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Moving to Canberra’s inner suburbs?

By GoGwak - 6 April 2015 38

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I’m from Sydney and moving to Canberra for good. My husband is renting in Gunaghlin but as a family we would like to move to an area that has established public schools for my kids. We have heard great things about Turner School/Lyneham Primary/ Lyneham High in inner North, and Garran Primary/Curtin Primary/Red Hill Primary/Telopea Park High in inner South, and would like to buy a place in their PEA.

We have done some basic research and the following suburbs are now on my list for home hunting:

  • O’Connor
  • Lyneham
  • Garran
  • Curtin
  • Griffith

However, we know nothing about these suburbs and would like to know more about them before buying a property there.  Some of my questions include:

Are these suburbs family friendly and safe to live in for young families? I am aware that the inner South seem to be more expensive than the inner north and would like to know why? How is the internet like in those areas?

Ideally we would like to get a house with a backyard for ~$800-850k but we are also happy to get a townhouse instead for a place in inner South. Thanks in advance for your help!

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Moving to Canberra’s inner suburbs?
Affirmative Action M 3:01 pm 08 Apr 15

Garran is a bit snootier & 10 minutes quicker to get to the airport but is a pain to get in or out of at peak hours. Curtin is very practical – has its own Coles 7 minutes to Civic & abt 4 minutes to Woden. Curtin Primary & Deakin high are as good as any public school in the ACT.

vintage123 12:56 pm 08 Apr 15

The new sekisui display home at wright is a little bit above your budget, however if you downsize it a bit or remove some of the inclusions then you may be lucky enough to grab a house and land package in wright and complete it when you save a bit more cash.

crackerpants 8:43 am 08 Apr 15

Curtin Primary is a fantastic school with a dedicated gifted and talented stream. If your children qualify, it bumps them up in terms of priority of placement even if you’re out of area. The new suburbs of Wright and Coombs (actually quite central in terms of Canberra’s long North-South layout) are included in the catchment for Curtin Primary (the zone is shared with Duffy Primary).

Garran Primary is also a very good school, but the only way to get in if you’re out of area is through their dedicated G&T stream, and the entry requirements for their program are far more stringent than Curtin’s.

Curtin and Garran are both great suburbs, and very close to the Woden town centre and our largest (tertiary) hospital, which may or may not suit in terms of employment, but has pretty much everything else you might need.

Maya123 10:06 pm 07 Apr 15

With “~$800-850k” you will have no trouble finding a house or townhouse in an inner suburb. Not everywhere, but there are houses in that price range. There are no bad areas, if you steer away from government blocks of flats. Just look around the area first.

dungfungus 5:44 pm 07 Apr 15

vintage123 said :

What a sad sign of the times regarding home affordability. Last week we were unable to find a place for a sydneysider with a budget of $460k and now we still struggle to find another with a $850k budget. Crazy times.

Be patient, not long now until the bubble bursts and it all becomes a buyer’s market.

vintage123 1:53 pm 07 Apr 15

What a sad sign of the times regarding home affordability. Last week we were unable to find a place for a sydneysider with a budget of $460k and now we still struggle to find another with a $850k budget. Crazy times.

rubaiyat 1:13 pm 07 Apr 15
watto23 11:40 am 07 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

Spiral said :

Aragornerama said :

The internet is fine everywhere in Canberra. I think most of the older suburbs don’t have NBN, but they cope fine without it.

Sadly this is not true.

When we lived in Calwell (until about 2 years ago) we could only get ADSL throught Transact. Telstra would not supply to our house because we were too far from the exchange so we were restricted to ISPs that used the Transact network. Even Transact only supplied it on the understanding that the speed and reliability would not meet their normal standards (and it was bad: slow and many dropouts per day).

The next 10 or so houses dopwn the street couldn’t get ADSL at all.

There were no plans to improve the network as they were just waiting for the NBN to be rolled out.

Transact now offers VDSL2, which is a fair bit faster than ADSL2+, to most suburbs now so you should be fine.

Decent speed Internet is usually cheaper in Canberra than Sydney. Check if NBN is available in your suburub of choice, that is always your best deal.

While most of Canberra should have adecent level of internet service, its always worthwhile checking first!! I could only get ADSL for years until Telstra added ADSL2. But I can’t get any of the cheap deals because they rely on the ISP putting their own equipment into the exchange.

Also for the OP, while some might disagree (i’d argue they also have no sense of reality), we really don’t have a bad suburb in Canberra. there are parts that can be and they are mostly the older blocks of units and flats. Some are in the inner suburbs, so its worth having a look around the area, but in general while crime can happen in Canberra and does, common sense is usually enough to keep you safe.

rubaiyat 8:36 am 07 Apr 15

Spiral said :

Aragornerama said :

The internet is fine everywhere in Canberra. I think most of the older suburbs don’t have NBN, but they cope fine without it.

Sadly this is not true.

When we lived in Calwell (until about 2 years ago) we could only get ADSL throught Transact. Telstra would not supply to our house because we were too far from the exchange so we were restricted to ISPs that used the Transact network. Even Transact only supplied it on the understanding that the speed and reliability would not meet their normal standards (and it was bad: slow and many dropouts per day).

The next 10 or so houses dopwn the street couldn’t get ADSL at all.

There were no plans to improve the network as they were just waiting for the NBN to be rolled out.

Transact now offers VDSL2, which is a fair bit faster than ADSL2+, to most suburbs now so you should be fine.

Decent speed Internet is usually cheaper in Canberra than Sydney. Check if NBN is available in your suburub of choice, that is always your best deal.

Spiral 7:46 am 07 Apr 15

Aragornerama said :

The internet is fine everywhere in Canberra. I think most of the older suburbs don’t have NBN, but they cope fine without it.

Sadly this is not true.

When we lived in Calwell (until about 2 years ago) we could only get ADSL throught Transact. Telstra would not supply to our house because we were too far from the exchange so we were restricted to ISPs that used the Transact network. Even Transact only supplied it on the understanding that the speed and reliability would not meet their normal standards (and it was bad: slow and many dropouts per day).

The next 10 or so houses dopwn the street couldn’t get ADSL at all.

There were no plans to improve the network as they were just waiting for the NBN to be rolled out.

abcde 12:18 am 07 Apr 15

Compared to Sydney, there really isn’t such a thing as “unsafe” areas of Canberra. These suburbs you are after however because they are the most established suburbs of ACT there are the old system of “housos blocks” which you might want to steer clear of. I personally feel more unsafe walking in Parramatta at night than in O’Connor or Lyneham.
Inner South tends to be more expensive because of the diplomatic families living there rising prices. but in terms of $ comparison it is just like comparing upper north shore to lower north shore. (ie different character but around the same price ranges)

Aragornerama 11:37 pm 06 Apr 15

Oh yeah, just noticed O’Connor and Lyneham are on your preliminary list. They’d be fine too, and you’ll be able to afford a pretty nice place there. Garran and Curtin would also be good, but I’m not sure what the schools there are like. Maybe someone else can help. Griffith would be great, but is ridiculously expensive unless you can find a townhouse or duplex.

The internet is fine everywhere in Canberra. I think most of the older suburbs don’t have NBN, but they cope fine without it.

sepi 11:21 pm 06 Apr 15

Be careful – I think Curtin would see you at Curtin primary, not Garran. Garran is very hard to get into unless you live very close. Likewise you would go to Deakin High not Telopea by living in Curtin. the education dept has the school pea maps on their site – check them carefully if you are buying into a suburb based on school plans.

All of those suburbs would be fine to live in though. Just don’t live near any blocks of flats.

Aragornerama 11:19 pm 06 Apr 15

On that budget you could get a really nice place in upper Narrabundah (between Sturt/Jerrabomberra avenue and Red Hill/Griffith). Very safe and pleasant area, but slightly cheaper than the rest of the inner south. As mentioned below, Narrabundah College is one of the best schools in Canberra – if I had kids it’s where I’d send them. As a feeder school, Telopea is probably also good. However there would be a small minority of trouble-makers (unlike Narrabundah, by which time they’ve dropped out). The same goes for any high school in Canberra though, Grammar and co included.

If you opt for the inner North, Reid, Campbell, Turner and Ainslie would be the nicest suburbs. Prices are slightly cheaper because aside from Reid/Campbell it’s not quite as pleasant as the south, but there’s nothing wrong with the area at all.

breda 1:01 pm 06 Apr 15

Griffith/Red Hill/Narrabundah all fit the bill for what you want – but you will not get anything fancy for your money. The main thing is to avoid the large public housing complexes in those suburbs, i.e.Stuart Flats in Griffith and the complex near the Red Hill shops. While many of the residents are decent people, there is a hard core of junkies and crims who prowl nearby areas.

On your budget, you could get a nice apartment or a modest house which needs work in Griffith or Red Hill, or a better house in adjacent Narrabundah. Bundah has Narrabundah College, which is academically one of the top schools in the ACT, and is many thousands cheaper (free) than the local private schools.

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