If you can’t decide whether you’d prefer a tranquil place to live with magnificent views or whether easy access to the Canberra CBD and all it has to offer is more important, take a look at the Molonglo Valley suburb of Coombs.
Residents of the new and fast-growing region enjoy the best of both worlds. The suburb is right on nature’s doorstep but just a stone’s throw from community facilities and a short drive to the Weston Creek centre and the city.
Thinking about visiting or moving to Coombs? Here’s what you need to know.
Coombs is named after H.C. “Nugget” Coombs, a prominent public servant and the first Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Along with Wright, it was one of the first suburbs to be released in the Molonglo Valley.
Coombs is under development. It’s on the eastern side of the Molonglo Valley’s main arterial road, John Gorton Drive, which means residents enjoy spectacular views to the surrounding mountains and valleys in different directions.
Shops and eateries
The Coombs shopping centre opened at the beginning of 2019, but there’s still (somewhat controversially) just one tenant: Ajijo Grocery and Convenience Store. The store provides staples that the community would have to get from the new IGA at nearby Denman Prospect or further afield at Cooleman Court, as well as takeaway meals.
Coombs has its own Club Lime and just up the road, there’s a childcare centre and general practice.
Places of interest and things to do
There are plenty of wide-open spaces to discover in Coombs. Here are some of our favourite things residents can access without going far from home.
- Get your fitness on. Coombs is surrounded by walking trails, the Molonglo River, bike paths and parks. A fitness circuit with high-quality equipment has also been created to make exercise convenient and fun. The 25 fitness stations support flexibility, strength, cardio and balance and are easily accessed by residents of Coombs and Wright, with stations across both suburbs. And if you prefer to work out at a gym, there’s a Club Lime on Woodberry Avenue.
- Visit Stromlo Leisure Centre. Stromlo Leisure Centre opened on the 16th August 2020. It has an eight-lane competition swimming pool, two other pools, a gym, creche and cafe.
- Discover one of Canberra’s best river landscapes. Molonglo River Reserve contains some of Canberra’s best river landscapes and is home to a wide range of native plants and animals, including the endangered pink-tailed worm-lizard, superb parrot and box-gum grassy woodland habitat. If you enjoy spending time in nature, you won’t have to go far from home to immerse yourself in it in Coombs.
Playgrounds and parks
The great thing about new suburbs is that they come with brand new play facilities, and Coombs has two of them that promise fun for families with young children.
You won’t miss the bright and colourful play areas in Terry Connolly Street and Noffs Crescent, while the recently-opened Judy Harris Park includes a swing set and climbing arch.
Plans are also underway to build a play space on Edgeworth Parade, adjacent to Holden’s Creek Pond, suitable for babies right up to teenagers.
And if the parks aren’t entertaining enough, go check out the local community book box on Woodberry Avenue and find yourself a great read.
If you live in Coombs and have access to a car, chances are you have a relatively easy commute to work. It’s a fast run into Belconnen via Coppins Crossing Road; proximity to Tuggeranong Parkway makes getting to Civic or Tuggeranong a breeze; and suburbs like Barton, Deakin and Kingston are accessible via the nearby Cotter Road.
Coombs is also connected to Canberra’s bike path network, and you can cycle from Coombs to Cooleman Court without going on the road. A lack of off-road cycling connections makes it a little trickier to get to Civic and Belconnen, however.
Coombs is home to the only school in the Molonglo Valley: Charles Weston Primary School. It opened in 2016 and is located between Woodberry Avenue and Madgwick Street.
Why the locals love it
“My partner and I bought in Coombs because we grew up in Weston Creek and loved the area, but there wasn’t anything available in our price range. Molonglo Valley was the next best option, and we (like seems most people in Coombs seem to do) live in a cosy townhouse that’s perfect for us right now. The good things are that it’s close to nature and Mount Stromlo, we can go to the gym just up the road, and it feels like we’re not that far away from any other part of Canberra.” – Katie, 26.
- Median age: 30 years
- Median weekly household income: $2,315
- Median weekly rent: $410
- Houses vs. apartments: 53.2% houses; 7.6% apartments
- Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $1,775,000 in 2017
Source: 2016 Census.
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Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Coombs? 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.