Remember the days when suburban streets were quiet and leafy and plentiful open spaces meant the kids could play outdoors?
It might sound idyllic, or at least reserved for families who can afford a property on a decent sized block in an established Canberra suburb. But it’s also exactly what you’ll find in Bonner, a planned estate in Gungahlin that puts lifestyle, sustainability and active living first.
Thinking about visiting or moving to Bonner? Here’s what you need to know.
Bonner sits on the site of former sheep property “Horse Park”, which was established back in 1853. Its first residents moved in around 2010, making it one of Canberra’s newer suburbs.
The suburb is named after Australia’s first Indigenous parliamentarian, Senator Neville Bonner, while its streets honour Indigenous leaders and communities.
From the outset, Bonner was planned as a sustainable, environmentally conscious suburb. For residents this means blocks that are oriented to maximise sunlight, a green playing field irrigated by stormwater run-off and an abundance of mature and newly planted trees.
Like many newer developments, Bonner is a cat containment suburb to protect the area’s native animals.
Shops and eateries
You’ll find Bonner’s local shopping centre, which has a supermarket and some speciality stores including Bonner Turkish Kebab (famed for its generous serving sizes and mouthwatering pide) and Scissors and Comb, on Mabo Boulevard.
Bonner is a short drive to Gungahlin Town Centre, which has department stores, cafés, restaurants, healthcare centres and a host of community facilities.
Places of interest and things to do
- Get up close to nature at Mulligans Flat. Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve is a flora and fauna sanctuary that is part of the Canberra Nature Park. It’s in a lovely bushland setting at the edge of the suburb and has many walking paths to explore. You’ll also have the opportunity for some animal encounters, with kangaroos, wallabies, a range of birds and even bettongs frequently in view.
- Explore everything Gungahlin has to offer. Bonner is just 4km from the Gungahlin Town Centre, which has a public library, leisure centre with pool and gym facilities, licensed premises, a medical centre and restaurant strip and just about anything else you’re likely to need.
- Attend a local community event. Bonner has an active residents Facebook page. If you’re interested in anything from street libraries to school fundraisers, chances are you’ll find it there.
Playgrounds and parks
If your kids can’t get enough of spending time outside, they’ll love Bonner. You’ll find two of its most popular playgrounds and parks on:
- Burnam Burnam Close. This toddler-friendly playground might not have the fanciest equipment, but what it lacks in adventure it makes up for with covered tables, barbecues, toilet facilities and an oval for kicking the footy around.
- Bilin Bilin Street. It’s a steep walk to the playground, but the views and equipment are worth it. Bilin Bilin Street playground has a ping pong table, seesaw, climbing equipment, spinning equipment and swings for younger children – including a swing bed and baby swing.
Pedestrian and cycle paths run through Bonner, connecting to the local shops, school, oval, parks and Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve.
The closest light rail stop is Gungahlin Place at the beginning of the Gungahlin to Civic light rail route, which is about a ten-minute drive depending on traffic.
Working in Gungahlin Town Centre or Civic? Both are a short commute by car from Bonner. There’s also a direct route to the airport and Canberra’s south via the Federal Highway or Majura Road.
One of the perks of living in Bonner is access to lots of schooling options.
When it comes to public schools, Neville Bonner Primary School on Mabo Boulevard caters to students from pre-school to Year 6, while Bonner residents in Years 7 to 10 have priority enrolment at Amaroo School.
Other nearby schools include Burgmann Anglican School in Forde (co-educational independent school for preschool to Year 12, split across two campuses) and Good Shepherd Primary School in Amaroo (Catholic primary school).
Why the locals love it
“If you’ve been feeling apprehensive about moving to one of Canberra’s newer suburbs because you’ve heard bad things about how they were planned, and you don’t want to live in houses so close that you can hear every conversation your neighbours have, Bonner might surprise you. It’s, perhaps unexpectedly, a nice place to live. There are lots of schools and amenities nearby, a strong sense of community and places like Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve and Yerrabi Pond District Park for the kids to explore.” – Dave, 37.
- Median age: 30 years
- Median weekly household income: $1,303
- Median weekly rent: $430
- Houses vs. apartments: 78.6% houses
- Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $1,100,000 in 2018
Source: 2016 Census.
Want to find the latest real estate listings for sale and rent in Bonner? Zango can help you find them:
Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Bonner? 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.