The Racy secrets of Macarthur

Posted 25 Aug 2018

Story by CBR Canberra

Property sites call it “Tuggeranong’s best kept secret”, but it seems like this tranquil little suburb has a few quirky little secrets of its own, including one particularly racy one.

Hills for wheels
In 1978, a group of motorcycle racers got permission to use the streets of Macarthur as a racing circuit. The undulating nature of the course made it one of the most attractive road courses in south-east Australia. Between 1978 and 1982 many race meetings and championship races were run here. Today, the missing median strip in Coyne Street and a sign in the nearby pines which explains the short history of the circuit, are the only reminders of Macarthur’s racy past.

Macarthur the Magnificent
With the rolling Brindabella’s as backdrop, Canberra’s southerners use their breathtaking views as a strong argument for staying on their side of the Big Divide. And with good reason. The picturesque Macarthur is surrounded by the Wanniassa Hill Nature Reserve and Wanniassa Hill Special Purpose Reserve, which means dozens upon dozens of properties back onto green space.

Woolly ways
The suburb was named after the famous John MacArthur. Apart from being an acclaimed British army officer, entrepreneur, politician and architect, he was one of the founders of Australia’s Merino wool industry. In celebration of the latter, every street name is associated with the wool industry. From graziers, merino stud breeders to wool growers and wool brokers have all been eternalised in this leafy suburb. Jackie Howe crescent was named after a legendary Australian sheep shearer, who sheared 321 merino sheep in 7 hours and 40 minutes with hand-shears – a feat that remains unmatched today.

Playtime, anytime
Tucked away behind leafy foliage and beautiful gum trees, the Macarthur park offers delights for kids of all ages. With its own skate ramps, basketball court, playground facilities and a net swing, it’s a great place to forget about their electronics for a while.

Make your point
Residents have easy access to walking and horse-riding trails in the beautiful Wanniassa Hills Nature Reserve. And if you continue up one of these tracks for long enough, you’ll eventually find one of 88 trig points scattered around Canberra. Trying to find all of them is a great way to explore our city’s most beautiful spots and get your step count up.

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