When many Canberrans think of Phillip, they picture the commercial areas along Botany, Townshend and Parramatta Streets.
But did you know that Woden Town Centre and Eddison Park are also part of Phillip? Or that the suburb’s apartment complexes and townhouses are home to around 3,000 people?
Phillip is an ideal location for anyone who wants to live close to essential services, sporting facilities and public transport, as well as those who seek a fast commute to Woden’s government offices.
The town centre is also in the middle of a serious transformation, as new residential developments and initiatives like the Woden Experiment revitalise the once-tired area.
If you’re thinking of visiting or moving to Phillip, here’s what you need to know.
Phillip is in the Woden district and was established in 1966 – not too far ahead of the Woden Town Centre. The suburb is named after the first governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip.
Swinger Hill, an estate of mixed townhouses built in the 1970s, is also part of Phillip.
Shops and eateries
You have two main options when it comes to shopping and dining in Phillip: Woden Town Centre including Westfield Woden, and the commercial areas over Hindmarsh Drive.
Woden Town Centre
Woden’s dining scene was rejuvenated in 2019 with the launch of Westfield’s Bradley Street dining precinct, featuring six new places to eat such as Fenway Public House. Westfield Woden is also a great spot for enjoying international cuisine – from zucchini balls at Turkish Pide House to beef madras at Flavours of India.
As far as shopping goes, the mall is your best bet. Retailers include Country Road, Witchery, Bonds, Lorna Jane, Harry Hartog, Coles, Woolworths and Priceline.
Outside of the mall, Ginseng Chinese at the Hellenic Club does a mean yum cha, Belluci’s gives traditional Italian food a modern Australian twist, and Space Kitchen is a yummy, creative breakfast destination as well as a cake shop and patisserie.
Finding anything other than takeaway food in this part of Canberra used to be a challenge (though Phillip does have its share of long-standing takeaway institutions like Wattle Snack Bar).
These days, however, you’re just as likely to come across a hipster café or eatery – Lava Espresso, Manolo’s Coffee, Hansel and Gretel Coffee House, Whisk Bakery and Patisserie and Wheat and Oats Café are all popular with locals.
Phillip is also a go-to destination for busy parents looking to grab a quick – but thoughtful and well-made – birthday present on the way to a kid’s birthday party. Toy shops Little Sprout and The Good Toy Shop are both in Colbee Court.
Places of interest and things to do
From enjoying gourmet produce to shopping and wellness, here are some of our favourite activities in and around Phillip:
- Go ice skating at Phillip Swimming & Ice Skating Centre. It’s the home of Canberra’s Australian Ice Hockey League team, CBR Brave, but you don’t need to be an ice skating pro to take to the ice at Phillip Swimming & Ice Skating Centre. The skating rink is open year-round with public skating sessions daily.
- Visit the Southside Farmers Market for the freshest local produce. Open every Sunday from 8am to 11.30am, the Southside Farmers Market is more than a place to eat healthily while supporting local farmers. Enjoy the buzzing atmosphere (there’s often live music), good coffee and range of products – from artisan meats to eggs, fruit and vegetables.
- Grab a bargain at one of Phillip’s op shops. Phillip Salvos and Phillip Vinnies have good reputations among local op shoppers for stocking a range of high quality, frequently updated second-hand goods including clothing, designer gear, footwear and homewares.
- Indulge in floatation therapy. Phillip is home to at least three flotation therapy centres: Pure Zen, Astral Float Studio, and FloatAbove. If you’ve never spent time in a float tank (a pod filled with body temperature water and about 600kg of Epsom salts, designed to create a relaxing, weightless experience), consider giving it a go in Phillip.
Playgrounds and parks
Most of Phillip’s green spaces are tucked away in the suburb’s northeast, where you’ll find Eddison Park, Woden Cemetery, Woden Park (an athletics track), and Phillip District Playing Fields.
Eddison Park (access via Launceston Street) received an upgrade in 2019 with a new nature play area with equipment like climbing hills, rope bridges and tunnels. It also has a skate park, fitness equipment, a disc golf course and a fixed orienteering course.
More a gateway to Eddison Park than an actual park (though there are a couple of picnic tables), Woden Town Park is a well-lit pedestrian link between Woden Town Centre and Eddison Park. It’s accessible from Callam Street.
Whether your preferred mode of transport is car, bus, bike or your own two feet, chances are you’ll have no trouble getting around Phillip.
Bordered by Melrose Drive and Yamba Drive, with Hindmarsh Drive cutting through the centre, it’s an easy drive to Phillip from Tuggeranong, Civic, Fyshwick and Weston Creek.
Woden Interchange is also located in Phillip, with regular express services to Tuggeranong, Civic and Belconnen.
Bike enthusiasts can take advantage of Phillip’s bike paths and on-road bike lanes to access many of Canberra’s popular routes. For more information about cycling in Phillip, download the ACT Government’s guide to walking and cycling in Woden Town Centre.
Canberra College, a public school for students in Years 11 and 12, is the only school in Phillip. Neighbouring high schools include Marist College Canberra (Catholic boys school for Years 4 to 12) and Melrose High School (public high school), which are both in Pearce.
Why the locals love it
“Living in Phillip is really convenient. It’s a short commute my job in the city and close to amenities like supermarkets, doctors and entertainment. One of my favourite things to do is visit the Southside Farmers Market with my wife on a Sunday morning; enjoying a leisurely coffee at Manolo’s is a close second.” – Allen, 36.
- Median age: 32 years
- Median weekly household income: $1772
- Median weekly rent: $360
- Houses vs. apartments: 47.9% apartments; 51.9% semi-detached houses (i.e. townhouses/terrace house); 0.2% separate houses.
- Suburb sales record: $925,000 in 2018 for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment in the Sky Tower complex
Source: 2016 Census.
Want to find the latest real estate listings for sale and rent in Phillip? Zango can help you find them:
Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Phillip? 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.