In Canberra, like any city, living near the centre of town doesn’t come cheap. And that’s certainly true for the inner north suburb of Campbell, where the median property price ranges from $1.25 million for houses to $580,000 for units.
But many – including those who have bought apartments in new developments on the likes of Constitution Avenue and Provan Street – will argue that living in Campbell is worth the hefty price tag.
After all, the centrally-located suburb is close to seemingly everything: picturesque Lake Burley Griffin and Mount Ainslie, the historic Australian War Memorial, Canberra Airport, Civic, educational institutions like Royal Military College Duntroon and Canberra Institute of Technology, and a range of bustling eateries and nightlife destinations.
Thinking about visiting or moving to Campbell? Here’s what you need to know.
Campbell is one of Canberra’s oldest suburbs. And as you might expect, it has plenty of history to go with it.
It’s named after Robert Campbell, a New South Wales politician and the owner of Duntroon sheep station, which is where Campbell stands today. Campbell and his family built many of Canberra’s heritage buildings including Blundell’s Cottage, Government House and Duntroon House (also in Duntroon, which is part of Campbell).
Duntroon House is said to be haunted by the granddaughter of a former owner, who died at age 27 after a fall from her bedroom window. People claim to have seen a ghostly woman in 19th century clothing wandering the floor she fell from, while others say items are thrown around her bedroom and even that the bed can be made in the morning and a few hours later look as though someone has slept there.
Shops and eateries
Campbell has a local shops with retailers including a supermarket, coffee shop Hello Cafe, Chinese restaurant Leong Kitchen, long-standing French restaurant Les Bistronomes (relocated from Braddon in 2019) and pharmacy.
Places of interest and things to do
Popular activities in and around Campbell include:
- Visit the Australian War Memorial. No Canberra tourist attraction is as well-known as the Australian War Memorial, which commemorates the sacrifices of Australians who have served our nation in times of conflict. It’s open 10am to 5pm daily.
- Take a self-guided tour of Anzac Parade. While only one side of Anzac Parade is in Campbell (the other is in Reid), it’s worth exploring the memorials on both sides of the road. Start at the Australian Hellenic Memorial, and finish at Kemal Ataturk Memorial, which acknowledges the 70th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
- Ride Lake Burley Griffin’s Eastern Loop. Dust off your helmet and set out for an easy and flat nine-kilometre ride along the eastern section of Lake Burley Griffin. Passing Campbell, Jerrabomberra Wetlands and the Kingston Foreshore, this ride also crosses Kings Avenue Bridge.
Playgrounds and parks
As though having Mount Ainslie and Lake Burley Griffin right on your doorstep aren’t enough, Campbell also has several parks of its own. These include:
- Mount Pleasant Nature Reserve (Northcott Drive). Mount Pleasant Nature Reserve is a great spot for enjoying nature. The lookout affords views of Lake Burley Griffin and Jerrabomberra Wetlands (and since it’s a small hill, you don’t need to be an athlete to walk there), and there are trails suitable for mountain biking.
- Victoria Cross Park (access via Glossop Crescent, Derrick Street or Howse Street). Victoria Cross Park has a small playground and memorial.
- Legacy Park (Garsia Street). Legacy Park honours the work of the legacy movement in a serene bushland setting.
Campbell is a stone’s throw from Lake Burley Griffin, so getting onto bike paths is easy and hassle-free. If you’re feeling ambitious on a sunny day, you can walk into Braddon or Civic in around 30-45 minutes.
For those who frequently travel interstate or overseas for work, Campbell is just a few kilometres from Canberra Airport, which is a short drive by car or taxi.
There are four schools in Campbell: Canberra Grammar Northside for students from preschool to Year 2 (the main campus is in Red Hill), St Thomas More’s Primary School, Campbell Primary School, and Campbell High School, which former US President Barack Obama visited on his trip to Canberra back in 2011.
Why the locals love it
“Campbell, in my opinion, is one of the nicest parts of Canberra. It has beautiful views of Mount Ainslie, daily visits from kangaroos, trees galore, the Australian War Memorial, and a great little set of shops. Campbell is a picturesque, historic, and expensive suburb all rolled into one.” – Alexandra.
- Median age: 28 years
- Median weekly household income: $2384
- Median weekly rent: $310
- Houses vs. apartments: 14.8% apartments; 13.5% semi-detached houses (i.e. townhouses/terrace house); 71.7% separate houses.
- Suburb sales record (excluding land sales): $2.33 million for a five-bedroom home on Garsia Street in 2014
Source: 2016 Census.
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Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Campbell? 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.