There’s something in the air in Woden Valley. For the first two months of this year, the median house price outranked not just Belconnen, Gungahlin and Weston Creek, but also the Inner North.
More and more buyers are falling in love with Woden Valley’s rolling hills, the character of its primarily 1960s-built homes, its excellent schools and its proximity to just about every other suburb in the city.
So we’re declaring Mawson the new Ainslie. Think it’s an outrageous claim? There are more similarities than you’d think.
There’s no doubt life in the shadow of Mount Ainslie is lusted after by many Canberrans but there’s a mountain across town that’s taller and just as beautiful. Mount Taylor, the stunning peak between Tuggeranong and Woden, stands at 856m; taller than its Mount Stromlo and Black Mountain counterparts.
The hike up Mount Taylor is rated ‘easy to medium’ and, from the top, offers 360 views of the entire city (unlike Mount Ainslie). And then there’s that stunning vista out the Brindabellas.
Southlands Mawson is all about great coffee, family-owned supermarkets, fresh flowers and even fresher haircuts. Sound familiar, Ainslie? At gorgeous cafe/deli Tutto – it’s Italian for ‘everything’ – you’ll find smallgoods, imported pasta and sauces and some say the best latte on the southside.
Jabal Halal market offers a huge organic fruit selection, Southlands Quality Meats is famous for its lamb koftas and Let’s Be Natural is perfect for eco-friendly cleaning products.
But unlike the Ainslie strip, Southlands is a suburban shopping centre on steroids – with a Woolworths, a pizza place, numerous bakeries and coffee shops and way better parking options. Eat your heart out Ainslie.
While Ainslie Footy Club’s been an institution in the inner north for decades, likewise, The Mawson Club has genuine legend status in the south. One of five clubs across the region owned by the Raiders Group, the Mawson Club is frequented by families looking for a good weeknight parmigiana and local rugby league players from the Woden Valley Rams.
But easily the biggest night in the Mawson Club’s history was a night in late September 1994, when an elated Canberra Raiders team made its way back to the capital after beating the Bulldogs and taking out the ‘94 premiership. Needless to say, the beer was flowing until the wee hours and the night became the stuff of Canberra legend.
In the mid-1960s, as new suburbs like Garran, Hughes and Lyons started to fill up, the brand new suburb of Mawson was gazetted.
Named after Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, the new suburb would be 2.1 km2 and feature street names with an Antarctic exploration theme. Houses started to pop up in 1969, mostly three-bedroom, one-bathroom brick dwellings with fibreboard feature walls on the outside.
For a glimpse of life in Canberra in the 1960s and 70s drive down Enderby, Hurley and Du Faur streets. The Garry Willemsen-designed townhouses at Shackleton Park are the ultimate in early-1980s architectural innovation.
Ainslie has Civic; Mawson has Woden. With retailers like Country Road, TX Maxx, Peter Alexander and David Jones, and a new $21m dining precinct just open, Westfield is the valley’s own ‘city centre’.
Click here for the full wrap of Hayman Partners’ current listings, including 29 to buy and 15 to rent in the Woden Valley.