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Narrabundah safe?

By tm28 - 20 October 2010 20

Following up on the Evatt question, does anyone have any experience of living in Narrabundah (the shops side) and is it a good place to raise kids etc?

Is there a lot of crime?

It doesn’t seem to be any better or worse than most suburbs based on the Police Stats but people are cautioning us against living there.

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Narrabundah safe?
AG Canberra 8:31 am 21 Oct 10

People please – all Canberra suburbs are safe and all Canberra suburbs have crime!

Every single suburb has Gov housing. Every single suburb has group houses. Every sinlge suburb has theft, speeding, graffiti, a resident wierdo, bored youth and very occasssionally assaults and murders.

What’s more important is your direct neighbours and whether they may impact on your life – noisy cars, aggro dogs, stereos, domestics etc.

Before buying or renting, go and knock on the doors and speak to your prospective neighbours….

But this “Is suburb A better/safer/cleaner than Suburb B?” is a complete waste of time.

Captain RAAF 8:07 am 21 Oct 10

GBT said :

cars being broken into by aboriginals, etc.

dr. faustus said :

There are small, crappy houses selling for half a million dollars attracting young professional families, and plenty of public housing houses. There are crazy people and old people and petrol-head bogans and and lots

dsblue55 said :

Within the first 6 months of the lease though there were a couple of break-ins and a sexual assault

My partner and myself were verbally abused and physically intimidated several times when walking to the local shops.

The icing on the cake however was when we had a guy attempt to bash down the front door (and leave a huge dent in the property’s screen door) screaming for somebody he thought lived there to come out.

We basically spent the greater part of the lease (without exaggeration) barely feeling safe in our own home, let alone outside.

On top of that the price we were paying for the crappy fibro house we were living in was outrageous. I know Canberra rental prices are high but I’ve seen similar style and size houses in some of the Woden suburbs for 2/3 the price.

I would never live there again.

bd84 said :

From what I hear, the further away from the Narrabundah shops you are, the safer you will be.

majorLazer said :

It is very dodgy and unsafe IMO.

taninaus said :

about a year ago about someone slashing tires on the Fyshwick side if you left your car on the street or nature strip

there are a higher proportion of Government housing which can affect the neighbours you get

Sounds awesome!

leemansterns 12:54 am 21 Oct 10

I have lived in Old Narrabundah for 15 years and puchased the house from my grandparents who moved into the area in 1954. My wife and I have two children under five and think it is a great place to live and raise a family. We are a three minute walk from the shops and the ACT Government’s maternal and childrens health clinic which is very convenient. There are two very good childcare facilities and the Narrabundah Early Childhood School opened at the end of last year after a major refurbishment. It is a feeder school for Red Hill and Forrest Primary Schools which are both well regarded. There is also St Benedicts, a Catholic primary school.

Within a 5-10 minute drive are the shopping precincts of Manuka, Kingston, Woden and Fyshwick Markets, as well as both Canberra and John James Hospitals (which has been beneficial for us when we have had sick kids, especially after hours). The City Centre and airport are also within a 10 minute drive.

We have noticed a significant change in the demographics of Old Narrabundah in the last 15 years with an increasing number of young families moving into the neighbourhood. For instance in the last two years five properties have been sold close to our place. All five were puchased by youngish professional couples (from their early 30s to early 40s), four of the five couples have either babies, toddlers or young children under the age of ten. In addition, five of my work colleagues, all with young children also live in Old Narrabundah. Prams are now a common site especially at the local shops when once they were rare.

The shops themselves have also improved dramatically, for a long time there was only one mediocre Italian restaurant, now there are three good restaurants (Italian, modern Australian and Indian) with a fourth due to open soon and a very good cafe. The shops have a good community feel and we are fortunate to know many of the business owners and it would be rare for us to go to the shops and not run into someone that we know. My only issue with raising kids in Old Narrbundah is that there is only one small playground.

In terms of crime, we feel safe even though over the years we have had a car tire slashed (12 years ago) and a car window broken (6 years ago). We are also aware of a couple of nearby homes being broken into over the years but I do not feel the rate of cime is any worse than other areas in Canberra. Friends and family in more ‘affluent’ suburbs have been subjected to more criminal acts than we have (breakins, car theft, letterbox bombs, etc.). There are a number of public housing properties, two close to us have previously been the source of public disturbances which has required the occasional police intervention (there haven’t necessarily been any crimes committed). The Government sold one of these homes, the one with especially noisy tenants, about 18 months ago.

I sympathise with dsblue55 and agree with previous posts that even within Old Narrabundah there are some areas better than others. We are fortunate to have very good neighbours around us. I would be cautious about moving into a place between Kootara Cres and Canberra Ave (ie. where Bungonia St is) although I know a couple with three kids under six that live in that part of Narrabundah (not Bungonia St) and they recently completed a major extension and certainly have plans to stay in the neighbourhood.

A final suggestion would be to get in touch with the President of the Old Narrabundah Community Council, John, who is a local business owner and has lived in the area for long time. From a community perspective he seems to know everything about the past and what is planned for the future.

taninaus 6:33 pm 20 Oct 10

Search back in RiotAct there was some chatter about a year ago about someone slashing tires on the Fyshwick side if you left your car on the street or nature strip – a protest of sorts. Not sure if this is still the case.

I haven’t lived there but worked with some of the community agencies in the area and it can depend where you live in that area and the neighbours – there are a higher proportion of Government housing which can affect the neighbours you get, and I imagine the fibro houses are a bit cheaper as well. However, not all not so well off folks are trouble, just a few of them – actually some well off folks can be trouble too.

majorLazer 4:25 pm 20 Oct 10

I live near the side that is basically one street from Griffith! Seriously the naming convention is very odd since I’am closer to the Griffith shops than the Narrabundah One.
Like watto said don’t buy a house near that area of blocks, It is very dodgy and unsafe IMO.

Try more towards the catholic school side or Griffith, the shops are much safer and It too has got pretty good restaurants.

Bus stops are much more closer and you can actually walk to Manuka(10 mins) or Kingston(15-20 mins)

Hope this helps 😀

astrojax 4:03 pm 20 Oct 10

bd84 said :

From what I hear, the further away from the Narrabundah shops you are, the safer you will be.

charnwood is quite a distance…

Gantz 3:58 pm 20 Oct 10

Plus you have that mentally unstable guy living across from the takeaway that cant help but continue to ‘renovate’ his home by placing the oddest things on his roof and blaring classical music for everyone to hear.

bd84 3:36 pm 20 Oct 10

From what I hear, the further away from the Narrabundah shops you are, the safer you will be.

dsblue55 2:54 pm 20 Oct 10

I had a pretty bad experience living in Narrabundah. Sorry if the following sounds a bit drama queenish but it was a pretty crappy 12 months for me living there.

I actually only moved out of a rental property in the older part of Narrabundah (on Bungonia Street) about 7 months ago. Before moving there I had heard that Narrabundah had a bad reputation, but was happy to ignore it and actually see for myself. I was actually pretty optimistic when my partner and myself moved in and for a couple of months we were quite happy with the place.

Within the first 6 months of the lease though there were a couple of break-ins and a sexual assault (CT article @ http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/sex-assault-in-narrabundah/1501888.aspx)just on our street. We didn’t have very good neighbours on one side or behind us (which granted you can get anywhere…). The one’s behind us though would continually try and use our fenced off backyard and driveway as a thoroughfare, even after we padlocked the gate on the driveway.

We did have some good neighbours though on the other side of us. I believe had been there for 6 years if my memory serves me correctly. They ended up moving out a month before we did. They told us before they left that they felt that the part of Narrabundah we were in used to be a really nice, safe place but over the past couple of years it had really gone down hill. They had a young daughter and just weren’t happy living there anymore.

My partner and myself were verbally abused and physically intimidated several times when walking to the local shops where the main bus stop is. The icing on the cake however was when we had a guy attempt to bash down the front door (and leave a huge dent in the property’s screen door) screaming for somebody he thought lived there to come out.

We basically spent the greater part of the lease (without exaggeration) barely feeling safe in our own home, let alone outside. Being quite honest I’ve only just started feeling relaxed again and stopped worrying when I hear sounds outside, and as I said it’s been over 7 months. We would have have left much earlier but we weren’t in a position to break the rental lease and organise bond for another move.

On top of that the price we were paying for the crappy fibro house we were living in was outrageous. I know Canberra rental prices are high but I’ve seen similar style and size houses in some of the Woden suburbs for 2/3 the price.

Reading some of the comments here it seems that people have very different experiences of Narrabundah. But based on my experiences of that older part of Narrabundah, if one of my friends or family members was looking to rent or buy there I would be going out of my way to encourage them not to.

Up to you TM28, but I would never live there again.

watto23 2:21 pm 20 Oct 10

Theres a block of units on the backside of the oval there cnr sturt and captain cook cres, that seem to give Narabundah the wrap it gets. I’ve trained on the ground and it was a regular occurance to hear a lot of yelling and screaming plus see cops go pay a visit. My mates in the police force say that generally bad areas are now getting confined to the cheaper unit type accomodation in all areas.

knuckles 2:18 pm 20 Oct 10

I grew up in Narrabundah in the 70’s and 80’s. Very different now to back then. I remember when the government decided to sell off the pre-fab houses in old Narrabundah for $15k, house and land. My dad said I should buy one, but I had just left school and was more interested in buying a car. Wish I had listened to my dad now though.

colourful sydney rac 1:44 pm 20 Oct 10

GBT said :

I grew up in Narrabundah (Near the college though, not the shops side) and it was fine. My brother also lived on the shops side a couple of years ago and they had a few more issues, cars being broken into by aboriginals, etc.

Overall though, no huge issues. Obviously there is a safer side but you obviously pay for the privilege.

Nice one GBT, time to get out the white sheets and ropes.

Postalgeek 1:27 pm 20 Oct 10

I lived in Narrabundah, 200 meters from the shops, for 12 years until 2006. It’s a perfectly normal suburb, and has a good sense of community.
Yes, there were small problems with petty crime, but I’ve had as many problems in Griffith in 4 years as I had in Narrabundah in 12. No more than you’d expect in most suburbs.

People who bitch about the place are probably sore coz they didn’t buy into it when it was dirt cheap.

dr. faustus 12:50 pm 20 Oct 10

I previously lived in “Upper Narrabundah” (the Red Hill side) and currently live in “Old Narrabundah” (the bit near the shops). I’ve lived in Old Narrabundah for four years now, and I really like it. (No one outside Narrabundah will use those terms, but they’re handy for distinguishing the various parts of the suburb, which are quite different in practice.)

Like a lot of the older Canberra suburbs, it has a pretty mixed population. There are small, crappy houses selling for half a million dollars attracting young professional families, and plenty of public housing houses. There are crazy people and old people and petrol-head bogans and and lots and lots of perfectly normal people.

Popping down to the Narrabundah shops is a good way to get a feel of the place – it’s particularly bustling on a Saturday morning, particularly with young families. It has some good, some decent, and some potentially dodgy food places, but as a local shopping strip goes, its probably among the better ones in Canberra (IMHO). Being walking distance from Kingston and the Fyshwick Markets is also a huge plus.

I don’t know what the crime stats are like, but I’ve had my car broken into twice whilst living in Canberra, and both were while I lived in Upper Narrabundah. We haven’t had any problems with crime where we are now, and I can’t recall any of our friends who also live around here reporting any issues. You do get the occasional hoons on the streets, but not to an unusual extent.

As you can maybe guess, I’m a fan of Narrabundah. When previously I had mentioned to other Canberrans that I was moving (and then lived) there, I got all sorts of cautionary tales, all of which I’m now certain were based on little or no actual experience with the place. Housing here isn’t dirt cheap, but it’s 10-15 minutes into Civic in peak hour and about the same into Woden, and near Kingston and Manuka, so that’s probably not all that surprising.

GBT 11:33 am 20 Oct 10

I grew up in Narrabundah (Near the college though, not the shops side) and it was fine. My brother also lived on the shops side a couple of years ago and they had a few more issues, cars being broken into by aboriginals, etc.

Overall though, no huge issues. Obviously there is a safer side but you obviously pay for the privilege.

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