See Forrest Differently

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See Forrest Differently

St Christopher’s Cathedral, the largest church in Canberra, can be found in Forrest. Photo: Region Media.

The sought-after and affluent suburb of Forrest is home to some of Canberra’s most exclusive residences – from embassies to the luxury properties of high-flying business people and politicians.

The prestigious, multi-million-dollar-median hotspot offers a blend of beautiful older homes, modern architectural gems and some newer apartments and townhouses. Homes are often on generous blocks of more than 1,800-square-metres, making them some of the most spacious in the city.

Residents enjoy easy access to local parklands and schools, while Parliament House and the Kingston and Manuka centres are just a stone’s throw away.

In the heart of iconic Manuka Lawns, Urban Pantry delights diners with its beautiful location, aesthetic, and food offerings. Photo: Urban Pantry.

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

History

Forrest is named after explorer and parliamentarian Sir John Forrest, who was one of the founding fathers of the Australian constitution. It was renamed from the earlier suburb Blandfordia and gazetted as a suburb in 1928. The first residents of Forrest were mostly senior public servants who were moved to the nation’s capital from Melbourne.

Forrest is one of the few suburbs built to the original Canberra plans, which explains why there are so many circular or geometric street patterns.

Shops and eateries

Ohsama Ramen, Manuka

Manuka’s newest restaurant, Ohsama Ramen, prides itself on its homemade noodles. Photo: Michelle Rowe.

With Manuka and Kingston shops a short walk or drive away, the fact that Forrest doesn’t have its own local shops or restaurants isn’t a deterrent to prospective residents.

The area is a haven for lovers of fine dining. Ottoman Cuisine in Barton and Aubergine and Rubicon in nearby Griffith are often booked out when parliament is in session. In Kingston, drop in to Canadian ice hockey sports bar Caribou, visit fine dining restaurant Pomegranate and a host of other eateries catering to just about every taste.

Nearby Manuka Arcade is a popular fashion precinct full of boutiques. Some popular shops include Mania Shoes, which sells special-occasion shoes and headwear; Things of Desire, which sells Europe fashion labels; and Momento Dezigns, which stocks a wide range of fashion clothing and accessories from Australia and abroad.

Kingston Shops is the home of Canberra institutions like Kingston National Bakery (don’t miss its black forest cake), Portia’s Place (the preferred dining venue for federal politicians during sitting weeks) and Silo Bakery + Cafe.

Silo Bakery + Cafe is a great place for breakfast. Photo: Bec Cuzzillo.

There’s also a well-stocked IGA which has a huge range of gourmet products as well as the essentials, and foodies love gourmet cooking and kitchenware hub Essential Ingredient.

Places of interest and things to do

St Christopher's Cathedral sunset. Photo: Charlotte Harper

St Christopher’s Cathedral sunset. Photo: Charlotte Harper.

  • Visit St Christopher’s Cathedral. St Christopher’s Cathedral is the main place of Catholic worship and the seat of the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. It’s also the largest church in Canberra.
  • Soak up some 20th-century architecture. Take a stroll past Manning Clark House (11 Tasmania Circle), which is listed on the Australian Institute of Architects’ register of significant twentieth-century architecture. It was designed by Robin Boyd in 1952 for Professor and Mrs Manning Clark.
See Forrest Differently

Manning Clark House is renowned for its 20th century architecture. Photo: Region Media.

  • See how Canberra’s elite live. If you feel like a little stickybeak, take a drive through Forrest and admire the grand properties with beautifully landscaped front gardens.
  • Check out a slice of history at the Forrest Fire Station Precinct. In the block bounded by Canberra Ave, Empire Cct, Manuka Circle and Fitzroy St, you’ll find buildings including a former fire station which were completed in 1938. They are significant examples of Australian early modern architecture and are the last remaining examples of government-sponsored functionalist residential architecture in Canberra.

Or splash out at Manuka Pool. Pictured: Caroline Luke-Evered. Photo: Michael Weaver.

Playgrounds and parks

Forrest’s wide, leafy streets are dotted with large parks and green spaces. A stroll through the quiet neighbourhood offers the chance to take in the beauty of the sprawling, verdant gardens and watch out for a variety of birdlife, including cockatoos, magpies, wrens, rosellas and parrots.

Lake Burley Griffin is nearby. It has several play areas and a popular cycling trail.

Telopea Park in neighbouring Barton is one of the oldest parks in Canberra, and has vast shaded grassy areas, picnic facilities, a mini skate ramp and play equipment.

Enjoy a GoBoat ride around the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: GoBoat Canberra.

Getting around

Forrest is close to public transport, so getting around without a car (or at least into the city) is relatively easy.

Transport Canberra’s bus routes R5, 57 and 58 service Forrest.

Schools

See Narrabundah Differently

Narrabundah College nearby caters to Years 11 and 12. Photo: Region Media.

Forrest Primary School is the only school in the suburb. Telopea Park School is a bilingual Australian-French Kindergarten to Year 10 school in neighbouring Barton, while Narrabundah College caters to Year 11 and 12 students.

A major drawcard is the suburb’s proximity to the area’s private schools, which include Canberra Grammar School and Canberra Girls Grammar School.

Catholic schools St Clare’s College, which caters for girls in Years 7 to 12, and St Edmund’s, for boys in Year 4 to Year 12, are both nearby. St Bede’s Primary School in Red Hill provides education for students in Kindergarten to Year 6.

Why the locals love it

“Forrest is such a beautiful piece of Canberra,” says Belle Property Kingston broker and Forrest resident Louise Harget. “It has incredibly large blocks, and I think the heritage precincts in particular people like because they aren’t going to have a huge house built next door that looms over their block.”

Quick facts

  • Median age: 44 years
  • Median weekly household income: $3145
  • Median weekly rent: $500
  • Houses vs. apartments: 42.7% houses; 17.3% townhouses; 38.9% apartments
  • Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $4.5 million in 2018 for a five-bedroom, four-bathroom home on Tasmania Circle

Source: 2016 Census.

See Forrest Differently

There are some beautiful homes in the suburb. Photo: Region Media.

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

Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Forrest? 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 Forrest Differently
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Kim F Kim F 7:17 pm 30 May 15

Very few embassies in Forrest, off the top of my head I can only think of the Swiss on Melbourne Ave. Plenty of ambassadorial residences though.

oh_ oh_ 9:18 pm 29 May 15

You forgot that its quiet tree lined streets get invaded by day with public servants looking to avoid paid parking in nearby Barton. The ACT Govt changed a lot of Barton street parking to 2P in a bid to force more people to use paid parking, before paid parks were built and operational, and im sure have also decreased the overall # of parks, thereby forcing people to park in Forrest and walk 15-20 min to work

Maya123 Maya123 3:10 pm 28 May 15

canberradogwalks said :

There is a community vibe – it just takes a bit more time to uncover. Our dog walking often takes us through the sublime streets and parks you describe and we regularly encounter friendly people out in their gardens or also out for a walk. Maybe our dogs are the ice-breaker, but people are very happy to stop for a chat. We featured one of the parks – Bass Gardens – in our dog friendly meeting place posts where the locals meet up in the evenings with their dogs (see https://www.facebook.com/canberradogwalks)

And there’s another haunted house! The 1920s house on the corner of Furneaux and Franklin Streets has been reported as haunted with a recent owner arranging for a monk to do an exorcism …

“corner of Furneaux and Franklin Streets”

Isn’t that near St Christophers? Then what house is on those corners? I can’t see one.

canberradogwalks canberradogwalks 2:57 pm 28 May 15

There is a community vibe – it just takes a bit more time to uncover. Our dog walking often takes us through the sublime streets and parks you describe and we regularly encounter friendly people out in their gardens or also out for a walk. Maybe our dogs are the ice-breaker, but people are very happy to stop for a chat. We featured one of the parks – Bass Gardens – in our dog friendly meeting place posts where the locals meet up in the evenings with their dogs (see https://www.facebook.com/canberradogwalks)

And there’s another haunted house! The 1920s house on the corner of Furneaux and Franklin Streets has been reported as haunted with a recent owner arranging for a monk to do an exorcism …

Weatherman Weatherman 10:17 am 24 May 15

Forrest is one of the most prestigious and urbane suburbs of Canberra. There are also many foreign embassies and high commissions in Forrest, as it is in prioximity to the diplomatic quarters and department of foreign affairs. There are also many government departments in Forrest, being close to the parliamentary zone. Navigating through Forrest can be difficult as part of the layout is geometric and the intersections are staggered, as the design was based upon the garden suburb movement from many decades ago.

More information about Forrest, Australian Capital Territory can be found through ACTPLA (ACT Planning and Land Authority)…
http://www.planning.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/2512/forrest-anp.pdf

Dondon Dondon 9:22 pm 22 May 15

The rent is probably lower than you expected as there is still a number of apartments in Forrest, being along Canberra Ave and State Circle.

Skidd Marx Skidd Marx 3:06 pm 22 May 15

Prior to being renovated number 5 Moresby St was well-known for being “haunted”. One would often see teenagers parked outside or driving past slowly (never daring to venture inside). Indeed there was something peculiar about the premises as peering through the windows revealed decor that looked like it had been sitting untouched for decades. Furthermore no-one ever seemed to be living there although lights would occasionally come on.

As urban legend had it a nanny murdered two children in the house. The father, upon discovering this murdered the nanny before taking his own life. I have searched Trove high and low for anything resembling this story and can confidently conclude its status as hogwash.

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