See Turner Differently

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Owners of Polo Restaurant in Turner, Fiona and Adam

Fiona and Adam, owners of Polo Restaurant in Turner. Photo: Michelle Taylor.

Turner is a suburb where you really can have it all. Take an easy stroll to the Australian National Botanic Gardens (or venture all the way up Black Mountain if you’re feeling particularly zealous), ride your bike to a university lecture, or meet a friend in trendy Braddon for dinner.From students in share houses to professionals in one of the area’s upscale apartment complexes, Turner is ideal for those who like living in leafy surrounds close to all of the essentials.

Thinking about visiting or moving to Turner? Here’s what you need to know.

Lawn bowl player Peter drinking a beer at The RUC in Turner

Peter enjoys competitive lawn bowls and barefoot bowls at the RUC in Turner. Photo: Daniella Jukic.


The inner north suburb of Turner is named after Victorian politician Sir George Turner and was developed in the 1940s and 1950s.

Back then, Turner had generously-sized blocks with disproportionately small two- and three-bedroom houses thanks to post-war scarcity. These days it’s rare to see Turner houses in their original state, as developers have taken advantage of the bigger blocks to build units, townhouses or undertaken large-scale extensions to create luxury homes.

Today, the average home in Turner will set you back a cool $1.475 million, while a typical apartment costs about $511,000.

Shops and eateries

The RUC in Turner is a great place to catch up with friends. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Unlike most neighbouring suburbs, Turner doesn’t have its own set of shops. The good news is this doesn’t prevent locals from enjoying great food.

The RUC in Turner, for example, isn’t just somewhere to play barefoot bowls on the weekends. Its food – ranging from classics like chicken schnitzel and bangers and mash to salads and healthy kids meals – is also worth discovering for yourself.

Similarly, Polo Restaurant at the Polish White Eagle Club on David Street serves up food inspired by Baltic cuisine, family traditions and in-season produce.

Turner is also close to O’Connor, Braddon, Civic and Ainslie, all of which have their own shops and restaurants.

Places of interest and things to do

While part of Turner’s appeal comes from its proximity to the bustling inner city, you don’t need to leave the suburb to have a good time.

Our suggestions for activities in Turner include:

Locals enjoy challenging their friends to a match of tennis in Turner. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Locals enjoy the bike paths in Turner. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Playgrounds and parks

If you like your inner city living with a healthy dose of greenery, Turner could be the suburb for you.

In addition to tree-lined streets and several sporting ovals, Sullivans Creek cuts through Turner Parkland in the suburb’s centre, with ample green space on either side.

The best-known park in Turner is most likely Haig Park (access from Masson Street). Spread across Braddon and Turner, Haig Park was originally planted in the 1920s as a windbreak for developing suburbs. It has since been through a rejuvenation thanks to the City Renewal Authority, and is now home to Haig Park markets.

Local musician Tori Chard performs at the Haig Park Village Markets on Sunday. Photo: Michael Weaver

Getting around

Turner’s central location makes getting around easy. Not only is it a leisurely walk to the city centre and to the ANU, but it’s also close to the light rail line. There are light rail stops along Northbourne Avenue at the Macarthur Street, Ipima Street and Elouera Street intersections.

University Avenue ANU

ANU is within walking distance. You can stroll along University Avenue, and wander through the Kambri precinct. Photo: Martin Ollman.

Buses run regularly along McCaughey Street and Boldrewood Street, and Civic Interchange is 20 minutes on foot and less than 10 minutes by bike.


Turner School – a public primary school, and one of the oldest schools in Canberra – is the only school in Turner.

Other nearby schools include St Joseph’s Primary School and O’Connor Cooperative School (public school for students in kindergarten to Year 2) in O’Connor; Ainslie School (public primary school), Merici College (Catholic girls high school) in Braddon; and Lyneham High School (public school).

Why the locals love it

See Turner Differently

See if you can spot Telstra Tower on your walk around Turner. Photo: Region Media.

“The great thing about Turner is that it’s close to just about everything: the city, light rail, Braddon cafes and greenery and leafiness in Haig Park are all a short walk away. It’s also very close to the ANU, well-maintained cycle paths for getting out and about, good local pubs, and the ever-popular O’Connor shops.” – John, 29.

Quick facts

  • Median age: 31 years
  • Median weekly household income: $1924
  • Median weekly rent: $400
  • Houses vs. apartments: 74.7% apartments; 10.4% semi-detached houses (i.e. townhouses/terrace house); 13.7% separate houses.
  • Suburb sales record: $2.7 million in 2012 (four-bedroom, one-bathroom, three-ensuite house on Ridley Street)

Source: 2016 Census.

Want to find the latest real estate listings for sale and rent in Turner? Zango can help you find them:

Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Turner? 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.

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old canberran5:14 pm 27 Mar 15

Firstly I think these suburb summaries are wonderful and I am enjoying reading them. Turner did not have a shooping centre for the same reason Reid and Braddon don’t. The reason is they were built pre NCDC days and the shopping for those who lived there was done at Civic which in those days had all the necessary shops for a normal household to survive. The NCDC town planning concept was that each suburb had a shopping centre, a primary school and most likely a garage. Four suburbs rated a High School. School buildings were designed to become something other than schools when the supply of kids ran out and until regeneration took place.
I remember when East Row in the Sydney building had a butcher, a grocery shop, fruit and veg shop, a milk bar, chemist, newsagency, clothes shop and stationary shop. Those were the days before supermarkets and the grocer served you and carried your purchases out to the car about 20 feet away.

Well done Alex.

Couple of points to note (from a local):

– Turner Primary School is one of the highest achieving primary schools in the ACT (if you trust the ‘My School’ league tables…)
– The ‘Friends Meeting House’ is a site for the Quakers worship group. One of the least discriminating religions out there. They are on Bent St if you are interested.
– Turner is also home to Haig Park – one of the first parklands established in Canberra. Nice historical significance with details on the plaques throughout the park if you care to go for a walk one day.
The Haig Park area near Masson St contains lots of green open space for dogs and their owners (it’s a designated ‘off-leash’ area and is much shadier and welcoming in summer than some nearby dog-parks). Check signage in the park for details.
– The bowls club is now operated by the RUC (Rugby Union club) and is old-school style with old-school prices for ales and meals. Barefoot bowls is massive and judging by their diary is the most desired office Christmas Party venue in the ACT.
– The Tennis Club off Condamine St is particularly popular around Aussie Open time in January and has social tennis groups. Monday nights go off with the local Pink Tennis group.
– The Lego house mentioned above in the article has become a mini-tourist attraction lately as it was in the paper due to the theft (and subsequent return) of the one of the resident’s life-sized Lego men

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