it is warmer, and I think heating the outside air is energy wasting. In summer I want shade. The shops, as they are now, can cater for this.

rubaiyat 11:14 am 14 Sep 15

I’d take a cue from the weed infested Tank-Barrier landscaping and struggling trees in the almost perpetual shade.

There seems to be an odd connection with how badly public spaces fare and the plants sentenced to death in them.

Can’t quite put my finger on what that is. Now, where is that sun again? I remember seeing it somewhere around here… Ah there it is, keeping the dumpsters in the back laneway warm!

rubaiyat 10:44 am 14 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

They are deciduous trees at Yarralumla. This can be seen in he above photograph and by checking Google maps. The outside sitting area on the west of the building does have northern access.

I’m rather familiar with the half dead landscaping of the area, but if you are content with the deciduous trees, how are you going to perish in the sun?

I am also familiar with the western seating area in the shade of the awnings, toilet block and building for most of the day.

Again why is it so difficult to grasp the concept of orienting to winter sunshine and summer shade?

Having seen yet more insanely awful interpretations of supposedly “solar” housing this weekend, I am coming the conclusion there was not just asbestos in all those early Canberra houses but lead in the paint of the windowsills Canberrans chewed on as children.

Maya123 10:30 am 14 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

They are deciduous trees at Yarralumla. This can be seen in he above photograph and by checking Google maps. The outside sitting area on the west of the building does have northern access.

rubaiyat 12:12 pm 13 Sep 15

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

rubaiyat 11:56 am 13 Sep 15

Almost as dumb as leaf blowers are the rows of ineffective gas heaters outside all our eating places just because no-one can get the bleedin’ obvious:

The sun is in the north!

rubaiyat 11:53 am 13 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

I think that photo of the shops captures the natural dark and cold gloom, lack of landscaping talent, and the inability to use the National Car Parks that abound in Canberra, “Because God made it that way!”

Those shops are active and used by locals, as are most small shopping centres in inner suburbs. Unlike many in the outer suburbs, which are dying, if not already dead and abandoned, because those residents prefer the mall. Different mindset.

Yup, the photo looks a bit gloomy but there was actually a fair few people around and it was first thing in the morning. I just waited till they got out of frame before I took the photo (not because I don’t want them in it, I just don’t want people going nuts at me for taking their photo)

Doesn’t change the cold damp windswept pavement, whether people are standing on it or not.

Don’t know why they didn’t just move the cafes and dining to the other (sunny) side of the street rather than have the miserable offices there with their blinds all pulled down.

The fact that this is normal everywhere in Canberra must surely indicate some yearning by the Town Planners to be back in their miserable Old Blighty, where they can’t find the sun either, but only because it rarely makes an appearance..

If it’s warm enough to sit outside a cafe I want shade, not belting down sun. The expression, “Only mad dogs and…” comes to mind for those who want hot sun.

Isn’t that back to front thinking?

That’s what umbrellas are for.

What do you do under the south facing cold windswept awnings in the middle of our beautifully sunny winters?

HenryBG 9:51 pm 11 Sep 15

Haven’t been there in ages, but I used to appreciate the butcher, the supermarket, and the Thai restaurant when I lived just up the road.

creative_canberran 7:05 pm 11 Sep 15

You forgot the nursery, which moved to Yarralumla in 1914 from the present site of the National Museum where it was established in 1910. It provided most of the plants for the older parts of Canberra, both public and private plantings.

Maya123 5:35 pm 11 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

I think that photo of the shops captures the natural dark and cold gloom, lack of landscaping talent, and the inability to use the National Car Parks that abound in Canberra, “Because God made it that way!”

Those shops are active and used by locals, as are most small shopping centres in inner suburbs. Unlike many in the outer suburbs, which are dying, if not already dead and abandoned, because those residents prefer the mall. Different mindset.

Yup, the photo looks a bit gloomy but there was actually a fair few people around and it was first thing in the morning. I just waited till they got out of frame before I took the photo (not because I don’t want them in it, I just don’t want people going nuts at me for taking their photo)

Doesn’t change the cold damp windswept pavement, whether people are standing on it or not.

Don’t know why they didn’t just move the cafes and dining to the other (sunny) side of the street rather than have the miserable offices there with their blinds all pulled down.

The fact that this is normal everywhere in Canberra must surely indicate some yearning by the Town Planners to be back in their miserable Old Blighty, where they can’t find the sun either, but only because it rarely makes an appearance..

If it’s warm enough to sit outside a cafe I want shade, not belting down sun. The expression, “Only mad dogs and…” comes to mind for those who want hot sun.

rubaiyat 1:56 pm 11 Sep 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

I think that photo of the shops captures the natural dark and cold gloom, lack of landscaping talent, and the inability to use the National Car Parks that abound in Canberra, “Because God made it that way!”

Those shops are active and used by locals, as are most small shopping centres in inner suburbs. Unlike many in the outer suburbs, which are dying, if not already dead and abandoned, because those residents prefer the mall. Different mindset.

Yup, the photo looks a bit gloomy but there was actually a fair few people around and it was first thing in the morning. I just waited till they got out of frame before I took the photo (not because I don’t want them in it, I just don’t want people going nuts at me for taking their photo)

Doesn’t change the cold damp windswept pavement, whether people are standing on it or not.

Don’t know why they didn’t just move the cafes and dining to the other (sunny) side of the street rather than have the miserable offices there with their blinds all pulled down.

The fact that this is normal everywhere in Canberra must surely indicate some yearning by the Town Planners to be back in their miserable Old Blighty, where they can’t find the sun either, but only because it rarely makes an appearance..

Alexandra Craig 1:38 pm 11 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

I think that photo of the shops captures the natural dark and cold gloom, lack of landscaping talent, and the inability to use the National Car Parks that abound in Canberra, “Because God made it that way!”

Those shops are active and used by locals, as are most small shopping centres in inner suburbs. Unlike many in the outer suburbs, which are dying, if not already dead and abandoned, because those residents prefer the mall. Different mindset.

Yup, the photo looks a bit gloomy but there was actually a fair few people around and it was first thing in the morning. I just waited till they got out of frame before I took the photo (not because I don’t want them in it, I just don’t want people going nuts at me for taking their photo)

Maya123 11:11 am 11 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

I think that photo of the shops captures the natural dark and cold gloom, lack of landscaping talent, and the inability to use the National Car Parks that abound in Canberra, “Because God made it that way!”

Those shops are active and used by locals, as are most small shopping centres in inner suburbs. Unlike many in the outer suburbs, which are dying, if not already dead and abandoned, because those residents prefer the mall. Different mindset.

rubaiyat 10:20 am 11 Sep 15

I think that photo of the shops captures the natural dark and cold gloom, lack of landscaping talent, and the inability to use the National Car Parks that abound in Canberra, “Because God made it that way!”

tim_c 9:55 am 11 Sep 15

Just be very careful around those shops – the number of people who have rammed their cars through the front of those shops is alarming. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed by a person unable/unfit to operate a motorised vehicle, yet still allowed to. You can see evidence of one such incident in the second photograph above.

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