Narrabundah may have once seemed out of place in Canberra’s manicured and image-conscious inner south. But it’s come a long way in recent years, thanks in large part to an influx of families and professionals.
Today, it’s better known as an established suburb with wide, leafy streets, open spaces, parks and gardens. The tree-lined streets promise colourful spring blossoms and spectacular autumn foliage, and there’s even a local wild peacock population.
Thinking about visiting or moving to Narrabundah? Here’s what you need to know.
Background and history
Narrabundah, located in Canberra’s inner south, was gazetted in 1928. It has two distinct areas: Old Narrabundah and Upper Narrabundah.
The area near the Narrabundah shops is often referred to as Old Narrabundah. It’s where you’ll find the suburb’s original pre-fab fibro cottages, erected in the late 1940s for government printing workers and construction workers. The nearby full-brick duplexes and cottages were built soon afterwards, with many still standing today.
Upper Narrabundah rises towards the west where the suburb borders Red Hill. From here, there are panoramic views across the city, Lake Burley Griffin and parts of south-eastern Canberra.
Upper Narrabundah has small resident population of roaming urban peacocks, thought to have originated from a wildlife park in Symonston that closed in the 1980s.
Shops and eateries
If you like fine dining, Narrabundah shops is the local shopping centre for you. Make a booking at La Cantina, where you can enjoy classic and modern Italian dishes crafted in a chic, brick-lined dining room adorned with art, or head to XO and taste innovative, modern South-East Asian Cuisine. You can find both restaurants at the shops in Iluka Street.
More of a night owl? Kita Kafe on Boolimba Street is Canberra’s only after hours cafe, serving up coffee and Indonesian-inspired cuisine (try the pandan waffles) from 6pm to 6am on weekdays, and 6pm to 12pm on weekends.
Long-standing, family-run Danny’s Bakery has earned local renown for its hot cross buns, as well as its sourdough.
Shopping-wise, Narrabundah shops has a supermarket, newsagent and two hair salons. There’s a general practice across the road on Anembo Street.
Places of interest and things to do
From a picturesque golf course to a friendly German club, there are plenty of activities on offer in Narrabundah.
- Catch a game of baseball. Narrabundah is home to the Canberra Cavalry, a professional baseball team in the Australian Baseball League, so grab your friends and family and head to the ballpark off Goyder Street for some live baseball action.
- Play a round of golf. Capital Public Golf Course isn’t just for golfers looking to play 18 holes. It also offers mini golf, pitch and putt and a driving range so you can work on perfecting your swing.
- Enjoy live music at the Harmonie German Club. If you’re into blues, there’s always plenty on offer at Harmonie German Club, which the Canberra Blues Society calls home. But it also hosts weekly live music events featuring a diverse range of local, interstate and international acts – keep an eye on its events page for updates.
Playgrounds and parks
Parks are widespread in Narrabundah, with Rocky Knoll (sometimes known as Rocky Knob) in Upper Narrabundah a particular favourite for panoramic city views. Keep an eye out in the area for:
- Devil’s Seat. Devil’s seat is a naturally occurring rock formation that looks like a throne. And yes, you can even sit on it.
- Secret cubby house. Built from stones and branches, Rocky Knoll’s secret cubby house is a favourite of adventurous young locals.
Other parks include Sprent Street Park, and the park that runs parallel to Matina Street near the Narrabundah Primary School. There’s also a corridor of open space along Jerrabomberra Creek, which is known as Mill Creek Oval.
Narrabundah 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.
Narrabundah College caters to local Year 11 and 12 students, with curriculum offerings that sit under the ACT ATAR System, the International Baccalaureate and the French Baccalauréat. The college has a reputation for strong academic results, as well as for being the former school of notable Australians like comedian and TV presenter Tim Ferguson, writer Helen Razer, politician Bill Stefaniak and musician and dancer Timomatic.
Why the locals love it
As the only suburb in Canberra’s inner south with a median house price under $1 million, Narrabundah is a popular choice for people who want the amenities and location of a suburb like Griffith or Forrest, without the associated price tag.
It’s close to some of the ACT’s highest performing schools, green spaces like Lake Burley Griffin, and there are plenty of shopping and dining opportunities at both the local shops and nearby Manuka precinct.
- Median age: 41 years
- Median weekly household income: $2045
- Median weekly rent: $380
- Houses vs. apartments: 70.1% houses; 20.9% apartments
- Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $2.2 million in 2018
Source: 2016 Census.
Want to find the latest real estate listings for sale and rent in Narrabundah? Zango can help you find them:
Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Narrabundah? 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.