Mawson is a vibrant established suburb in the heart of the Woden Valley that’s in high demand by everyone from young families to retirees for very good reason.
Residents enjoy a wealth of amenities including shops, restaurants and cafes, sporting facilities and clubs right on their doorstep, and schools, parks and the best of nature are close by.
Mawson attracts people from all walks of life – from young public servants who appreciate living close to their workplaces in Woden and Tuggeranong through to retirees looking to downsize without compromising on lifestyle or location.
Thinking about visiting or moving to Mawson? Here’s what you need to know.
Mawson was gazetted in 1966 and is named after Antarctic explorer, geologist and academic Sir Douglas Mawson. The streets in the suburb are named after Antarctic explorers.
Houses in Mawson started to pop up in 1969, and were mostly three-bedroom, single-bathroom brick dwellings with external fibreboard feature walls.
A drive through Mawson’s streets offers a fascinating look at the architecture of bygone decades, particularly the 1960s, 70s and early-1980s innovation.
Shops and eateries
Whether you’re after a fabulous haircut, looking for somewhere to linger over coffee and a decadent cake, or want to grab some groceries without having to battle crowded malls and packed car parks, Mawson has plenty to offer.
The vibrant shopping centre known as Southlands offers numerous dining options and a hassle-free shopping experience. The commercial and retail hub has a Woolworths, a newsagent, pharmacy, general practice, gym, and several smaller retailers.
Southlands is home to an interesting range of independent shops including Jabal Halal, a local go-to for fresh produce. Let’s Be Natural has a plethora of organic, eco-friendly products and Southlands Quality Meats is renowned for its lamb koftas.
When it comes to eating out, the Austrian Club and The Mawson Club have a loyal following. Saigon Bakery & Espresso is well-known for its banh mi, while California Café serves up American-style food – with American-sized portions. And for dessert? Bruno’s Truffels is renowned for its exquisite, hand-made chocolates as well as artisan sourdough breads, pastries, cakes and handmade Swiss chocolate confectionery.
The ACT Government outlined its plans to rejuvenate and revive Mawson shopping centre in 2019, with plans for a second supermarket and an eight-story development.
Places of interest and things to do
- Practice your tennis serve at Southlands Tennis Club. Southlands Tennis Club is a community-run club with courts available to book by both members and the general public.
- Have a drink or a bistro meal at The Mawson Club. The Mawson Club is an award-winning club with a café, bar and lounge. If you don’t feel like travelling all the way into the city for a beer with friends, this is the local haunt for you.
- Learn about what life in Canberra was like in years gone by. Enderby Street, Hurley Street and Du Faur Streets have many homes in close to original 1960s and 1970s condition, offering a window into Canberra’s past. For some early 1980’s architecture, check out Shackleton Park’s Garry Willemsen-designed townhouses.
Playgrounds and parks
There’s a children’s playground with a shade sail and a variety of play equipment near the corner of Hoadley and Wilkins Streets. Find it between the Belmont and Dyraaba Court complexes.
In neighbouring Farrer, there’s a fabulous nature play and adventure play space. It features timber climbing structures, a sandpit, tunnel and climbing cables and nest swing as well as a mountain bike circuit adjacent to the play space. It includes a range of different zones for children to explore, including a climb zone, a scramble zone, a hide zone, a loose parts zone and a rest zone. Find it on Longeranong Street.
Farrer Ridge Nature Reserve and Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve are nearby. Both are popular for bushwalking, bike riding (on designated trails), bird watching and soaking up all that nature has to offer.
Whether you’re a motorist, pedestrian or cyclist, it’s easy to get around Canberra when you live in Mawson. Residents enjoy easy access to Canberra’s network of arterial roads, with Yamba Drive and Athllon Drive running along the suburb’s boundaries. The CBD is an easy 10km drive. Catching buses is a breeze, with several bus routes running past the suburb.
Mawson is close to public transport and has a Park and Ride facility on the corner of Mawson Drive and Athllon Drive. Commuters have rapid routes on their doorstep. Bus routes R4, R5, 60, 61 and 62 service the suburb.
If you’re walking or cycling, there is a well-maintained network of cycle paths around the area.
Mawson Primary is a bilingual school that celebrates diversity and develops international mindedness and cultural awareness. It offers a comprehensive Mandarin /English immersion program.
The closest high schools are Melrose High School (public school for students in Years 7 to 10) and Marist College Canberra (Catholic boys school for students in Years 4 to 12), both just over the road in Pearce. Sacred Heart Primary School is also located in Pearce.
Why the locals love it
“Mawson has location, location, location! Just about everything I need is close by, which means I can often leave the car at home. It’s an easy walk or ride to Southlands, which has a friendly, community vibe and interesting neighbourhood cafes and restaurants to catch up with friends.” – Eduardo, Mawson resident for five years.
- Median age: 38 years
- Median weekly household income: $1777
- Median weekly rent: $320
- Houses vs. apartments: 56.1% houses; 20.3% apartments; 23% townhouses
Source: 2016 Census.
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Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Mawson? 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.