Ask RiotACT: Chapman or Farrer?

jemma 12 September 2018 15
Ask RiotACT

Hi, Rioters,

My family are moving to Canberra (early next year) and are considering homes in Chapman and Farrer. Can anyone provide any feedback on the public schools (primary and secondary) in these areas?

Secondly, can anyone comment on how long the daily commute is from either of these suburbs to Civic (where my husband will be working)?

Any other thoughts on either suburb are welcome!


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15 Responses to Ask RiotACT: Chapman or Farrer?
woodchick woodchick 2:36 pm 20 Jan 19

I am in Stirling and struggling to decide between Arawang and Chapman for our incoming Year 4 boy. Any thoughts on choosing between these two (we are in Stirling, pretty much geographically in between)?

Kate Conrick Kate Conrick 9:40 am 19 Sep 18

Both suburbs good, for secondary school I would lean towards Stromlo as Melrose has not always had the best rep. Don’t have up to date experience with them though, sorry!

One other consideration is town centers. Canberra is built so that each broader area (tuggeranong, woden, weston, civic, belconnen, etc) act as hubs with a major shopping Centre, with several satellite suburbs each with much smaller shops that might have a cafe, chemist or IGA.

Farrer has a pretty good small shops with lovely cafe as mentioned. It’s also somewhat between Woden and Tuggeranong town centers, which are both large malls, with many shops, many restaurants, many services. Both with semi-industrial shopping streets surrounding them.

Tuggeranong has a huge Bunnings, both have movie theatres, you’ve got several Coles and Woolies around you. Farrer is also very close to Mawson, which (unusually for a satellite suburb) has its own Woolies as well as a large variety of other shops such as hairdressers, cafes, takeaways, bakeries, butchers, bookshops etc. Mawson is actually my favourite shops, and I know a lot of people who go out of their way for the Woolworths there - onsite bakery, fresh fruit, veg and meat is very high quality.

On the other hand, Chapman is close to the Weston town Centre (Cooleman Court) which is a little more like a rural shopping mall, much smaller than the others, but still a decent size with a Woolies and Aldi, many cafes, shops and service stations. It’s also only a 15min drive from Woden, and not much further to Tuggeranong.

So pretty much everything in Canberra is not very far away! I myself find that my local shops and my shopping habits influence my lifestyle. Think about whether you want to be in walking distance, whether you’re looking for local cafes during the week or on a weekend, whether your school age kids want to be closer to bigger shopping centers, where the bus routes are and what your interests are. Farrer is closer to the inter town bus route, Weston has never been great on buses and is currently in public contention for the new proposed routes.

Farrer would be my choice, but Chapman is lovely too! Farrer is also VERY hilly in some areas so depending which street you’re looking at, walking may not be a pleasant stroll 😅

Herc Ules Herc Ules 10:01 pm 17 Sep 18

Any driving in Canberra is better than any of the other capital city. I have no connections with schools anywhere so can't comment.

Nathan Brereton Nathan Brereton 7:23 am 17 Sep 18

Ben Anderson can you help on commute times? cc Ben Johnson

bj_ACT bj_ACT 1:24 pm 16 Sep 18

Farrer also offers very quick direct rapid Bus to Civic. Both are excellent Suburbs if you have the money.

If you want to save money on a house purchase, You can go to the ‘directly neighbouring’ Suburbs of Kambah and Wanniassa.

However the schooling and public transport offerings will plummet for both these Suburbs, despite them being so physically close to Chapman and Farrer on a map. That statistic will tell you about the have’s and have nots of Canberra and why it is worth to ask the question you did.

Enjoy the move, Canberra is a great place for families.

    underwhelmed underwhelmed 7:50 pm 19 Sep 18

    Last time I checked Wanniassa had a better bus service than both Farrer and Chapman, it also has one of the best performing schools in Canberra (Trinity).

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 4:32 pm 20 Sep 18

    Yes good point underwhelmed. It’s about getting into the right part of Wanniassa that has good public transport access, nice houses, great views and being able to afford private schooling.

    Like Kambah it’s a huge Suburb and you need to be savvy about which particular area you buy into.

Tanya Louise Tanya Louise 10:30 am 16 Sep 18

Both have wonderful schools and have similar driving times to civic. You probably encounter a little more traffic from Farrer to the city but not significant. Both are lovely suburbs.

Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 9:54 am 16 Sep 18

Best suburb for people working in Civic is Ainslie, which has two good public schools. It’s probably no more expensive than Farrer or Chapman, has the best local shopping centre in the ACT, is right near Mt Ainslie, is handy to Dickson/Chinatown, and you’ll save $75 a week in parking fees with a 15-20 minute walk to work. Drop the kids at school along the way.

    g210 g210 10:30 am 19 Sep 18

    “It’s probably no more expensive than Farrer or Chapman”
    Ahhh, I think you may want to take another look at recent sale prices in Ainslie. You will certainly get more for your money in Chapman.

Sarah Baker Sarah Baker 5:54 am 16 Sep 18

Farrer Primary is a brilliant school, great community, excellent teachers. The commute to the city is 15 mins from Farrer sometimes a little more but everything is easy in this town! Best cafe Fox and Bow at the local shops. Highly recommend Farrer.

Kim Walkom - Giddings Kim Walkom - Giddings 10:24 pm 15 Sep 18

Chapman and Arawang ( Waramanga ) and Farrer all excellent Primary Schools.

My youngest son currently at Arawang and he couldnt be any happier.

I have professional association with both of the local Highschools - Mt Stromlo closest to Chapman and Melrose closest to Farrer. Both of these highschools have very good reputations and there are excellent teachers at both. The students that I work with in the senior secondary setting ( year 11 and 12) from both of these schools are really great young adults 🙂

Mames Bencke Mames Bencke 8:41 pm 15 Sep 18

I bought a house in Farrer for the primary school. We're still very happy with our decision.

Jo Sumner Jo Sumner 8:20 pm 15 Sep 18

Chapman primary and Arawang primary in Waramanga. I don’t have kids at either but have a great relationship through work, particularly with Arawang .

Courtney Matthew Courtney Matthew 8:18 pm 15 Sep 18

Farrer primary is meant to be good, Torrens primary is very close to farrer & is good. Chapman is a great school. Secondary schools are Melrose & Mt Stromlo. I will give a biased opinion here as I went to Stromlo & my dislike for Melrose is strong.. Commute is about 15 min to half hour, depending on traffic if you are driving, maybe longer by bus.

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