Orientation & Geography

Australia, Australia, Australian Capital Territory

Yarralumla is a large inner south suburb of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. Located approximately 3.5 kilometres (2 miles) south-west of the city, Yarralumla extends along the south-west bank of Lake Burley Griffin. (The lake was created after the Second World War through the blocking, with a dam, of the Molonglo River.) Europeans first settled the area in 1828, and it was named Yarralumla in 1834 from the indigenous Ngunnawal people's term for the area. (It is also spelt "Yarrowlumla" on some 19th century maps and other documents.) Frederick Campbell, grandson of Robert Campbell who built nearby "Duntroon", completed the construction of a large, gabled, brick house on his property in 1891 that now serves as the site of Government House, the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia. Campbell's house replaced an elegant, Georgian-style homestead, the main portions of which were erected from local stone in the 1830s. Among the old Yarralumla homestead's most notable occupants were Sir Terence Aubrey Murray, who owned Yarralumla sheep station from 1837 to 1859, Augustus Onslow Manby Gibbes, who owned the property from 1859 to 1881, and Augustus' father Colonel John George Nathaniel Gibbes (1787-1873). (Augustus "Gussie" Gibbes was Murray's brother-in-law; he also advanced money to Frederick Campbell to assist with the construction, in 1890-1891, of Campbell's grand new family house at Yarralumla.) The modern suburb of Yarralumla was officially gazetted by the government in 1928 and today is home to approximately 3000 people and many diplomatic missions. In recent years, it has become one of Canberra's most desirable and expensive residential suburbs because of its wide leafy streets, attractive lakeside setting and central location.