Weston Creek is one of the districts of Canberra, comprising the suburbs of Chapman, Duffy, Fisher, Holder, Rivett, Stirling, Waramanga and Weston. Located southwest of the Canberra City Centre, Weston Creek was named after Captain George Weston, an officer of the East India Company. Captain Weston arrived in Australia in 1829, and became Superintendent of the Hyde Park Convict Barracks in Sydney. In 1841, he was granted land in the district now known as Weston Creek.
Weston Creek does not have the hip identity attached to it as Braddon does, nor does it have the reinvigorated verve of Fyshwick, the edgy architecture of New Acton, an amazing foreshore like Kingston's, nor does it have a microbrewery to make it cool, or even a national institution to make it iconic.
Weston Creek is quiet and unpretentious, spacious and green, homely and down-to-earth, active and sporty. Conveniently placed within easy driving distances to the Canberra city centre, Tuggeranong and Belconnen, it's a wonderful place to raise a young family, with plenty of room to move, and a strong community spirit. There's a resilience too, borne from the area having suffered the worst of the Canberra 2003 bushfires.
Compared to other places in Canberra, Weston Creek might come across as rather dull and boring. But those of us who call Weston Creek home don't need the labels of 'cool' or 'hip' to identify us or make us feel good about ourselves. We're beyond all that. Because we already know that Weston Creek is one of Canberra's best-kept secrets! If you're thinking of moving to a new part of Canberra or would like to explore a part of Canberra that you've never explored before, then here are ten reasons why you should consider Weston Creek.
1. Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve
Situated behind Chapman, the 192 hectare reserve is a popular spot for walking, cycling, dog walking (dogs need to be on a leash), horse riding, and nature appreciation. The highest point is Mount Arawang, rising at 765 metres. There are walks of different lengths, with scenic views, on Cooleman Ridge. Cooleman Ridge is also part of the Bicentennial National Trail
which stretches over 5000 km from Cooktown in Far North Queensland to Healesville in Victoria.
To find out more about Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve, go here.
2. Café culture
If you love your coffee, then Weston Creek will not disappoint you. Get your caffeine fix at the popular Sakeena's
, Chris' Patisserie and Bakehouse
, Little Billy's
, Beyond Q
and Hyde Away Cafe
3. Foodies' paradise
We also love our food here in Weston Creek. Tempt your tastebuds at The Meating Room
, My's Vietnamese Restaurant
, Maestral's Meditteranean Seafood Restaurant
, Masala Hut Indian restaurant
which serves Laotian and Thai cuisine, China Town
, Orient Kitchen
and Black Rock Turkish Cuisine.
4. Fetherston Gardens
A truly delightful oasis hidden in Weston Creek, Fetherston Gardens was once the site of the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) School of Horticulture. The school opened in 1974, and its gardens were named after the first and longest-serving Head of Horticulture, Tony Fetherston, who inspired their planning. The school closed in 2009, and the gardens ceased being a purpose-built educational facility. Then in 2010, the ACT Government set the gardens aside for use by the Weston Creek community.
Fetherston Gardens are spread over 3.5 hectares, linked by pathways and trails. It's the perfect place for a walk, a stroll, a picnic with family and friends, or just to get away from it all. Fetherston Gardens was also the setting for Weston Creek's 50th birthday celebrations in 2018. Read more about the gardens here.
5. Local schools
If you have a young family or planning on starting a family, then you should know that Weston Creek boasts some pretty good local schools! Public schools such as Chapman Primary
, Arawang Primary
, Duffy Primary
, and Mount Stromlo High School
. Private schools include Islamic School of Canberra
, St John Vianney's Catholic school
, St Jude's Catholic Primary School
, Orana Steiner school
and Canberra Montessori School.
6. Local playgrounds and playspaces.
Weston Creek encourages children to play outdoors, so you'll find little playgrounds such as the one below in every suburb, many of them not far from the local shops.
7. An active and sporty community.
Some famous Aussie sports stars grew up in Weston Creek, including former Wallabies captain George Gregan, former marathon runner Robert de Castella, and former Australian representative cricketer Michael Bevan. So it's no wonder that Weston Creek is an active and sporty community! This is the home of the Weston Creek Wildcats
(junior AFL club),Weston Creek Indians baseball club
, Weston Creek Molonglo Cricket Club
, Weston Creek lawn bowls club
, Weston Creek tennis club
, Arawang Netball Association
, and Kumiai Ryu martial arts.
There's also the Weston Indoor Sports centre
and the Woden Valley Gymnastics Club
8. A sense of belonging.
You'll find a strong sense of belonging within Weston Creek. There are plenty of community groups and clubs to find your place in, such as the sport groups listed above as well as the numerous groups that meet at the Weston Creek Community Centre
, the Canberra Irish Club
, and the Canberra Raiders Weston Club
. Local schools hold annual fetes for the community (such as the St John Vianney's school fete
held in November each year), and local churches also have community-wide events and activities, such as St Peter's Anglican church
's annual Christmas Fair and the community playgroups run by Alliance Church
and Weston Creek Uniting Church.
And Weston Creek is also the home of other faiths, such as the Canberra Sikh Association
, the Bahá'í Community of the Australian Capital Territory
, and the Islamic School of Canberra
, as well as the non-denominational spiritual organisation Sukyo Mahikari
9. Beyond Q Bookshop
Once upon a time located in Curtin, this absolute gem is now in Weston Creek. Beyond Q
is a bookstore, café, bar, and live music venue all rolled into one.
10. Cooleman Court
The centre of Weston Creek and its meeting place. Cooleman Court shopping centre has all you need, including cafes, a pharmacy, newsagency, butcher, hairdresser, barber, Commonwealth Bank, Baker's Delight, Woolworths, Aldi, Target, Best & Less, The Reject Shop, St George Bank;Songland Records
, home of that hard to find record; That Gelato Place
, and Freddy Frapples, a 25-year old family-run business that's committed to selling quality fresh fruit and vegetables.
Cooleman Court also has a cute book nook where you can sit back, relax and read; and every school holidays you'll find something happening at centre court to keep the kids entertained. To find out more about Cooleman Court, go here.
Weston Creek doesn't have the hip, edgy, dynamic, and fast-paced energy of places like Braddon and New Acton. Its suburbs-Chapman, Duffy, Holder, Fisher, Rivett, Stirling, Waramanga and Weston- are slower, less noisy, more down-to-earth, and more traditionally 'suburban'.
And I think that's just the way many of the locals like it!