See Yarralumla Differently

26
Cork & Glass

Robbie & Lachie enjoy a glass of wine at their store Cork & Glass in Yarralumla, which focuses on rare and aged wines. Photo: AHC Studios.

Yarralumla is one of the most expensive suburbs in Canberra, with a median house price of $1.54 million. But this is one suburb where you get what you pay for: stunning houses, leafy green streets, proximity to Lake Burley Griffin, tonnes of history and wide open spaces like Weston and Stirling Parks.

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

History

Nestled in the inner south between Parliament House, Lake Burley Griffin and Curtin, Yarralumla was named for an Aboriginal word meaning ‘echo’. The suburb was gazetted in 1928.

Yarralumla hosted three rounds of the women’s road cycling world cup in 1999, 2000 and 2001. The course wound through the embassies, along Lake Burley Griffin and up Fitzgerald Street.

The Westbourne Woods near Yarralumla are also reportedly haunted by a ghost that some claim is the spirit of an Aboriginal boy.

Shops and eateries

Yvonne Dourdoulakis

Yvonne Dourdoulakis, owner of the local IGA. Photo: Region Media.

Yarralumla’s local shops have the amenities you’d expect, like a thriving IGA, pharmacy and locally owned independent liquor store Cork & Glass. But it’s the food that keeps many Canberrans (even those living on the other side of town) coming back.

Yarralumla Shops, for example, is home to what many believe is the best kebab shop in town: Turkish Halal Pide House. While there have been debates on RiotACT before as to how good the kebabs are, the line snaking out the door at lunchtime speaks for itself.

Service with a smile at the Turkish Halal Pide house, arguably one of Canberra’s best-known kebab shops. Owner Ygur is proud to have been there for 18 years. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Other eateries of note at Yarralumla shops include Beess & Co Café, Farmer’s Daughter and Bentham Street Bar N Pizza.

Beyond Yarralumla shops, Yarralumla Nursery is worth a visit for old-fashioned service, professional gardening advice, and plants that will survive Canberra’s tough climate.

Places of interest and things to do

  • Take a self-guided tour of the local embassies. Yarralumla is home to a embassies and official residences of ambassadors from around the globe. A self-guided tour around the embassies is always an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. The National Capital Authority has even published a leaflet with a summary of each embassy and a map showing where each is located. If you forget to print out the leaflet you can always make a game of it and guess which country is represented by each embassy.
  • Visit Government House during an open day. Yarralumla is home not only to foreign dignitaries but also to Australia’s Governor General, who resides at Government House. Often visiting dignitaries will stay overnight. Government House is open to the public on open days, which happen throughout the year.
  • Have a picnic at Lennox Gardens (Flynn Drive). Tucked away behind the Hyatt Hotel, Lennox Gardens has panoramic views of Lake Burley Griffin, picnic and barbecue facilities, a Chinese garden, the Canberra Nara Peace Park, and several monuments – including one to honour the Australians who went off to the Spanish Civil War.

Akhmed uses traditional techniques to make pide at the Turkish Halal Pide House in Yarralumla. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Playgrounds and parks

If you love spending time in the great outdoors, Yarralumla is definitely a suburb to add to your list. Here are a few of our favourite parks and playgrounds to enjoy in the area:

  • Weston Park. Weston Park at Lake Burley Griffin has swimming areas, children’s play equipment and a miniature railway and petting zoo. It’s especially popular with families on weekends.
  • Yarralumla Dog Park (Banks Street). Yarralumla Dog Park is in a great spot with well-established trees and plenty of space for our big dog to run around. Some of the other dog parks can get dusty and dry in summer, but the extensive shade at the Yarralumla park means the grassy areas mostly stay green and lush. There are separate enclosures for small and large pets. From the park, it’s an easy walk to the lake, and there’s a dog-friendly swimming spot just a stroll away along nearby Brown Street.
  • Yarralumla Equestrian Park. The Yarralumla Horse Holding Paddocks off Cotter Rd are next door to the Forest Park Riding School and Equestrian Park. It’s another popular spot for exploring with four-legged friends – including dogs.

Sean with Allegretto enjoys riding at the local Yarralumla Equestrian Park. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Getting around

Right on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, Yarralumla is a cyclist’s dream come true. As Belle Property Kingston’s Tom Palmer wrote for Region Media in 2019:

“Yarralumla’s roads are also the route of choice for Canberra’s best, hardest, and oldest weekly group training rides or “bunches”. If you’re up at dawn every day you might see the ‘Hour of Power’, the ‘Hour of Terra’, the ‘bakery bunch’, the ‘Semi-Pro’ and the FIT (Females-in-Training), just to name a few.

If you know where to look you will also find single-track mountain biking routes off-road in the reserves and parks along the lake.”

Transport Canberra bus route 57 services Yarralumla. It runs between Woden and Civic with additional stops at Parliament House, Deakin Shops, Yarralumla Shops and Hughes Shops.

Prefer to drive? Yarralumla’s central location makes it an easy commute to locations on either side of Lake Burley Griffin. It’s a ten-minute drive to Civic in good traffic, eight minutes to Manuka and nine minutes to Woden.

Schools

The nearest public schools with priority enrolment for students living in Yarralumla are Yarralumla Primary School and Deakin’s Alfred Deakin High School. Canberra Girls Grammar School is in neighbouring Red Hill.

Locals take their pets for a stroll through the Yarralumla Equestrian Park. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Why the locals love it

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to grow up and live in Yarralumla for most of my life. I’ve been a cyclist for much of that time and there couldn’t have been a better place for me to start my day on two wheels. I learned to ride a bike on my street and in Weston Park, and I still love to ride along the path down there to enjoy the beautiful views or be humbled by the Siev X memorial…

I’ve been lucky to travel all over the world as a professional cyclist and it has made me appreciate Yarralumla, and Canberra, even more as being such a unique and stunning place to live and cycle. It always tops my list!”Gracie Elvin, two-time Australian Road Cycling Champion, Olympian and two-time Commonwealth Games Representative.

Cork & Glass.

Why do you love Yarralumla? Photo: AHC Studios.

Quick facts

  • Median age: 49 years
  • Median weekly household income: $2579
  • Median weekly rent: $450
  • Houses vs. apartments: 54% houses; 29% townhouses; 6% apartments
  • Suburb sales record (excludes land sales): $5.63 million in 2018 for a six-bedroom, six-bathroom home on Hill Corner

Source: 2016 Census.

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

Do you live, or have you previously lived, in Yarralumla? 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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26 Responses to See Yarralumla Differently
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rubaiyat rubaiyat 1:34 pm 15 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

JC said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

I was annoyed for driving to the other side of town to view a con.

I know how you felt, that is exactly how I felt yesterday.

Like going to the “organic free range chicken farm” to find it is all packaging. The chickens are in dark barns and the feed is just regular grain mixed with antibiotics.

The fantastic Vietnamese lunch we had in Dickson at Pho Po Quoc made up for it, and we went on to see a much more environmentally friendly house in Coombs.

One thing I don’t understand is how if you appreciate the importance of northern sun for winter warmth and shade for summer cooling, how can you look at the arse backwards arrangement of nearly ever Canberra open space and not see it as wrong?

We do not have anywhere the problem with hot summers in Canberra as we do with our bitterly cold winters with chill winds off the Snowy Mountains and Brindabellas. Any heat or excessive sun is easily dealt with, the cold is the real problem.

The subject is Yarralumla shops here. They were built before any outdoor dining was ever imagined, so the original design cannot be blamed for that. It was a place to come to do some shopping inside and then leave. Tables outside is a new thing re the Yarralumla shops. The shops were never planned to have outside dining.

Obviously they were never planned sensibly, just about nothing was in Canberra, but before outdoor dining was imagined?

Sorry Maya is 100% right. You cannot say something was poorly planned using todays standards and use as the yard stick.

Sitting here in 2015 with a different mindset there is plenty one could pick wrong with the way Canberra, Australia and indeed the world have been designed. But the thing is design reflects the attitudes they day something was built. Regardless of what Gus was doing in Civic, the fact that outdoor dining and the like is only now in the past few years made i to suburban shopping centres kind of proves Maya’s point.

Even in Civic you could cite a handful of places, but again it is only really something relatively recent.

This issue existed back then as it does now. It is beyond outdoor dining, it is plain and simple good design, pleasant orientation in Canberra’s climate. I can not for the life of me see hopw anyone every saw doing the EXACT opposite was a good idea.

These issues are staring me in the face. They always have.

They were staring Gus in the face when he came to Australia.

They stared Harry Seidler in the face when he came to Australia.

Sorry but I see nothing but sheer stupidity and a lack of connection with your surroundings as the only possible reason for what we have in Canberra. As I pointed out we are STILL dealing with it.

Let alone when they built the brand new buildings in Yarralumla. On the south side of the street facing north.

That big bright shiny thing up in the sky that is warming your face in the cold Canberra winters, is very hard to ignore. But amazingly everybody has. So we have toasty warm dumpsters out the back and and the not so bright or permanently oblivious Canberrans on the other side in the bleak, dingy, windy cold.

It was no accident this was repeated all over Canberra. It was bloody minded stupidity, no matter what the time. They are STILL doing it. Amazing!!!

Jindabyne shopping centre got it right and it was built around the same time. When its cold warm up in the sun. Quite nice if you are willing to try it.

You are talking a broad brush here. I agree very strongly that most people ignore orientation with regard to the sun, and yes, dear reader that includes most of you reading this (another broad brush). The evidence can be seen when looking at your housing. Yes, a small percentage of housing has been designed with correct orientation in mind, but only a small percentage. Most people don’t consider it. Don’t make excuses such as that sort of housing is too expensive. It might be a bit more expensive, but it can be saved for, as I did to get a correctly orientated and designed house for the local climate. I refused to add another badly designed house to the housing stock, so I bought an existing basic house in my twenties (cold, with no plumbed hot water, VERY basic old kitchen and bathroom – the cheapest house for sale in the whole of Canberra at the time), paid it off and then saved until I could afford to build a house that matched the climate and I so would not be responsible and embarrassed by adding ANOTHER badly designed house for the local climate, to the housing stock. This all took about thirty years. Yes, I could be called fanatical there. (Single income, below the average Canberra income, but I could do it.) Now I have a very nice, warm house most of the time at the cooler times of year; rarely needing to turn a heater on. This works for keeping the house cool in summer too. If people cared enough to get a properly orientated house, etc and couldn’t afford it from house one, and cared enough not to add a another badly designed house to the housing stock, they could do similar, but as it appears few do, this says a lot. Now, (grin) don’t get me started on your dark house roofs.
Now I’ve indulged myself answering your comments, I remind you the subject here of Alexandra Craig is the Yarralumla Shops. They were built before cafes (outside ones at least). They were a place to go buy food; butcher, grocer, baker, chemist, and the like. They were not designed with the idea of sitting around in the sun. The sun might even be detrimental to some of the shop products. Imagine the meat display with sun pouring in at it for instance. Thinking about that, perhaps the shops were actually designed with orientation in mind; just not your orientation, with today’s uses in mind, but with the uses the shops were built for. (Keeping the meat window display out of the sun for instance.)
As far as housing is concerned though, the knowledge of correct orientation is old. I have visited a 700 year old Indian village in the USA that was sited to get the winter sun. So, I agree as far as housing is concerned, there are few excuses.

I think you are trying to see reasons where there was only unthinking stupidity.

The only butcher shop in Yarralumla faces east and gets sun in his window all morning.

Facing north is actually a better way of avoiding sun through the glass when you have a correctly sized awning.

The shops get it wrong TWICE. They face south AND they have a massive overhang awning.

The times had nothing to do with it because you see exactly the same thing all over Belconnen, Tuggeranong and now Molonglo. For some reason a bit of dim sanity, but not much, penetrated the ACT Government when they built Gungahlin.

Maya123 Maya123 10:49 am 15 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

JC said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

I was annoyed for driving to the other side of town to view a con.

I know how you felt, that is exactly how I felt yesterday.

Like going to the “organic free range chicken farm” to find it is all packaging. The chickens are in dark barns and the feed is just regular grain mixed with antibiotics.

The fantastic Vietnamese lunch we had in Dickson at Pho Po Quoc made up for it, and we went on to see a much more environmentally friendly house in Coombs.

One thing I don’t understand is how if you appreciate the importance of northern sun for winter warmth and shade for summer cooling, how can you look at the arse backwards arrangement of nearly ever Canberra open space and not see it as wrong?

We do not have anywhere the problem with hot summers in Canberra as we do with our bitterly cold winters with chill winds off the Snowy Mountains and Brindabellas. Any heat or excessive sun is easily dealt with, the cold is the real problem.

The subject is Yarralumla shops here. They were built before any outdoor dining was ever imagined, so the original design cannot be blamed for that. It was a place to come to do some shopping inside and then leave. Tables outside is a new thing re the Yarralumla shops. The shops were never planned to have outside dining.

Obviously they were never planned sensibly, just about nothing was in Canberra, but before outdoor dining was imagined?

Sorry Maya is 100% right. You cannot say something was poorly planned using todays standards and use as the yard stick.

Sitting here in 2015 with a different mindset there is plenty one could pick wrong with the way Canberra, Australia and indeed the world have been designed. But the thing is design reflects the attitudes they day something was built. Regardless of what Gus was doing in Civic, the fact that outdoor dining and the like is only now in the past few years made i to suburban shopping centres kind of proves Maya’s point.

Even in Civic you could cite a handful of places, but again it is only really something relatively recent.

This issue existed back then as it does now. It is beyond outdoor dining, it is plain and simple good design, pleasant orientation in Canberra’s climate. I can not for the life of me see hopw anyone every saw doing the EXACT opposite was a good idea.

These issues are staring me in the face. They always have.

They were staring Gus in the face when he came to Australia.

They stared Harry Seidler in the face when he came to Australia.

Sorry but I see nothing but sheer stupidity and a lack of connection with your surroundings as the only possible reason for what we have in Canberra. As I pointed out we are STILL dealing with it.

Let alone when they built the brand new buildings in Yarralumla. On the south side of the street facing north.

That big bright shiny thing up in the sky that is warming your face in the cold Canberra winters, is very hard to ignore. But amazingly everybody has. So we have toasty warm dumpsters out the back and and the not so bright or permanently oblivious Canberrans on the other side in the bleak, dingy, windy cold.

It was no accident this was repeated all over Canberra. It was bloody minded stupidity, no matter what the time. They are STILL doing it. Amazing!!!

Jindabyne shopping centre got it right and it was built around the same time. When its cold warm up in the sun. Quite nice if you are willing to try it.

You are talking a broad brush here. I agree very strongly that most people ignore orientation with regard to the sun, and yes, dear reader that includes most of you reading this (another broad brush). The evidence can be seen when looking at your housing. Yes, a small percentage of housing has been designed with correct orientation in mind, but only a small percentage. Most people don’t consider it. Don’t make excuses such as that sort of housing is too expensive. It might be a bit more expensive, but it can be saved for, as I did to get a correctly orientated and designed house for the local climate. I refused to add another badly designed house to the housing stock, so I bought an existing basic house in my twenties (cold, with no plumbed hot water, VERY basic old kitchen and bathroom – the cheapest house for sale in the whole of Canberra at the time), paid it off and then saved until I could afford to build a house that matched the climate and I so would not be responsible and embarrassed by adding ANOTHER badly designed house for the local climate, to the housing stock. This all took about thirty years. Yes, I could be called fanatical there. (Single income, below the average Canberra income, but I could do it.) Now I have a very nice, warm house most of the time at the cooler times of year; rarely needing to turn a heater on. This works for keeping the house cool in summer too. If people cared enough to get a properly orientated house, etc and couldn’t afford it from house one, and cared enough not to add a another badly designed house to the housing stock, they could do similar, but as it appears few do, this says a lot. Now, (grin) don’t get me started on your dark house roofs.
Now I’ve indulged myself answering your comments, I remind you the subject here of Alexandra Craig is the Yarralumla Shops. They were built before cafes (outside ones at least). They were a place to go buy food; butcher, grocer, baker, chemist, and the like. They were not designed with the idea of sitting around in the sun. The sun might even be detrimental to some of the shop products. Imagine the meat display with sun pouring in at it for instance. Thinking about that, perhaps the shops were actually designed with orientation in mind; just not your orientation, with today’s uses in mind, but with the uses the shops were built for. (Keeping the meat window display out of the sun for instance.)
As far as housing is concerned though, the knowledge of correct orientation is old. I have visited a 700 year old Indian village in the USA that was sited to get the winter sun. So, I agree as far as housing is concerned, there are few excuses.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 10:18 am 15 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

Yarralumla is older than Gus’ Cafe, and the introduction (and awareness) of outside dining. Although there were some earlier settlements in the area, dating back to the 1920s, I think Yarralumla really got going after the second world war, but this was still before Gus’ Cafe, as Gus arrived in Canberra in 1962, when Yarralumla, and presumably the shops too, were already established.

Yarralumla may be older, but looking at those shops they are not. I tried to research them but by style I’d say the 60’s.

I got into architecture because I was raised in a cold badly designed dark house, that was freezing in winter, unbearable in summer. It was not something that needed to be discovered that you can simply change it by facing buildings the right way.

It is bleedin’ obvious!

If many STILL can’t see the bleedin’ obvious for some unfathomable reason, then that is a serious problem, beyond this forum.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 9:37 am 15 Sep 15

JC said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

I was annoyed for driving to the other side of town to view a con.

I know how you felt, that is exactly how I felt yesterday.

Like going to the “organic free range chicken farm” to find it is all packaging. The chickens are in dark barns and the feed is just regular grain mixed with antibiotics.

The fantastic Vietnamese lunch we had in Dickson at Pho Po Quoc made up for it, and we went on to see a much more environmentally friendly house in Coombs.

One thing I don’t understand is how if you appreciate the importance of northern sun for winter warmth and shade for summer cooling, how can you look at the arse backwards arrangement of nearly ever Canberra open space and not see it as wrong?

We do not have anywhere the problem with hot summers in Canberra as we do with our bitterly cold winters with chill winds off the Snowy Mountains and Brindabellas. Any heat or excessive sun is easily dealt with, the cold is the real problem.

The subject is Yarralumla shops here. They were built before any outdoor dining was ever imagined, so the original design cannot be blamed for that. It was a place to come to do some shopping inside and then leave. Tables outside is a new thing re the Yarralumla shops. The shops were never planned to have outside dining.

Obviously they were never planned sensibly, just about nothing was in Canberra, but before outdoor dining was imagined?

Sorry Maya is 100% right. You cannot say something was poorly planned using todays standards and use as the yard stick.

Sitting here in 2015 with a different mindset there is plenty one could pick wrong with the way Canberra, Australia and indeed the world have been designed. But the thing is design reflects the attitudes they day something was built. Regardless of what Gus was doing in Civic, the fact that outdoor dining and the like is only now in the past few years made i to suburban shopping centres kind of proves Maya’s point.

Even in Civic you could cite a handful of places, but again it is only really something relatively recent.

This issue existed back then as it does now. It is beyond outdoor dining, it is plain and simple good design, pleasant orientation in Canberra’s climate. I can not for the life of me see hopw anyone every saw doing the EXACT opposite was a good idea.

These issues are staring me in the face. They always have.

They were staring Gus in the face when he came to Australia.

They stared Harry Seidler in the face when he came to Australia.

Sorry but I see nothing but sheer stupidity and a lack of connection with your surroundings as the only possible reason for what we have in Canberra. As I pointed out we are STILL dealing with it.

Let alone when they built the brand new buildings in Yarralumla. On the south side of the street facing north.

That big bright shiny thing up in the sky that is warming your face in the cold Canberra winters, is very hard to ignore. But amazingly everybody has. So we have toasty warm dumpsters out the back and and the not so bright or permanently oblivious Canberrans on the other side in the bleak, dingy, windy cold.

It was no accident this was repeated all over Canberra. It was bloody minded stupidity, no matter what the time. They are STILL doing it. Amazing!!!

Jindabyne shopping centre got it right and it was built around the same time. When its cold warm up in the sun. Quite nice if you are willing to try it.

JC JC 8:25 am 15 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

I was annoyed for driving to the other side of town to view a con.

I know how you felt, that is exactly how I felt yesterday.

Like going to the “organic free range chicken farm” to find it is all packaging. The chickens are in dark barns and the feed is just regular grain mixed with antibiotics.

The fantastic Vietnamese lunch we had in Dickson at Pho Po Quoc made up for it, and we went on to see a much more environmentally friendly house in Coombs.

One thing I don’t understand is how if you appreciate the importance of northern sun for winter warmth and shade for summer cooling, how can you look at the arse backwards arrangement of nearly ever Canberra open space and not see it as wrong?

We do not have anywhere the problem with hot summers in Canberra as we do with our bitterly cold winters with chill winds off the Snowy Mountains and Brindabellas. Any heat or excessive sun is easily dealt with, the cold is the real problem.

The subject is Yarralumla shops here. They were built before any outdoor dining was ever imagined, so the original design cannot be blamed for that. It was a place to come to do some shopping inside and then leave. Tables outside is a new thing re the Yarralumla shops. The shops were never planned to have outside dining.

Obviously they were never planned sensibly, just about nothing was in Canberra, but before outdoor dining was imagined?

Sorry Maya is 100% right. You cannot say something was poorly planned using todays standards and use as the yard stick.

Sitting here in 2015 with a different mindset there is plenty one could pick wrong with the way Canberra, Australia and indeed the world have been designed. But the thing is design reflects the attitudes they day something was built. Regardless of what Gus was doing in Civic, the fact that outdoor dining and the like is only now in the past few years made i to suburban shopping centres kind of proves Maya’s point.

Even in Civic you could cite a handful of places, but again it is only really something relatively recent.

Maya123 Maya123 6:45 pm 14 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

I was annoyed for driving to the other side of town to view a con.

I know how you felt, that is exactly how I felt yesterday.

Like going to the “organic free range chicken farm” to find it is all packaging. The chickens are in dark barns and the feed is just regular grain mixed with antibiotics.

The fantastic Vietnamese lunch we had in Dickson at Pho Po Quoc made up for it, and we went on to see a much more environmentally friendly house in Coombs.

One thing I don’t understand is how if you appreciate the importance of northern sun for winter warmth and shade for summer cooling, how can you look at the arse backwards arrangement of nearly ever Canberra open space and not see it as wrong?

We do not have anywhere the problem with hot summers in Canberra as we do with our bitterly cold winters with chill winds off the Snowy Mountains and Brindabellas. Any heat or excessive sun is easily dealt with, the cold is the real problem.

The subject is Yarralumla shops here. They were built before any outdoor dining was ever imagined, so the original design cannot be blamed for that. It was a place to come to do some shopping inside and then leave. Tables outside is a new thing re the Yarralumla shops. The shops were never planned to have outside dining.

Obviously they were never planned sensibly, just about nothing was in Canberra, but before outdoor dining was imagined?

Gus was already fighting for his cafe, the shops are not that old, and he did not invent the idea. People have been enjoying the sun around the world for as long as there have been people enjoying life and other people. It’s just the miserable British who can’t get their heads around it.

As I pointed out, there is an entire row of new buildings opposite with a potential outdoor footpath we could enjoy if only it wasn’t so unthinkable.

Yarralumla is older than Gus’ Cafe, and the introduction (and awareness) of outside dining. Although there were some earlier settlements in the area, dating back to the 1920s, I think Yarralumla really got going after the second world war, but this was still before Gus’ Cafe, as Gus arrived in Canberra in 1962, when Yarralumla, and presumably the shops too, were already established.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 4:05 pm 14 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

I was annoyed for driving to the other side of town to view a con.

I know how you felt, that is exactly how I felt yesterday.

Like going to the “organic free range chicken farm” to find it is all packaging. The chickens are in dark barns and the feed is just regular grain mixed with antibiotics.

The fantastic Vietnamese lunch we had in Dickson at Pho Po Quoc made up for it, and we went on to see a much more environmentally friendly house in Coombs.

One thing I don’t understand is how if you appreciate the importance of northern sun for winter warmth and shade for summer cooling, how can you look at the arse backwards arrangement of nearly ever Canberra open space and not see it as wrong?

We do not have anywhere the problem with hot summers in Canberra as we do with our bitterly cold winters with chill winds off the Snowy Mountains and Brindabellas. Any heat or excessive sun is easily dealt with, the cold is the real problem.

The subject is Yarralumla shops here. They were built before any outdoor dining was ever imagined, so the original design cannot be blamed for that. It was a place to come to do some shopping inside and then leave. Tables outside is a new thing re the Yarralumla shops. The shops were never planned to have outside dining.

Obviously they were never planned sensibly, just about nothing was in Canberra, but before outdoor dining was imagined?

Gus was already fighting for his cafe, the shops are not that old, and he did not invent the idea. People have been enjoying the sun around the world for as long as there have been people enjoying life and other people. It’s just the miserable British who can’t get their heads around it.

As I pointed out, there is an entire row of new buildings opposite with a potential outdoor footpath we could enjoy if only it wasn’t so unthinkable.

Maya123 Maya123 3:34 pm 14 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

I was annoyed for driving to the other side of town to view a con.

I know how you felt, that is exactly how I felt yesterday.

Like going to the “organic free range chicken farm” to find it is all packaging. The chickens are in dark barns and the feed is just regular grain mixed with antibiotics.

The fantastic Vietnamese lunch we had in Dickson at Pho Po Quoc made up for it, and we went on to see a much more environmentally friendly house in Coombs.

One thing I don’t understand is how if you appreciate the importance of northern sun for winter warmth and shade for summer cooling, how can you look at the arse backwards arrangement of nearly ever Canberra open space and not see it as wrong?

We do not have anywhere the problem with hot summers in Canberra as we do with our bitterly cold winters with chill winds off the Snowy Mountains and Brindabellas. Any heat or excessive sun is easily dealt with, the cold is the real problem.

The subject is Yarralumla shops here. They were built before any outdoor dining was ever imagined, so the original design cannot be blamed for that. It was a place to come to do some shopping inside and then leave. Tables outside is a new thing re the Yarralumla shops. The shops were never planned to have outside dining.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 1:38 pm 14 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

I was annoyed for driving to the other side of town to view a con.

I know how you felt, that is exactly how I felt yesterday.

Like going to the “organic free range chicken farm” to find it is all packaging. The chickens are in dark barns and the feed is just regular grain mixed with antibiotics.

The fantastic Vietnamese lunch we had in Dickson at Pho Po Quoc made up for it, and we went on to see a much more environmentally friendly house in Coombs.

One thing I don’t understand is how if you appreciate the importance of northern sun for winter warmth and shade for summer cooling, how can you look at the arse backwards arrangement of nearly ever Canberra open space and not see it as wrong?

We do not have anywhere the problem with hot summers in Canberra as we do with our bitterly cold winters with chill winds off the Snowy Mountains and Brindabellas. Any heat or excessive sun is easily dealt with, the cold is the real problem.

Maya123 Maya123 12:46 pm 14 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

They are deciduous trees at Yarralumla. This can be seen in he above photograph and by checking Google maps. The outside sitting area on the west of the building does have northern access.

I’m rather familiar with the half dead landscaping of the area, but if you are content with the deciduous trees, how are you going to perish in the sun?

I am also familiar with the western seating area in the shade of the awnings, toilet block and building for most of the day.

Again why is it so difficult to grasp the concept of orienting to winter sunshine and summer shade?

Having seen yet more insanely awful interpretations of supposedly “solar” housing this weekend, I am coming the conclusion there was not just asbestos in all those early Canberra houses but lead in the paint of the windowsills Canberrans chewed on as children.

I live in a solar house that never needs cooling and rarely has a heater on. In fact, it was built without heating. So I know about orientation. In fact, whenever I looked at a house with purchase in mind, I always took a compass with me. A small blow heater is all that is needed for the rare occasion it is cold enough, although I have now had an efficient wood-fired stove included, as because it isn’t needed very often, I am able to gather enough free wood to use in it. My winter electricity use was about $90, and it was that high, because I needed to turn the booster on for the solar hot water, not because the house was heated (with electricity). I maybe heated the house one evening with electricity; that’s all.
Anyway, back to the subject, Yarralumla Shops. The shops were built in an era before outside dining, and were not designed with that in mind. Short of knocking the whole place down and starting again, it is limited what can be done with them. In winter I usually sit inside cafes, because it is warmer, and I think heating the outside air is energy wasting. In summer I want shade. The shops, as they are now, can cater for this.

We may share similar intent.

I however need no compass. One glance at the sky tells me what I need to know.

…and the result lies before you on the ground and the buildings.

I hear what you are saying, but sadly I have heard this all before.

I inspected a building this weekend which was supposedly “a model of solar design”. It barely veered off an East West frontage with scarcely any light penetrating. In fact the owner/developer had all the internal lights turned on and it was still gloomy.

I watched as the group of acolyte Canberrans listened intently, nodding to the “environmental design” chin music.

For heaven’s sake this is 2015, has no-one got it? Has no-one eyes to see and a brain to think on what is there laid out in front of them?

As I sit here in my house, the sun is pouring in. Not as far naturally as it did in the middle of the winter, because the sun is getting higher in the sky, and on the longest days, the sun doesn’t come in the northern windows. On the shortest days of the year, the sun penetrates further into my house than the north facing bedrooms. It goes out the bedroom doors and into the hallway. None of my living areas could be called “gloomy” on a sunny day. The bathrooms, toilet and laundry are darker, as they are on the south side, but all bedrooms and the living/dining/kitchen room are all double glazed glass on the north side.
But I know what you mean by some so-called ‘solar houses’. I remember visiting a builder’s house advertised as ‘solar passive’. It was no way solar passive. Sure, it had large windows (single glazed) on the north and a concrete floor, but no other mass, and I doubt the concrete floor was insulated around the edges (mine is). It was a sunny day, the sort of day where my present house would be warm and comfortable from the sun, but that display house was chilly. I said to the agent, in front of other people looking, that I liked the look of the house, but did they ever build proper solar houses. The truth annoyed the agent, although he joked it off. I was annoyed for driving to the other side of town to view a con.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 11:58 am 14 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

They are deciduous trees at Yarralumla. This can be seen in he above photograph and by checking Google maps. The outside sitting area on the west of the building does have northern access.

I’m rather familiar with the half dead landscaping of the area, but if you are content with the deciduous trees, how are you going to perish in the sun?

I am also familiar with the western seating area in the shade of the awnings, toilet block and building for most of the day.

Again why is it so difficult to grasp the concept of orienting to winter sunshine and summer shade?

Having seen yet more insanely awful interpretations of supposedly “solar” housing this weekend, I am coming the conclusion there was not just asbestos in all those early Canberra houses but lead in the paint of the windowsills Canberrans chewed on as children.

I live in a solar house that never needs cooling and rarely has a heater on. In fact, it was built without heating. So I know about orientation. In fact, whenever I looked at a house with purchase in mind, I always took a compass with me. A small blow heater is all that is needed for the rare occasion it is cold enough, although I have now had an efficient wood-fired stove included, as because it isn’t needed very often, I am able to gather enough free wood to use in it. My winter electricity use was about $90, and it was that high, because I needed to turn the booster on for the solar hot water, not because the house was heated (with electricity). I maybe heated the house one evening with electricity; that’s all.
Anyway, back to the subject, Yarralumla Shops. The shops were built in an era before outside dining, and were not designed with that in mind. Short of knocking the whole place down and starting again, it is limited what can be done with them. In winter I usually sit inside cafes, because it is warmer, and I think heating the outside air is energy wasting. In summer I want shade. The shops, as they are now, can cater for this.

We may share similar intent.

I however need no compass. One glance at the sky tells me what I need to know.

…and the result lies before you on the ground and the buildings.

I hear what you are saying, but sadly I have heard this all before.

I inspected a building this weekend which was supposedly “a model of solar design”. It barely veered off an East West frontage with scarcely any light penetrating. In fact the owner/developer had all the internal lights turned on and it was still gloomy.

I watched as the group of acolyte Canberrans listened intently, nodding to the “environmental design” chin music.

For heaven’s sake this is 2015, has no-one got it? Has no-one eyes to see and a brain to think on what is there laid out in front of them?

Maya123 Maya123 11:23 am 14 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

They are deciduous trees at Yarralumla. This can be seen in he above photograph and by checking Google maps. The outside sitting area on the west of the building does have northern access.

I’m rather familiar with the half dead landscaping of the area, but if you are content with the deciduous trees, how are you going to perish in the sun?

I am also familiar with the western seating area in the shade of the awnings, toilet block and building for most of the day.

Again why is it so difficult to grasp the concept of orienting to winter sunshine and summer shade?

Having seen yet more insanely awful interpretations of supposedly “solar” housing this weekend, I am coming the conclusion there was not just asbestos in all those early Canberra houses but lead in the paint of the windowsills Canberrans chewed on as children.

I live in a solar house that never needs cooling and rarely has a heater on. In fact, it was built without heating. So I know about orientation. In fact, whenever I looked at a house with purchase in mind, I always took a compass with me. A small blow heater is all that is needed for the rare occasion it is cold enough, although I have now had an efficient wood-fired stove included, as because it isn’t needed very often, I am able to gather enough free wood to use in it. My winter electricity use was about $90, and it was that high, because I needed to turn the booster on for the solar hot water, not because the house was heated (with electricity). I maybe heated the house one evening with electricity; that’s all.
Anyway, back to the subject, Yarralumla Shops. The shops were built in an era before outside dining, and were not designed with that in mind. Short of knocking the whole place down and starting again, it is limited what can be done with them. In winter I usually sit inside cafes, because it is warmer, and I think heating the outside air is energy wasting. In summer I want shade. The shops, as they are now, can cater for this.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 11:14 am 14 Sep 15

I’d take a cue from the weed infested Tank-Barrier landscaping and struggling trees in the almost perpetual shade.

There seems to be an odd connection with how badly public spaces fare and the plants sentenced to death in them.

Can’t quite put my finger on what that is. Now, where is that sun again? I remember seeing it somewhere around here… Ah there it is, keeping the dumpsters in the back laneway warm!

rubaiyat rubaiyat 10:44 am 14 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

They are deciduous trees at Yarralumla. This can be seen in he above photograph and by checking Google maps. The outside sitting area on the west of the building does have northern access.

I’m rather familiar with the half dead landscaping of the area, but if you are content with the deciduous trees, how are you going to perish in the sun?

I am also familiar with the western seating area in the shade of the awnings, toilet block and building for most of the day.

Again why is it so difficult to grasp the concept of orienting to winter sunshine and summer shade?

Having seen yet more insanely awful interpretations of supposedly “solar” housing this weekend, I am coming the conclusion there was not just asbestos in all those early Canberra houses but lead in the paint of the windowsills Canberrans chewed on as children.

Maya123 Maya123 10:30 am 14 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

They are deciduous trees at Yarralumla. This can be seen in he above photograph and by checking Google maps. The outside sitting area on the west of the building does have northern access.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 12:12 pm 13 Sep 15

Ignoring what everyone else with an ounce of common sense does.

Plant deciduous shade trees.

rubaiyat rubaiyat 11:56 am 13 Sep 15

Almost as dumb as leaf blowers are the rows of ineffective gas heaters outside all our eating places just because no-one can get the bleedin’ obvious:

The sun is in the north!

rubaiyat rubaiyat 11:53 am 13 Sep 15

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Maya123 said :

rubaiyat said :

I think that photo of the shops captures the natural dark and cold gloom, lack of landscaping talent, and the inability to use the National Car Parks that abound in Canberra, “Because God made it that way!”

Those shops are active and used by locals, as are most small shopping centres in inner suburbs. Unlike many in the outer suburbs, which are dying, if not already dead and abandoned, because those residents prefer the mall. Different mindset.

Yup, the photo looks a bit gloomy but there was actually a fair few people around and it was first thing in the morning. I just waited till they got out of frame before I took the photo (not because I don’t want them in it, I just don’t want people going nuts at me for taking their photo)

Doesn’t change the cold damp windswept pavement, whether people are standing on it or not.

Don’t know why they didn’t just move the cafes and dining to the other (sunny) side of the street rather than have the miserable offices there with their blinds all pulled down.

The fact that this is normal everywhere in Canberra must surely indicate some yearning by the Town Planners to be back in their miserable Old Blighty, where they can’t find the sun either, but only because it rarely makes an appearance..

If it’s warm enough to sit outside a cafe I want shade, not belting down sun. The expression, “Only mad dogs and…” comes to mind for those who want hot sun.

Isn’t that back to front thinking?

That’s what umbrellas are for.

What do you do under the south facing cold windswept awnings in the middle of our beautifully sunny winters?

HenryBG HenryBG 9:51 pm 11 Sep 15

Haven’t been there in ages, but I used to appreciate the butcher, the supermarket, and the Thai restaurant when I lived just up the road.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 7:05 pm 11 Sep 15

You forgot the nursery, which moved to Yarralumla in 1914 from the present site of the National Museum where it was established in 1910. It provided most of the plants for the older parts of Canberra, both public and private plantings.

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