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See Barton Differently

See Barton Differently

Hotel Realm and the Realm Precinct are home to many cool cafes in Barton. Photo: Region Media.

The centrally located suburb of Barton may be a stone’s throw from Parliament House and accommodate several Commonwealth Government departments, but those in the know will tell you that the tightly-held area near Lake Burley Griffin is also a fabulous place to live. It is conveniently located, set in lovely tree-lined surrounds and offers easy access to a wealth of restaurants, cafes and bars.

Thinking about visiting or moving to Barton? Here’s what you need to know.

Background and history

Named after Sir Edmund Barton, Australia’s first Prime Minister, Barton has one of the smallest suburb populations in Canberra. According to ABS data, Barton was once the most socio-economic advantaged suburb in Australia, with public servants, politicians, and political staffers making their homes in the area.

While most of Barton – including the residential area – is the inner south, a section of Barton can be found in the inner north. This small section is directly across Lake Burley Griffin and takes in Clare Holland House and the high-end dining venue Boathouse by the Lake.

See Barton Differently

Wander across to Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: Region Media.


While Barton doesn’t have its own shopping centre, neighbouring Kingston and Manuka both have group centres that can cater to your shopping needs.

The Barton Grocer in Macquarie Street is a small supermarket which has a cool and contemporary vibe oozing from every corner. It sells a wide range of unique products, many of which are sourced locally, and has a focus on healthy and whole foods while also stocking many of the more traditional supermarket lines. There’s an on-site bottle shop, a flower bar and a café, and the store has built a reputation as a go-to for fresh, delicious ready-to-eat meals.

Places of interest and things to do

Barton may be small but there’s plenty to do, see and savour. It’s home to a range of gourmet restaurants including Ottoman Cuisine, Vincent, and Ostani, to name but a few.

  • Head to the Realm Precinct. It’s where you’ll find cool cafes, restaurants covering a range of cuisines, and the Burbury Hotel, where you can indulge in a decadent high tea on the rooftop terrace.
  • Check out some world-class national attractions. With the Parliamentary Triangle right nearby, there is no shortage of places to visit, including Parliament House. The National Gallery of Australia, the National Library, the National Portrait Gallery and Questacon are a short stroll away.
  • Immerse yourself in nature in the leafy surrounds of Telopea Park. The beautiful shaded park has abundant green space, tall trees, picnic areas and a playground for kids. In autumn, the colours of the changing leaves put on a superb show.
See Barton Differently

Whilst you’re at the Realm Precinct, you may want to wander across the road to Brassey Hotel. Photo: Region Media.


While there are no schools in Barton itself, Forrest Primary, Telopea Park School and Narrabundah College are nearby. Canberra Grammar School and Canberra Girls Grammar School are in neighbouring suburbs.

See Narrabundah Differently

Narrabundah College is a school nearby. Photo: Region Media.

Quick facts

  • Median age: 38 years
  • Median weekly household income: $2,356
  • Median weekly rent: $480
  • Houses vs. apartments: 7.7% houses; 89% apartments
  • Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $4,492,500 in 2005

Source: 2016 Census.

Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Barton? What are your favourite things about the suburb? What advice would you give to people considering moving there? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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One Response to See Barton Differently
creative_canberran creative_canberran 12:18 am 10 Oct 15

I don’t know how the author thought Barton was one of the smallest, must less potentially the smallest.

There are at least 13 that have smaller populations based on 2007 figures. And by no small margin.

Barton has 1100, the city centre has 800 as does O’Malley. Hume and Parkes have no population. Fyshwick has the smallest at 50, and Pialligo has only 100.

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