Griffith is famous among Canberrans for its leafy green streets, stunning homes, central location and high-end boutiques.
The suburb’s multitude of apartments are an appealing option for professionals and couples, while its grand homes are popular with older families.
Thinking about visiting or moving to Griffith? Here’s what you need to know.
Background and history
Griffith is a small suburb in Canberra’s inner south, bordered by Kingston, Forrest, Narrabundah and Red Hill. It was established in 1927 and has more than ten areas listed by the ACT Heritage Council – including St Paul’s Anglican Church, Manuka Pool and Griffith Oval No. 1 (it’s bordered by trees planted between the 1930s and 1950s).
As one of Canberra’s earlier suburbs, it also has several streets designed in line with Walter Burley Griffin’s original plans.
Shops and eateries
Griffith Shops is a gem amongst locals and visitors, featuring Griffith Butchery (one of Canberra’s most popular butchers for 30+ years), a convenience store, a takeaway, a day spa and a yoga studio. Shops like natural medicine dispensary The Hierophant and health food shops Mountain Creek Wholefoods and Organic Energy lend the place a hippie vibe.
Manuka shopping precinct is also in Griffith. Built in the 1920s and affectionately known as “Manuka” to locals, it’s a place to stock up on much more than the daily essentials. In addition to the Coles supermarket, Priceline pharmacy, petrol station and boutiques, make sure to try:
- Mee’s Sushi. Don’t be deterred by the line snaking out the door at lunchtime. Mee’s Sushi is fresh, affordable and consistently good.
- Typica. Founded by world barista champion Sasa Sestic (Typica recently changed its name from Ona Manuka), Typica serves speciality coffee done right.
- Paperchain. Paperchain is Canberra’s leading independent bookstore, known for its attentive customer service and thoughtful book selection. Paperchain hosts regular story time, book signing and meet-the-author events.
Places of interest and things to do
- Catch a game at Manuka Oval. Manuka Oval is the premier site for AFL and cricket games in Canberra. Head on down to enjoy a Big Bash League cricket game or the PM’s XI, or support Canberra’s adopted AFL team – the GWS Giants. Manuka Oval retains original tree plantings from the 1920s, which helps visitors feel enclosed from the surrounding city.
- Go window shopping (or actual shopping) in Manuka. From designer clothes by Carla Zampatti to the Sheridan Boutique and luxe homeware retailers Country House Manuka and Home by Creations, Manuka shoppers are spoiled for choice when it comes to fancy shiny things.
- Swim a few laps at Manuka Pool. In this writer’s humble opinion, there’s no better pool in Canberra. Manuka Pool is an outdoor, art deco style pool, and has been open since 1931 (making it Canberra’s oldest pool, too).
Griffith is close to public transport and well-maintained bike paths, so getting around without a car (or at least into the city) is relatively easy.
Playgrounds and parks
If you really want to get in touch with nature, Red Hill Nature Reserve, Telopea Park in Barton and the Kingston Foreshore/Lake Burley Griffin are your best bets – though you may need to cycle or drive depending on your starting point.
Parks and playgrounds in Griffith include:
- Captain Cook Park (corner of Murray Crescent, Flinders Way and Captain Cook Crescent). Captain Cook Park is behind Manuka shops, just before the tennis courts. It has undercover play equipment, lots of green space and is toddler-friendly.
- La Perouse Park (access via La Perouse Street). You may have heard of the wild peacocks that roam the streets of Griffith, Narrabundah and Red Hill. La Perouse Park is a favourite roosting place.
There are two single-sex Catholic schools in Griffith:
- St Clare’s College is a Catholic girls high school for students in Year 7 to Year 12.
- St Edmund’s College is a boys school in the Edmund Rice Tradition, which is open to boys from Year 4 to Year 12.
Residents of Griffith are also considered in area for the nearby Telopea Park School and Narrabundah College, while Canberra Grammar School is at the Red Hill end of Flinders Way.
Why the locals love it
“I’ve lived all over Canberra and in several suburbs in the inner south, and Griffith is my favourite suburb so far. While there are busier areas closer to Manuka, overall it’s a quiet suburb where people take pride in their homes and gardens.
I take my dog for a walk most days (La Perouse Park is lovely but there are many other green spaces within an easy walk), and over the years I’ve enjoyed watching the transformation of the older houses in original condition be transformed into really stunning homes. Griffith – like Kingston next door – is changing quickly with the influx of new developments, but I like to think it’s for the better.” – Charlotte, 40.
- Median age: 40 years
- Median weekly household income: $2155
- Median weekly rent: $380
- Houses vs. apartments: 40% houses; 60% apartments and townhouses
- Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $3.3 million in 2019.
Source: 2016 Census.
Want to find the latest real estate listings for sale and rent in Griffith? Zango can help you find them:
Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Griffith? 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.