It’s true, as the proverb goes “You buy a Community, not just a House – Ask about your neighbours, then by the house.” As communities go, 4171 is admirable. With approximately 12,000 residents Bulimba and Hawthorne is a tightly-knit community located roughly 3.5km as the crow flies to the CBD, with something for everyone.
Everyone’s needs in a neighbourhood and community are different, and your marital and family status will have a great influence in what appeals most. Whether you are a DINK (Double Income No Kids), a SINK (Single Income No Kids) TICKS (Two Income Couple With Kids in School), or a SITCOM (Single Income, Two Kids, Oppressive Mortgage), all great neighbourhoods share some common factors that are universally appealing.
We are fortunate to have some great schooling options in the area. At Primary level, Bulimba State school, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School and Morningside State School rounds up the Hawthorne catchment. On average, all three schools each have a population of about 700 kids. Two minutes from Bulimba is Cannon Hill Anglican College (CHAC) offering a P-12 and is the youngest of all the schools in the immediate area. All great schools, however, the catchment zoning is ruthless for Bulimba State, with rumours in the past of the Principal catching people out that have fudged an address to get into the school.
At the secondary level, in addition to the previously mentioned CHAC, there is one public co-ed, Balmoral State School and one Catholic all girls school, Lourdes Hill College. The intake at most of the boy’s private schools is Grade 5, and therefore Grade 5 and 6 at primary level are usually female dominated.
Even if you don’t have children now, buying a property within an area renowned for great schools has a very positive effect on property prices.
A well-rounded neighbourhood is one that offers different things to different people. We have a bevvy of choices on the cafe front within walking distance, and most often these days, dogs are generally acceptable. Looking for a laid back social drink, then look no further than The Morningside Panthers AFL club with drink prices from the early 80’s. The Bulimba Golf Club hosts a fantastic Sunday afternoon, jumping castles, family friendly, live music. In nearby Morningside, there is also the Beeralong Community Farm, where often retirees potter in the community gardens, and can even undertake some workshops on gardening or art. There really is something for everyone.
Love St park is by far the most popular, and parents wanting to put on a kids party will stake out picnic tables from as early as 6 am on the weekends. Memorial Park on Oxford St is also popular with the families, and on weekends the grounds are busy with soccer fixtures from junior grade. A couple of times a year, the local government Member puts on a free outdoor Movie in the Park and a Halloween Festival. The popular annual Bulimba Festival is also found at Memorial Park. There is also the Vic Lucas park down by the yacht and golf clubs which is picturesque looking over the river to Hamilton and Breakfast Creek.
In Hawthorne, there are also playgrounds at Hardcastle Park near the Hawthorne Ferry Terminal, and Hawthorne Park which is positioned on the Riding Road side of the expansive park reserve.
Being active and healthy generally is a popular trend, and ever present in the area. Residents are attending boot camps or boxing in the parks, kayaking, cycling, rowing. Maybe go for a run, and jog along the 900m running track at Hawthorne Park, or as I do, take in the sights along the Brisbane River and surrounding streets, you won’t be alone out there, and will be pleasantly surprised at how many others are running at 5 am (in summer). If team sports are your thing, join a local sporting club – there’s tennis, AFL, Rugby Union, Rugby Leauge, Hockey, swimming and I recently discovered, even Gridiron to name a few of the options.
Leafy, well-established area with Well-presented homes
Even in inner-city areas, a leafy main road, with well-established older buildings and homes can look really inviting. The first time we turned into Riding Road, we knew we found the area we wanted to live in. It encompasses the heritage and character of the neighbourhood, where a good majority of the properties are protected by Demolition Control and are maintained at a reasonable to a high standard. The majority of properties are also well presented, with residents having pride in their homes, neat tidy yards with mowed lawns and well-maintained footpaths.
Low crime rates
This is a pretty universal sign of a good neighbourhood. We all want to live in an area where we feel safe and secure. The crime rate in Bulimba and Hawthorne are low. Common sense says lock up your valuables, so as long as you lock up when you go out, you generally have a head start! Good neighbours are also invaluable – I have had my lovely neighbour call me one day with a “Dodgy looking fella” creeping around in my yard and picking up a ladder; turns out it was a friend coming to borrow the ladder to clear the gutters on his 2-storey home. Better to be safe than sorry.
Public transport and walkability
The daily commute into the CBD is a serious battle, with no ease in sight. Living in a riverside community, you can access the CityCat from one of 3 terminals, and relax during the commute all the way upstream to the University of Qld in St Lucia.
Alternatively, there are a couple of bus options that wind through the neighbourhood that will take you into the City or south to Cannon Hill and Carindale.
Bulimba and Hawthorne are desirable for the walkability factor. If you are catching public transport to work, you could walk the kids to school, pick up a coffee and head to your bus stop – leaving the car at home! One of my children recently told me “the best thing about living here, is she can walk to school each day!” (wasn’t quite what I expected her to say).
Nightlife and entertainment
Not everyone loves the idea of travelling into the city to have dinner, see a movie or catch-up for drinks; if you’re like me, then being able to go for drinks with friends or dinner up the road within walking distance reigns supreme. We are spoiled for choice.
In Bulimba, it’s the popular and bustling (until midnight) Oxford Street, where you will find there is a vast array of dining experiences, from Thai, Italian, Mexican, Greek, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, and Modern cuisine to name a few. You will be bamboozled for choice when wanting to quench your thirst – Oxford 152, Taphouse, Barcadia, Upper Deck, Blind Tiger Bar, and we await construction of the upcoming Manhattan Bar – I’m sure there are more, but I’m a mum and don’t have a very active social life after dark.
In Hawthorne, is the emerging village hub on Hawthorne Road around Lindsay Street. The Hawthorne Cinemas will set you back $4 and $8.50 for kids and adults respectively. The newly installed Deluxe Cinema is only $18, and you can order hot food and alcohol from the menu. For dinner, dine in or take away at Fishmongers Wife, Marinara authentic Italian restaurant; Spanish tapas at Ole’ or try some sumptuous Turkish at Downtown Istanbul; Thai and Crust Pizza is also located in this area – with a Hawthorne Cellars right next door.
Convenience is key, and in Bulimba and Hawthorne, everything is so close by. Cafés, dining, schools, doctors, dentists, gyms, and of course, shopping! A Woolworths Supermarket, a full-service station, pharmacy, homewares, fashion, news agency, bakers, hairdressers, beauty salons, gourmet grocery, health food store, butcher, organic grocers, liquor stores. It’s easy to understand how some people never venture too far out of 4171 unless they really need to.
I can’t tell you everything in one post, we would be here all day. This is really just a taste of what it’s like in my stomping ground. Stay tuned for more updates …