See Curtin Differently

7

Bernadette, local Curtin resident, likes shopping at Choku Bai Jo as she prefers to support local businesses. Photo: Daniella Jukic, We Are Found.

If you ask locals, it’s no surprise that the Woden Valley suburb of Curtin is in hot demand. Close to the amenities of Woden, the greenery of Lake Burley Griffin and good private and public schools, it’s particularly popular with families.

With a median house price of $940,000, buying in Curtin isn’t exactly cheap. But it’s certainly a less pricey option than purchasing a home in a neighbouring suburbs like Garran (median house price of $994,000), Deakin (median house price of $1.33 million) or Yarralumla (median house price of $1.45 million).

Above all, Curtin has a strong sense of community, an active residents association and access to a myriad of open green spaces.

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

History

My Gourmet Delights at Curtin shops offers a great selection of cafe treats and traditional Vietnamese favourites from Pho to Bahn Mi. Photo: Daniella Jukic, We Are Found.

Curtin is named after former Prime Minister John Curtin. It’s nestled between Yarralumla and Lyons, with a population of just over 5000 people.

Shops and eateries

Locals can choose from a selection of great organic produce at Choku Bai Jo in Curtin. Photo: Daniella Jukic, We Are Found.

For a suburban shopping precinct, Curtin Shops is relatively large shopping precinct. There’s a Coles, newsagent, pharmacy and fresh produce vendor Choku Bai Jo.

Red Brick Espresso is renowned for its high-quality coffee, and draws a crowd regardless of time and day of the week. We recommend ordering your drink of choice and people-watching at one of the outside tables. Food-wise, it’s hard to beat a classic bahn mi from My Gourmet Delights.

Some residents will tell you that the shops were much more vibrant before 41 Curtin Place – home to a thriving Nepalese restaurant, bookshop Beyond Q and the Curtin Milkbar – was demolished to make way for a new commercial/residential development. A long and bitter planning row with the developer meant business owners and the community “had to deal with a derelict building sucking the vitality out of the shopping centre.”

The good news is that work on the five-storey development is now underway, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Vincent has popped into Red Brick Cafe in Curtin to enjoy its great coffee and indulge in some quiet reading time. Photo: Daniella Jukic, We Are Found.

Places of interest and things to do

  • Visit the Woden Flood Memorial (access via Service Street). The Woden Flood Memorial is dedicated to the memory of seven young people who lost their lives after a severe and sudden thunderstorm and flash flooding Australia Day 1971.
  • Listen to Curtin Living Memories. If you’re interested in what life was like in Curtin in years gone by, have a listen to Curtin Living Memories, a series of interviews with 19 people who have a strong association with the suburb. Recorded as part of Curtin’s 50th anniversary in 2014, the interviews are available online and as a book.
  • Explore the area around North Curtin Horse Paddocks. Located on the other side of Cotter Road, the North Curtin Horse Paddocks is a local equestrian park. However, you don’t need to own a horse or participate in events like showjumping to enjoy the surrounds, which include views of the Brindabellas, the Arboretum and Black Mountain. Head over to Canberra Dog Walks for directions from Curtin Shops and other tips. (Don’t delay this visit too long – the Commonwealth has secured 70 percent of the North Curtin Horse Paddocks for a new diplomatic estate, and work is expected to start in 2022).
  • Treat yourself. Don’t mind a bit of pampering? Pop into Yame Nails for a long-lasting manicure and pedicure in a welcoming environment. Prefer flowers? Pick up a fresh bunch from Ivy Flowers and Gifts (it also stocks a sizeable range of Elk Jewellery and other thoughtful gift ideas).

Pop in and see Dzung, and get your nails done at Yame Nails in Curtin. Photo: Daniella Jukic, We Are Found.

Playgrounds and parks

Playgrounds and parks in Curtin include:

  • Gillies Street Playground (next to Good Shepherd Anglican Church). This is a small, simple playground with a swing set, slide and climbing equipment. It’s suitable for toddlers and young children.
  • Curtin Reserve. Take a stroll around Curtin Reserve on the weekend or early evening and chances are you’ll see your fair share of people walking their dogs, jogging or taking kids for a bike ride. (It’s also a favourite location for guided group walks organised by Canberra Dog Walks).

Getting around

While Curtin only has one Transport Canberra bus route (route 58 runs between Civic and Woden with stops at Deakin Shops, John James Hospital and Curtin Shops), there are plenty of other ways to get around.

Curtin is bordered by arterial roads Yarra Glen, Cotter Road and Tuggeranong Parkway, so it’s an easy drive to Woden, Tuggeranong, Civic and inner Canberra locations like Deakin and Manuka.

If you’re cycling, Curtin’s well-connected bike paths mean it’s a ten-minute ride from Curtin Shops to Westfield Woden; about 15 minutes to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, and around half an hour to the centre of Civic.

Schools

There are two primary schools in Curtin: Curtin Primary School and Holy Trinity Primary School.

The closest high school is Alfred Deakin High School, which is just across the road in Deakin.

The Bahn Mi from My Gourmet Delights are too good, we had to take a bite! Photo: Daniella Jukic, We Are Found.

Why the locals love it

“We moved to Curtin in 2007, and now I can’t imagine living anywhere else in Canberra. It has its own understated charm and a great community vibe. I think that living in Curtin is just as lovely, if not lovelier, than living in pricier, more ‘exclusive’ suburbs like Deakin, Yarralumla or Hughes. I can walk to Woden, ride to the lake or into the city, and pick up just about everything we need from Curtin Shops.” – Bronwyn, 45.

Quick facts

  • Median age: 42 years
  • Median weekly household income: $2255
  • Median weekly rent: $388
  • Houses vs. apartments: 84.1% houses
  • Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $2.33 million in 2018

Source: 2016 Census.

Flick from Choku Bai Jo in Curtin sells a great range of fresh, Australian-grown organic produce at a great price. Photo: Daniella Jukic, We Are Found.

Want to find the latest real estate listings for sale and rent in Curtin? Zango can help you find them:

Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Curtin? 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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7 Responses to See Curtin Differently
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Section44 Section44 7:59 pm 03 Feb 15

The milk bar makes awesome pizzas, my current fravorite is chicken and chilli.

chewy14 chewy14 11:39 am 02 Feb 15

miz said :

Does anyone know, are the new suburb signs (like the Curtin one) being rolled out systematically, or only put in when the old sign is cactus? It just seems odd that not all suburbs have them yet.

It was for the Canberra centenary in selected suburbs

http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/bourke/2012/new_centenary_suburb_signs_to_honour_past_prime_ministers

miz miz 11:22 am 02 Feb 15

Does anyone know, are the new suburb signs (like the Curtin one) being rolled out systematically, or only put in when the old sign is cactus? It just seems odd that not all suburbs have them yet.

Weatherman Weatherman 8:55 am 02 Feb 15

Curtin is very much reminiscent of Bulimba, Queensland, where the shops are located near a main roundabout.

HenryBaits HenryBaits 6:50 pm 01 Feb 15

Their bookshop there is a fabulous Canberra icon. Certainly a lot more happening in Curtain than this article suggests.

Alexandra Craig Alexandra Craig 5:15 pm 30 Jan 15

Zan said :

Did you really have a good look at the shops? You did not mention the a fabulous bookshop or the restaurant downstairs – Beyond Q and the Hungary Budda. You also did not mention the great vege shop, Choku Bai Jo.

I did a walk around, but it would be impossible to check out every single shop when I do these write-ups, unfortunately. I wish I could have a good look at all of them… I also wish I could eat at every restaurant and cafe 🙂

Zan Zan 4:55 pm 30 Jan 15

Did you really have a good look at the shops? You did not mention the a fabulous bookshop or the restaurant downstairs – Beyond Q and the Hungary Budda. You also did not mention the great vege shop, Choku Bai Jo.

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