Garran is a sought-after Canberra suburb with established, leafy streets and large blocks. A distinctive feature of the suburb is its proximity to open spaces and bushland – Red Hill Nature Reserve forms part of Garran’s border. It’s also a golfer’s delight, with several of its streets backing directly onto Federal Golf Course.
The dominant residential character of Garran is comprised of single-storey, detached family dwellings. Most homes are brick and tile, and many have been extended, renovated or rebuilt. The generous distance between most houses and the setbacks on the blocks contribute significantly to the garden suburb nature of the neighbourhood. The street trees are a mix of natives and exotics.
Thinking about visiting or moving to Garran? Here’s what you need to know.
Garran is an established suburb in the South Canberra/Woden district, and it was gazetted in 1966. It is named after Sir Robert Randolph Garran, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St George. Sir Robert was responsible for the establishment of Canberra University College, helped establish the Australian National University and was the recipient of its first degree. Garran’s streets are named after Australian writers.
The Canberra Hospital, the main hospital for the ACT and South East NSW region, is located on Yamba Drive, with the National Capital Private Hospital also on the same campus.
Shops and eateries
Garran has a shopping centre that is a vibrant, shaded meeting spot for the community and a hub for retail and professional facilities. It has a supermarket, cafes, bakery, a butcher, hairdresser, medical suites and several other services. Little Garran Cafe is a cosy coffee shop with a unique charm and a variety of specials for breakfast and lunch while Orto Pizza specialises in authentic hand-stretched pizza in true Neapolitan style.
Garran is well served by medical and health facilities, including the Canberra Hospital and National Capital Private Hospital, Garran Medical Imaging, the Brindabella Specialist Centre, Red Cross House and the Gaunt Place Health Care Units.
Westfield Woden is just a short drive away in the busy Woden Town Centre.
Places of interest and things to do
Many areas of Garran offer impressive views to Mount Taylor, the spectacular Brindabella Ranges and the Red Hill Nature Reserve, so it’s easy for residents to find a fabulous outlook to soak up.
Things to do without going far from home include:
- Take a hike to Red Hill Nature Reserve. The prominent hill shows the Bush Capital at its best, and if climbing its ridges is too much, there is road access via the suburb of Forrest. It’s home to some of the unique flora and fauna of the region.
- Keep an eye out for Malkara School’s model railway exhibition each year. The event has been going strong for decades and promises miniature fun for all ages.
Parks and playgrounds
Three pocket parks with playground facilities are evenly placed throughout quieter parts of the Garran neighbourhood.
Garran Oval is located in the centre of the suburb, adjacent to the Garran Primary School, and is a well-patronised community facility. It is used for formal and informal sporting activities and is popular with dog walkers.
Garran’s streets feed traffic into two major arterial roads: Yamba Drive and Hindmarsh Drive, so it’s easy for residents to drive to Canberra’s major centres.
Garran does not have its own dedicated cycle paths, but from the south-west corner of the suburb, there are connections available to Weston Creek and the Woden Town Centre, which in turn provides access to Yarralumla, Civic and towards Belconnen.
Why the locals love it
“When we moved to Canberra, we knew we wanted to live in an established suburb with character, in a home with room for our antiques and treasures we’ve collected over many years of travelling. We searched for a home on a large block that had plenty of room for entertaining, and would allow us to enjoy our hobby of bushwalking without going too far from home. The home we found in Garran met the brief. We’re due to return to Europe soon, and we will miss the friendly community and gorgeous outlook where we’ve watched the changing seasons for the past few years. Thanks Garran, it’s been great.”
Giles and Pierre, who made Garran their home for three years whilst on a posting to Canberra.
- Median age: 43 years
- Median weekly household income: $2,297
- Median weekly rent: $470
- Houses vs. apartments: 59.9% houses; 17.1% apartments
- Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $1,900,000 in 2017
Source: 2016 Census.
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Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Garran? 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.