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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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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.