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Suitable suburb for my family

kimmyr 8 October 2014 50

I am moving to Canberra in December with my husband and 5 children. 3 of our children will be attending primary school, one secondary and one hopefully at ANU next year. We are moving from a small country town in Melbourne and enjoy being involved in our local community. Our children play AFL, netball and attend Scouts.

Can anyone suggest which suburbs may suit us. My husband works in Acton, I will be working in Fyshwick.  Travel is not too big an issue as we are used to Melbourne traffic and travel times.


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Suitable suburb for my family
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HenryBG 5:02 pm 13 Oct 14

Holden Caulfield said :

It’s easy to forget parts of Gungahlin .

Ain’t that the truth…

dkNigs 3:05 pm 13 Oct 14

As much as you want established with a big yard, remember your dollar can go further in new suburbs as there can be an oversupply of new stock, and desperate landlords with vacant properties. You could be in a brand new high energy efficient house for less.

Canberra is currently a renters market, make sure you negotiate, don’t even think about offering more money which was required a couple of years ago. In my building there are people who came in with the old mindset paying over $100 more a week rent for bedsits than the negotiators in 1beddy or 1beddy+ study might be paying.

La_Tour_Maubourg 12:23 pm 13 Oct 14

South Belconnen-Aranda, Cook, Macquarie, Weetangera and possibly Page, Hawker and Bruce. Aranda, Cook and Macquarie provides an extremely easy link to ANU and Civic via either Belconnen or Parkes Wy. Close to Jamison Centre (group centre) and the rapidly expanding Belconnen Town Centre. Easy drive to Fyshwick via Parkes Way.

Holden Caulfield 10:40 am 13 Oct 14

Aragornerama said :

I’d recommend Bruce in particular – it’s close to Lake Ginninderra for pleasant runs/bike rides, Belconnen Town Centre for shopping, and along a major bus route with quick, regular services to Civic. It’s also reasonably inexpensive and has more established street trees than Gungahlin. Plenty of choice there within your budget if you’re happy with 4 bedrooms.

It’s easy to forget parts of Gungahlin (Palmerston, Nicholls, Ngunnawal, for example) are over 20 years old. Not many dramas with regards to established trees in parts of those suburbs. Especially if the Bruce you’re referring to is not South Bruce.

pink little birdie 10:36 am 13 Oct 14

I would look a bit deeper into schools here for your older kids.. at least check out the public schools as well they tend to pretty similar to the private schools.

Maya123 11:35 pm 12 Oct 14

Don’t forget to factor in cost of travel (petrol, car maintenance, etc) in with the rent. Paying more to rent close enough to walk/cycle to work might be a similar cost to a cheaper rental further out, but with the weekly cost of petrol, etc added to the rent. I think many people don’t think of the cost of travel when they look at rentals.

miz 3:02 pm 12 Oct 14

What Tuggeranong people actually complain about, JC, is that the ACT Govt is inequitable in its allocation of infrastructure and maintenance in a way that is detrimental to Tuggeranong, despite 90,000 Canberrans living in Tuggeranong. While there is no doubt that Tuggeranong is significantly neglected by government, it still has desirable amenity relating to its location and lack of density!

JC 12:07 pm 12 Oct 14

miz said :

Want reasonable housing prices? Answer: Tuggeranong. It is far and away the best value for money in Canberra and has all the services a growing family requires – excellent public and private schools where your kids can make friends, good, accessible local shops and medical services, both Tuggeranong and Woden malls are not far, and is only a short drive to the Canberra Hospital should that ever be required.

I do agree, but doesn’t stop many in Tuggeranong complaining about how bad they have it.

miz 11:03 am 12 Oct 14

Want reasonable housing prices? Answer: Tuggeranong. It is far and away the best value for money in Canberra and has all the services a growing family requires – excellent public and private schools where your kids can make friends, good, accessible local shops and medical services, both Tuggeranong and Woden malls are not far, and is only a short drive to the Canberra Hospital should that ever be required.
I would personally recommend eastern Tuggeranong suburbs in particular, due to their access to Monaro Hwy – suburbs such as Gilmore, Chisholm, Calwell, Gowrie, Theodore, Richardson, Conder and Gordon. Conder and Gordon are newer, but it is not too hard to find a renovated house in the older suburbs. Many Tuggeranong suburbs still possess the quintessential Aussie suburban backyard (for veggie gardens, backyard cricket and barbecues and the like, not to mention peace and quiet) whereas unfortunately the ACT Govt is intent on making newer suburbs more like battery hen farms. If you want a yard and value your privacy, do not bother with Gungahlin or the new Molonglo suburbs, and steer clear of dual occupancies.

East Tuggeranong suburbs also offer far quicker car commutes than from Belconnen and Gungahlin. Belco and Gunners are notorious for peak hour traffic snarls into Civic. You would have to drive through the city or airport precinct (where there are current major road works) to get to Fyshwick.

Whereas from east Tuggeranong suburbs simply get on the Monaro Hwy – it takes an easy 10-15 mins to Fyshwick and maybe a further 10 mins to Acton. Peak hour ACTION Xpresso buses from Calwell and Chisholm Centres to the City (to which Acton is walking distance) take 20-25 mins and cost approx $2.50 a ride.

For junior AFL – see http://www.foxsportspulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=1-1051-0-289186-0&sID=86148 – eg Calwell Swans
For Junior netball see http://tuggeranongna.act.netball.com.au – eg Rebels, Dophins, Maddies, Hornets;
Scouts are across Canberra including Sea Scouts – see http://www.scoutsact.com.au/scout-groups.html

Once you have settled on a region you can contact these groups by email. Good luck and I hope you see you around in sunny Tuggeranong!

qbngeek 10:41 am 12 Oct 14

Depending on how much commuting you are used to, don’t discount Bungendore. Has a huge scout group, awesome community if you are ready to get involved and several sports groups such as soccer, league, cricket, netball and archery. Only 20-30 mins from Fyshwick and the city. You also get the bonuses of a country town and there are many newer houses there. Downside is no high school so most kids travel by bus to Queanbeyan, Canberra or Braidwood for high school.

There is also Braidwood, we do the hour long commute each way every week day and you get used to it. I know a few people living in the ACT who travel for 40-45 minutes to get to work because of bottle necks so it was a no brainer for us to have a country lifestyle for an extra 15 mins commuting each way.

Has a central school (K-12), private primary school, great community, and soccer, cricket, tennis and league. Not sure about netball as our daughter is not at that stage yet. We are working on getting an archery club. Scouts did run and we have tried to get it restarted but, although the kids are keen, the parents won’t/can’t put the time into being leaders. The dedicated scouting parents just go to Bungendore.

Masquara 10:23 am 12 Oct 14

See if you can hook into the internal classifieds at ANU or through contacts at the government departments that do postings (Immi, DFAT, AFP, Austrade etc), for good non-investment-housing rentals.

blimkybill 9:06 am 12 Oct 14

Dacquiri said :

I’d like to put in a real plug for Weetangera, as well as Hawker, Aranda and Macquarie (probably in that order). Good schools in all of those areas, plus accessibility to shops & public transport.

I agree, Hawker, Weetangera, Aranda, Macquarie and Cook all have great schools, easy access to ANU and Acton, and are attractive, bushy, established suburbs if you like that. Hawker and Weetangera are likely to have more large houses available and probably in your price range than Aranda/Cook. If you need to go a little further out to get a house within budget, Giralang, Kaleen, Evatt, Melba, Mackellar and Florey all should have plenty of larger houses, have good schools, good roads getting in and out, and well established with decent sized yards. In the area, Canberra High is a really good public high school.

If you prefer a very new house, Gungahlin suburbs may be the way to go. The downside is the much higher housing density, smaller or non existent yards, larger schools (some of the Gungahlin schools are enormous), and in some parts there are traffic bottlenecks. I personally have a strong preference for the older suburbs though. Most have lovely long established primary schools which are of a reasonable size, not mega schools.

On the south side, suburbs in Weston Creek or Woden may also fit the bill of established suburbs, not too far out of town, with good local schools.

Allhomes is your friend in helping you find the kind of housing you want in your budget.

Dacquiri 11:04 pm 11 Oct 14

I’d like to put in a real plug for Weetangera, as well as Hawker, Aranda and Macquarie (probably in that order). Good schools in all of those areas, plus accessibility to shops & public transport.

Aragornerama 5:34 pm 10 Oct 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Aragornerama said :

ps. Belconnen would be a good option too. Close parts (Bruce, Aranda, Macquarie, etc) are within riding distance from ANU and a 5-10 minute drive from Civic. Also Radford is reputedly excellent (albeit with a waiting list I think, so your kids might not get in). I’d recommend Bruce in particular – it’s close to Lake Ginninderra for pleasant runs/bike rides, Belconnen Town Centre for shopping, and along a major bus route with quick, regular services to Civic. It’s also reasonably inexpensive and has more established street trees than Gungahlin. Plenty of choice there within your budget if you’re happy with 4 bedrooms.

Between Bruce, Aranda and Macquarie there are a total of 5 houses with 4 bedrooms, starting at about $550/wk. Budget will be a problem!

True, but with luck they only need one! There were surprisingly few in Aranda and Macquarie, but a couple of nice places in Bruce (just) within the budget.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:45 pm 10 Oct 14

…available for rent, that is. (According to Allhomes).

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:44 pm 10 Oct 14

Aragornerama said :

ps. Belconnen would be a good option too. Close parts (Bruce, Aranda, Macquarie, etc) are within riding distance from ANU and a 5-10 minute drive from Civic. Also Radford is reputedly excellent (albeit with a waiting list I think, so your kids might not get in). I’d recommend Bruce in particular – it’s close to Lake Ginninderra for pleasant runs/bike rides, Belconnen Town Centre for shopping, and along a major bus route with quick, regular services to Civic. It’s also reasonably inexpensive and has more established street trees than Gungahlin. Plenty of choice there within your budget if you’re happy with 4 bedrooms.

Between Bruce, Aranda and Macquarie there are a total of 5 houses with 4 bedrooms, starting at about $550/wk. Budget will be a problem!

Raging Tempest 3:23 pm 10 Oct 14

For that price also check out the Woden and Weston Creek areas. Weston is fairly central and close to the main feeder roads to both Acton and Fyshwick. Woden has suburbs that are near the 300-series (direct between interchange) buses, particularly Mawson, Farrer, Torrens and Pearce, so are great if you want/need buses to the city.

Aragornerama 2:28 pm 10 Oct 14

ps. Belconnen would be a good option too. Close parts (Bruce, Aranda, Macquarie, etc) are within riding distance from ANU and a 5-10 minute drive from Civic. Also Radford is reputedly excellent (albeit with a waiting list I think, so your kids might not get in). I’d recommend Bruce in particular – it’s close to Lake Ginninderra for pleasant runs/bike rides, Belconnen Town Centre for shopping, and along a major bus route with quick, regular services to Civic. It’s also reasonably inexpensive and has more established street trees than Gungahlin. Plenty of choice there within your budget if you’re happy with 4 bedrooms.

thatsnotme 2:26 pm 10 Oct 14

Alexandra Craig said :

I agree with thatsnotme – $550 won’t get much in the inner north for the size you’re after. I live in the inner north, in a 2 bedroom townhouse and I pay only slightly less than your budget. For a 5 bedroom house in good condition in the inner north you’d probably be looking at prices upward of $700 a week. Canberra unfortunately is not cheap. You’d be much better off looking in Gungahlin, you could probably get a newish house there for $600 a week.

Gungahlin actually isn’t that cheap for what I’m guessing the OP is after. I feel for you kimmyr – when doing a search for rentals via AllHomes, there are 43 results with 5 or more bedrooms, compared to around 250 with 4 bedrooms. Of those 43, 7 are $550 a week or under. There’s not much to choose from even if your budget permits.

How do the kids go with sharing rooms? Might have to get used to it if they’re not already!

Aragornerama 2:19 pm 10 Oct 14

Gungahlin sounds like your best bet. The downsides are that it’d be a 10-20 minute drive from Civic (perhaps more in rush hour) and the trees/gardens there often aren’t quite established yet. The upside is that the houses are big, new and relatively cheap. There are also lots of families out there, and I think Burgmann Anglican School is supposed to be decent. You won’t have any problems with primary schools – they’re all fine. There’ll have a lot more choice if you look for places that have 4 bedrooms rather than 5.

If you’re prepared to put up with older, dingier houses in exchange for a more central location Lyneham, O’Connor and Narrabundah might have 4 bedroom places inside your price range. They’d be pretty rare though.

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