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Ask RiotACT: Canberra’s most walkable suburbs?

By devorah - 21 June 2016 13

Ask RiotACT

My husband and I are looking to buy in Canberra. We are hoping to find a >1000 sq meter block that offers views. We would either buy a house or build one on an empty lot. Budget is flexible.

Since we have dogs which require a great deal of walking I’m wondering which Canberra suburbs are best for this activity. So, which suburbs would you suggest might meet the above criteria while ALSO having sidewalks and/or lots of paths? Since we like to get a lot of exercise, so we prefer something a bit hilly rather than flat.

Thanks in advance 🙂

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Canberra’s most walkable suburbs?
devorah 6:02 pm 28 Jun 16

Wow, you guys have SO many great and helpful comments. I am so appreciative! This gives me a lot more avenues to explore (bad pun). I’ll check this thread again soon in case anyone else decides to opine.

Ezy, thanks for thinking of us. We are looking to buy in the next year or two; however, we were hoping to be north of Kambah.

devils_advocate 10:49 am 24 Jun 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

“>1000 sq meter block”
I doubt you would be able to buy a huge empty block like that in Canberra, as I don’t think any that huge are offered for sale any more. You would need to buy an existing house to get a block that big. Some existing inner suburbs have some blocks that big, but not all. Blocks around my inner suburb are about 640 sq metres, but that’s big enough for me, as I fitted in over twenty fruit trees (properly spaced), vines and bushes, plus six good sized vegetable gardens. And there was still room for a decorative garden, 48,000litre rain water tank, etc.

Some of the mister fluffy blocks that have been auctioned would come close to fitting the requirement. They also have a special zoning allowance that permits subdivision.

TracyS 12:06 am 24 Jun 16

Canberra is a planned city with most areas having some degree of access to public open spaces (nature reserves. Patks…). You would be more likely to find the larger blocks you describe in the older suburbs. Whether they are affordable depends upon how flexible your budget really is.

HenryBG 2:00 pm 22 Jun 16

rommeldog56 said :

Fadden and Macarthur back onto a ridge. East Kambah up Learmonth Drive backs onto the Urambi Hills. Most parts of Tuggeranong are close to hills or ridges.

Yeah, but Fadden and Macarthur are constantly bathed in tip smells, according to the people who live there. Even if the tip smells are just hype, you still have all the whining to deal with.
Move slightly West of there and you have over 100 800m2 hill-side blocks in Wanniassa with excellent views to the Tinderries, Namadgi, Tidbinbilla, and Brindabella. The northern edge of Kambah is similarly blessed. Plenty of *prime* nearby reserve for walking. However, be warned, the local playing fields have signs up on Saturdays to the effect of, “This is just a game, do not abuse the children or the refs”, which gives you an idea of the sort of people who live there.
There are suburbs further South than Wanniassa and Kambah which present excellent opportunities for gaining first-hand experience of burglary and road rage. Local playing fields are expertly decorated with Friday-night circle-work.
Weston Creek is a bit limited for choice and hillside locations – I think there are only about 20,000 houses there in total, very few with decent views. It’s a lovely place and worth keeping in mind, but the chances of something good coming up co-inciding with when you are looking aren’t going to be great. Above-average class of people.
The inner North is flat and boring. Local playing fields tell you, “Before you complain, ask yourself, what have *you* done to help improve your club” which gives you an idea of the kind of people who live there.
Belconnen is just depressing. Visiting the local playing fields on a Saturday gives you the maximum chance of seeing some real live abuse.
The inner South has about 50 houses in (upper) Narrabundah that have spectacularly good Northward views. But you’re living alongside people who send their children to Telopea, so maybe not worth it, also the local playing fields are mostly deserted on a Saturday, which gives you an idea of the sort of juvenile weight-gain that is in action in the area.

Any suburb newer than about 20 years consists of micro-blocks which should be avoided.

Maybe try NSW – extensive development right under the airport flight-path will suit you if you are aurally disabled.

Ryoma 9:19 pm 21 Jun 16

This website may help in broad terms regarding the distances to services: https://www.walkscore.com/

I don’t know how many blocks of the size you are looking for remain, though. You might be better off living beyond the ACT’s borders and commuting, in order to have that amount of space. Good luck 🙂

Masquara 8:39 pm 21 Jun 16

Why 1000 square metres? There are heaps of 850 square metre blocks in the inner north. If you’re after a large garden, you could buy a largeish but small-footprint two-storey house on an 850 square metre block. In Ainslie you can get a house near Mt Ainslie (great for walks) with views to Black Mountain for under a million. If you go over $1 million you can do same in Campbell. (nb I think there are quite a few houses on 1000 metre + blocks at the top of Campbell.) Ditto O’Connor if you spend over a million.

madelini 2:02 pm 21 Jun 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

“>1000 sq meter block”
I doubt you would be able to buy a huge empty block like that in Canberra, as I don’t think any that huge are offered for sale any more. You would need to buy an existing house to get a block that big. Some existing inner suburbs have some blocks that big, but not all. Blocks around my inner suburb are about 640 sq metres, but that’s big enough for me, as I fitted in over twenty fruit trees (properly spaced), vines and bushes, plus six good sized vegetable gardens. And there was still room for a decorative garden, 48,000litre rain water tank, etc.

There are probably a few ex-Fluffy blocks coming up for sale – I might be wrong, but I don’t think they have all been subdivided.

Aside from that, as other people have mentioned, Tuggeranong is hilly and has lots of paths and nature reserves, with a lot of larger blocks (albeit with houses). Also worth looking in Woden – Torrens, Pearce and Chifley are all close to Mt Taylor, and Isaacs backs onto the ridge.

crackerpants 12:02 pm 21 Jun 16

If you want hills, you’re most likely to get that on the nature trails as listed by Ezy above – these are not paved, however, and your dog must be on lead. Weston Creek suburbs (esp. Weston, Duffy, Fisher and Chapman) will get you lots of hilly walking within suburbs on footpaths, although it’s still a good idea to be prepared for some dirt/grass. Duffy is brilliant for easy walking access to Mt Arawang/Cooleman Ridge/Narrabundah Hill/Stromlo.

The new suburbs in Molonglo (Wright, Coombs, Denman Prospect) have brilliant access to Mt Stromlo, the Arboretum and the pine forest (fire trails) in between, but I don’t think there would be anything much above 600 sq metres and you’ll pay a fortune for what you do get.

Maya123 11:38 am 21 Jun 16

“>1000 sq meter block”
I doubt you would be able to buy a huge empty block like that in Canberra, as I don’t think any that huge are offered for sale any more. You would need to buy an existing house to get a block that big. Some existing inner suburbs have some blocks that big, but not all. Blocks around my inner suburb are about 640 sq metres, but that’s big enough for me, as I fitted in over twenty fruit trees (properly spaced), vines and bushes, plus six good sized vegetable gardens. And there was still room for a decorative garden, 48,000litre rain water tank, etc.

devils_advocate 11:05 am 21 Jun 16

You might also like the design of the blocks in Curtin – the front of the blocks all face towards a common parkland, with walking paths etc. It means you can walk to the shops or schools etc without crossing any roads. The paths also go through the Woden Valley and into Deakin, Garran etc.

Raging Tempest 9:39 am 21 Jun 16

Fadden and Macarthur back onto a ridge. East Kambah up Learmonth Drive backs onto the Urambi Hills. Most parts of Tuggeranong are close to hills or ridges.

pink little birdie 9:30 am 21 Jun 16

When are you looking?

My mum is in the process of preparing her house in Kambah for selling and meets the requirements of listed above.

There is still a few months before she can put it on the market though

Ezy 8:13 am 21 Jun 16

Chapman + Rivett with Cooleman Ridge.
Duffy with Narrabundah Hill and Mt Stromlo
Kambah + Torrens + Pearce + Chifley with Mt Taylor.
Lyons with Oakey Hill
Farrer with Farrer Ridge.
Isaacs with Isaacs Ridge.
Red Hill + Deakin + Garran + Hughes with Red Hill.
Campbell + Ainslie with Mt Ainslie
Hackett + Watson with Mount Majura
Lyneham + O’Connor + Turner with Bruce Ridge and Black Mountain
Aranda with Aranda Bushland
Cook with Mt Painter
Hawker + Weetangera with The Pinnacle.

You aren’t really short of choices but it all depends on your budget.

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