If you’ve been house hunting for a while, you’ll know it isn’t always easy to find a suburb that is quiet, peaceful and affordable, while still being in reach of major town centres.
The good news? The family-friendly suburb of Franklin ticks all of these boxes and more.
Bordered by Mitchell, Harrison and Gungahlin, Franklin is five minutes to the Gungahlin Town Centre, a 15-minute drive to both Belconnen and the city, and right on the light rail route.
Oh, and did we mention that Franklin also boasts plenty of green spaces, playgrounds and nature reserves?
Thinking about visiting or moving to Franklin? Here’s what you need to know.
Franklin is one of Canberra’s newer suburbs and was established in 2007. It is named after esteemed novelist Miles Franklin, and its streets bear the names of famous writers.
In 2016 the Property Council of Australia named Franklin the best master planned community in Australia, citing its community-focus and thoughtful integration of “culturally significant features” like Mulangarri Grasslands and Gubur Dhaura.
If you’ve lived in the Gungahlin area for a while, you might also be familiar with the tale of Franklin the Maremma Sheepdog, a homeless dog who roamed the suburbs of Gungahlin, including his namesake Franklin, for about four years until he was rehomed in 2016. Not all residents supported this move (many thought he should be allowed to roam free), with the contentious issue attracting national and international news coverage.
Shops and eateries
Franklin has a medium-sized local shopping centre on Flemington Road, with two supermarkets, a coffee shop and The Meadows Original Frozen Custard.
And of course, Gungahlin Town Centre is just a short drive away if you need to do more than a basic supermarket run.
Places of interest and things to do
- Get back to nature. With almost 50 hectares of landscaped recreational areas around Gungaderra Creek, and plenty of walking and bike paths, Franklin is a lovely place to explore the great outdoors. Need an even bigger nature fix? The Mulanggari Grasslands Nature Reserve is just over the road in neighbouring Gungahlin and suitable for bushwalking.
Playgrounds and parks
Franklin has a decent mix of residential areas and green spaces. Two popular playgrounds and parks include:
- Franklin Recreational Park (access via Gwen Meredith Loop). This expansive playground boasts a climbing rope for bigger kids, a toddler area for little ones and a FLEX area for adult exercisers. It also has a basketball court, soccer field, rock-climbing wall and skate bowl. Franklin Recreational Park has you covered for all the family’s active needs.
- Gubur Dhaura Heritage Park (access via Diane Barwick Street). Gubur Dhaura is a site of historical significance to the Ngunnawal people. It’s a peaceful location, ideal for enjoying views of the mountains in the Gungahlin basin and artworks created by local Aboriginal people.
Franklin is along the Gungahlin to City light rail corridor, so getting to either centre is easy. There are light rail stops along Flemington Road at the Mapleton Avenue, Nullabor Avenue and Well Station Drive intersections.
Prefer driving to catching public transport? Franklin is bordered by Flemington Road and Gungahlin Road, providing stress-free access to Civic, Fyshwick and other parts of Canberra.
Franklin Early Childhood School supports students from preschool to Year 4, although the ACT Government has invested funding for the school to cater for students through to Year 6 by 2020.
Harrison School is also nearby, with over 1400 students from preschool to Year 10. Students from Franklin have priority enrolment.
Why the locals love it
Franklin is a relatively new suburb, at less than 15 years old. It’s attractive to buyers and renters who want to live in a newer home with all the modern amenities, without the lengthier commute that comes with living in one of Gungahlin’s more northern suburbs.
“Your dollar goes further in Franklin,” says Jessica, 32. “The lifestyle, homes and tranquil streets make you feel like you’re in a much more expensive suburb. To me Franklin is one of Canberra’s best-kept secrets, but I suspect it won’t stay that way for long.”
- Median age: 30 years
- Median weekly household income: $2114
- Median weekly rent: $373
- Houses vs. apartments: 50% houses; 30% apartments, 20% townhouses
- Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): 1,550,000 in 2017
Source: 2016 Census.
Want to find the latest real estate listings for sale and rent in Franklin? Zango can help you find them:
Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Franklin? 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.