It only takes one to mention the likes of Braddon, NewActon and the Kingston Foreshore to recognise that Canberra has truly come of age.
With the rise of these new precincts, many eyes have turned to the more established pockets of suburbia, like Belconnen.
Belconnen is a suburb that is experiencing significant growth and revitalisation. This north-side suburb boasts all the desirable amenities found at these ‘trendy’ urban areas and more, with an envious waterfront community to boot.
So what’s so great about Belconnen? In recent years ‘Belco’ has evolved into an urban metropolis worthy of its status as Canberra’s largest town centre.
Plus, with the recent announcement of Canberra’s largest mixed-used residential precinct, Republic, which complements GEOCON’s stunning new Wayfarer apartment building next door, Belconnen looks forward to a promising future, where vibrant communities are coming to life and creating destinations where people live, work and play. Not to mention, these projects are changing the Belconnen skyline.
For those looking to make a move across the city, buy their first home or just simply experience a change of scenery, we’ve compiled a list of why Belconnen is your hot ticket to a pristine lifestyle where everything you could ever want or need is right at your doorstep:
Westfield Belconnen is a shopping mecca of fashion, gifts, services and food, and is a perfect escape from the daily grind. With an abundance of stores across three towering levels, residents of Belconnen can peruse all the latest fashion trends, home wares and electronics from the world’s leading franchises and retail brands, squeeze in some much-needed pampering, grab a bite to eat in the food court, pick up some quick supplies or enjoy the latest blockbusters at the Hoyts Cinema (with reclining seats can we add!).
As well as the food chains we all know and love in Westfield, Emu Bank is the place to go to experience the culinary delights of the world, along one waterfront strip.
Venues include Thai (Thai Chiang Rai), Chinese (Prince Palace, Up 2 U Chinese, Wok It Up), Italian (Bella Vista), Mexican (Zambraro), Lebanese (Ali Baba), modern Australian dining (Ha Ha Bar) and pub grub (The Lighthouse), and many more.
North-siders can also enjoy a weekly Saturday pilgrimage to the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, to peruse the rows upon rows of some of the freshest produce you can find in Canberra and the surrounding region.
One step into the markets and all your senses are ignited – sights, smells and sounds. But what many might not know is that it’s so much more than a place to buy your groceries – it’s a dining destination in itself, boasting a variety of cafés, bakeries and eateries.
Sport and recreation
Residents of Belconnen can enjoy a walk around the Lake Ginninderra to unwind after a long working day or kick off a healthy weekend in the sunshine. The lake is home to a plethora of wildlife and there are playgrounds, dog pools, barbecue and picnic stops along the way – perfect for a family day out!
For fitness fanatics, look no further than the Canberra International Sports and Aquatic Centre (CISAC), one of the largest multi-tenancy health and leisure facilities in Australia. Located onsite are two health clubs, aquatic facilities, a day spa, medical services, scuba diving training, child care, health and fitness supplies, a hair salon and cafe.
Youngsters are also accounted for with Australia’s largest skate park facility – the Belconnen Skate Park, which boasts prime real estate directly at the lake’s edge. Retaining the iconic ‘Belco Bowl’, it was designed to the highest international skating and BMX standards, incorporating a street skate plaza, sculptural obstacles, snake run, mini ramp, shelter, seating and viewing area.
Belconnen is home to some of Canberra’s finest education institutions. Overlooking the picturesque Lake Ginninderra sits the aptly named University Senior Secondary College offering year 11 and 12 studies, as well as pre-university training and short courses for those interested in personal development. From cooking and craft to computing and finance, the college is a community hub to socialise and learn important skills.
Across the path is the University of Canberra, an echelon in tertiary education and training. With a broad curriculum of accredited tertiary degrees and certificates, the establishment brings reputable higher education to Belconnen’s doorstep.
With Canberra being such a vast capital, efficient public transport is an absolute must! And the nation’s capital has never been more accessible to residents of the area via the centrally-located bus interchange. ACTION buses link the community with all of Canberra’s busiest precincts including the Civic CBD, with buses conveniently heading to and from the city every 10-15 minutes.
The Cavalry Hospital is the largest north-side health facility offering a range of services from emergency to psychiatric care. Soon to take the prize will be the University of Canberra Public Hospital, which will provide 140 inpatient beds, 75 day beds and additional outpatient services, rehabilitation and support.
In the mean time, the University of Canberra houses a number of student-led services, as well as housing Canberra’s first GP Super Clinic. Health services available inside the centre include, but are not limited to physiotherapy, dietetics and clinical psychology.
Located towards Westfield is the Belconnen Community Health Centre, providing a raft of community-based support services. From dental services to social work and a walk-in health clinic, this is ACT Health’s one-stop shop for medical care and support services.
Belconnen has re-invented itself as a modern precinct with all the trimmings. Its residents reap all the benefits from its plethora of shopping and hospitality offerings, education institutions, health and fitness facilities, and ease of transport, and you can too!
With an exciting future that’s looking towards further development and infrastructure into a revolutionary town centre, it’s no wonder that visitors and locals alike are migrating toward the north-side precinct.