Watson, Australian Capital Territory

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CanberraAustralian Capital Territory
Watson, ACT shops.JPG
Watson shops
Watson is located in Australian Capital Territory
Coordinates35°14′18″S 149°09′12″E / 35.23833°S 149.15333°E / -35.23833; 149.15333Coordinates: 35°14′18″S 149°09′12″E / 35.23833°S 149.15333°E / -35.23833; 149.15333
Population5,862 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density1,584/km2 (4,100/sq mi)
Area3.7 km2 (1.4 sq mi)
DistrictNorth Canberra
Territory electorate(s)Kurrajong
Federal division(s)Canberra
Suburbs around Watson:
Lyneham Kenny
Downer Watson Mount Majura
Dickson Hackett

Watson is a suburb of Canberra, Australia in the North Canberra district. Watson is named after the third Prime Minister of Australia, John Christian Watson. The suburb name was gazetted on 7 April 1960. Streets in Watson are named after Australian judges and other legal professionals.[2]

Aerial view of Watson from north east

Watson is bordered by the Federal Highway, Phillip Avenue and Antill Street. Traffic loads on these roads has increased significantly with the continued development of Gungahlin and studies suggest some areas will exceed capacity before 2021.[3]


Located in Watson is a local shopping centre and several schools, television studios and motels. The former Watson High School now houses the Canberra Technology Park which includes the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) as a tenant. Rosary Catholic Primary School is located in Watson, as is the Signadou campus of the Australian Catholic University. There is also Majura Primary School (originally Watson Primary School) which is well known for its annual Spring Carnival.

One of Canberra's two former drive-in theatres, the Starlight Drive-in, was located on the Federal Highway in Watson. The site has now been redeveloped as a medium-density housing complex, although the drive-in's sign remains.

Also located in the suburb are Prime7 television studios, The Ted Noffs Foundation, the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Canberra Carotel (motel and caravan park), Red Cedars motel, Hotel Ibis Budget, Canberra Potters Society, a C3 Church, YWAM (Youth with a Mission) and a BP service station. CTC-TV (now Southern Cross Nine), was located in the suburb from 1974 until June 2020 when the Watson studios were demolished and the station relocated to Fyshwick.[4]


Watson is serviced by ACTION bus routes R9 and 50.[5][6] Antill Street is also serviced by route 53.[7]


Calcareous shales from the Canberra Formation is overlain in places by Quaternary alluvium. This rock includes the limestone of the original title of Canberra "Limestone Plains".[8]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Watson (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Suburb Name search results". ACT Environment and Sustainable Development. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  3. ^ "ACTPLA Morisset Road Extension EIS Traffic Study Report" (PDF). ACT Planning & Land Authority. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  4. ^ https://tvtonight.com.au/2019/06/southern-cross-finds-new-fyshwick-home.html
  5. ^ Route R9 Transport Canberra
  6. ^ Route 50 Transport Canberra
  7. ^ Route 53 Transport Canberra
  8. ^ Henderson G A M and Matveev G, Geology of Canberra, Queanbeyan and Environs 1:50000 1980.

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