Bruce is the undeniable sporting capital of Canberra. The country’s top athletes train at the Australian Institute of Sport, the Raiders and Brumbies are based at GIO Stadium Canberra, and Canberra International Sports and Aquatic Centre is popular with locals who don’t necessarily aspire to sporting greatness.
But you don’t need to be a world-class sportsperson, or even an armchair quarterback, to enjoy living in Bruce. Surrounded by bushland to the east and with close proximity to both the city and Belconnen, Bruce is popular with students, professionals and families alike.
In addition to sporting facilities, Bruce is dominated by some of Canberra’s top healthcare and education institutions. These include the University of Canberra, the University of Canberra Health Hub, Canberra Institute of Technology and Calvary Hospital.
Thinking about visiting or moving to Bruce? Here’s what you need to know.
Bruce is named after Australia’s second-youngest Prime Minister, Viscount Stanley Melbourne Bruce. It was established in the late 1960s, and is part of Belconnen.
Shops and eateries
Bruce has a local convenience store, florist and café on Thynne Street, which is in between the University of Canberra and CIT campuses.
Residents can also enjoy public amenities at the University of Canberra including the post office, hair salon, Commonwealth Bank branch and Dominos Pizza.
For a suburb with around 7000 residents (not to mention the countless students, tourists and athletes that visit each day), Bruce has limited dining options. The good news is that Emu Bank, Westfield Belconnen and the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets are just a short drive away – all of which have plenty of spots to grab a bite to eat.
Places of interest and things to do
Bruce has plenty of activities on offer for locals to enjoy.
- Take a gym class or enjoy a swim at Canberra International Sports and Aquatic Centre (CISAC). CISAC is home to two gyms, a fully heated swimming pool, a day spa and other health and fitness facilities.
- Tour the Australian Institute of Sport. Check out Australia’s premier elite sports precinct for your chance to go behind the scenes of athletic training facilities, participate in interactive sports exhibitions and, if you’re lucky, see some of the nation’s top athletes in training.
- Catch a Super Rugby or NRL game at GIO Stadium. Also known by its former moniker, Bruce Stadium, GIO Stadium can fit 25,000 spectators. It’s also the best place in Canberra to watch the University of Canberra Brumbies and Canberra Raiders.
Playgrounds and parks
Parks in Bruce include:
- Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve (access via Belconnen Way, Dryandra Street and Purdie Street). Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve offers 98 hectares of natural bushland and is popular with hikers, runners, mountain bikers, dog walkers and anyone who appreciates nature. Bruce Ridge is home to unique and endangered plants and birds, and has numerous registered Aboriginal cultural heritage sites.
- Gossan Hill Nature Reserve (access from College Street). Compared to Bruce Ridge, Gossan Hill is a quieter nature reserve and an important habitat for vulnerable woodland birds. It’s an ideal spot for a peaceful bushwalk or bird watching.
- Fern Hill Playground (Linke Street). Set in parkland, Fern Hill Playground has play equipment, seats and lots of space for kids to run around. It also has views of the surrounding hills and mountain ranges.
- Mugglestone Place Children’s Park (Mugglestone Place). This playground is small and simple, with views towards the Belconnen Town Centre.
Getting from Bruce to Belconnen, Civic and Woden is relatively straightforward.
If you’re travelling by bike, dedicated and shared cycling paths connect to the inner north, Belconnen Town Centre and Kaleen.
Radford College is a co-educational Anglican independent school located in Bruce, with about 2,000 students enrolled from pre-kindergarten to Year 12. Bruce is a priority enrolment area for Maribyrnong Primary School in Kaleen and Canberra High School in Macquarie.
The University of Canberra and Canberra Institute of Technology have campuses in Bruce.
Why the locals love it
“I lived in an apartment in Bruce while I was studying at the University of Canberra, and it was convenient and close to everything I needed. Even without a car, it was easy to jump on a bus or ride to Belconnen, Dickson or the City. I really would have liked for Bruce to have had more nightlife, or even spots for brunch on the weekend, outside of the uni, though.” – Rachel, 29.
- Median age: 27 years
- Median weekly household income: $1924
- Median weekly rent: $375
- Houses vs. apartments: 18.7% houses; 37.7% apartments and 43.5% townhouses
- Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $1,835,000 in 2019
Source: 2016 Census.
Want to find the latest real estate listings for sale and rent in Bruce? Zango can help you find them:
Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Bruce? 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.