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Boredom Capital of the Country! Yeah Right!

By John Hargreaves 8 September 2014 33

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How many times have you heard that Canberra is boring, there is no night life and it is the boredom capital of the country? This really irks me a lot.

I can remember belting (metaphorically speaking) the Canberra bashers from the federal parliament for their mistaken and populist views expressed viciously whenever they needed to make themselves look good in their interstate electorates.

Indeed, I didn’t make any friends when I described the federal parliament as being a very large campsite on the Hill, visited by people occasionally who came here, b*tched about the place, gave it a bad name and nicked off home as quick as they could.

I tried to apportion the blame for this crime onto the perpetrators, with less than the success I wanted.
One of the dumbest accusations was about the lack of night life.

I played in our band at the Old Canberra Inn last Friday night. The conversation with some of the revellers was very interesting indeed, as were the conversations I have had with proprietors of a number of venues around town.

Did you know that there are hundreds of musicians and bands in Canberra and that getting work for them all is really hard? The competition is fierce. The opportunities for Canberrans to listen to live music, in its many forms, are huge.

If you want classical music, if you want light dinner music, if you want good old fashioned rock and roll (our forte), if you want avant guarde music, if you want contemporary stuff, if you want country, western or folk music, it is to be found somewhere in Canberra on almost any night you like.

The notion that we are boring is rot!

We have the most numerous and I would argue, high quality restaurants, entertainment options, such as theatre, movies, live music, a vibrant pub, club and nightclub scene, outdoor opportunities on our doorstep, and some of the most breathtaking views and natural features the country has to offer.

On top of that we have our people; generous with their time and friendship, humour and colour. We are a truly ethnically diverse and embracing community. And we live in a place which is a predominantly safe place to live.

I don’t know any other place to match Canberra and challenge anyone to walk with me for a week so that I can show them the error of their ways.


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33 Responses to
Boredom Capital of the Country! Yeah Right!
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watto23 12:42 pm 16 Sep 14

farnarkler said :

watto23 there is a Canberra in Europe. It’s called Geneva and is about the same as here. The problem Canberra has as the capital city is it’s not a major city. Most countries capital cities are the biggest and when a country has a smaller capital ie the US, Brazil, Switzerland, Canada, etc the capital usually gets left out. It really would’ve been better for this city if Sydney or Melbourne had been made capital.

Yeah I don’t consider Geneva the same. I’ve been there and its a nice city. But its not planned and has a lot less green space than Canberra.

Postalgeek 12:56 am 16 Sep 14

Ben_Dover said :

Captain RAAF said :

[
I have lived in Canberra for 14 years, it’s a lovely place. It’s quiet, has some great views and if you want space to just reflect or just live a quiet life then this is it, but it’s boring as batsh/t! Don’t try excusing it, you’re not fooling anyone! Canberra is boring!!

Thank you, I couldn%u2019t have put it better myself. Some here seem to confuse “I like living here” with “it’s not boring here,” they are two different statements.

As for the people who trotted out the old clich?s’ “if you are bored, it%u2019s your own utter failing,%u201D and %u201Dwhy do you still live here then%u201D such nonsense cuts no ice I’m afraid. I live here and love living here, because it%u2019s a safe, prosperous, clean, friendly, easy, well served, place to live, it%u2019s just a bit boring that%u2019s all.

Turning the accusation on its head, you must be a very boring person to find Canberra not boring, to settle for such a mediocre level of excitement is a city is a sure sign of someone without much vision or imagination.

I%u2019ve lived in four capital cities, including Canberra. Canberra, as a capital city is not in any way outstanding, (apart from its boringness.)

Meh, I enjoy the adrenaline of mtbing in a MTB Mecca of Australia. RAAF’s list is his list and does nothing for me. And fair enough. Australia itself could be classed as boring if Broadway was you requirement, or chateaus, or mountain climbing, or heavy-calibre automatic weapon ranges open to the public. I apologise. I shouldn’t have bought into this troll-bait topic. The thing is entirely subjective. If Canberra doesn’t cater to your interests, then it doesn’t cater to your interests. Call it what you want.

Nightshade 11:39 pm 15 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

farnarkler said :

watto23 there is a Canberra in Europe. It’s called Geneva and is about the same as here. The problem Canberra has as the capital city is it’s not a major city. Most countries capital cities are the biggest and when a country has a smaller capital ie the US, Brazil, Switzerland, Canada, etc the capital usually gets left out. It really would’ve been better for this city if Sydney or Melbourne had been made capital.

California has Sacramento. Same vibe.

In the US, many of the state capitals are not the major city – it’s not just California. For example:
Albany is the capital of New York (not New York City)
Lansing – Michigan (not Detroit)
Baton Rouge – Louisiana (not New Orleans)
Springfield – Illinois (not Chicago)

A capital city is just where the central government is located. If you’re choosing a capital from scratch rather than because the monarch has lived there for centuries, there’s no particular reason to choose a major city.

OpenYourMind 10:46 pm 15 Sep 14

We don’t have to be the same as other cities to be interesting. Great gigs, restaurants, shopping etc. are all very nice, but Canberra has some other really great assets. For starters we have an awesome mountain bike park of world standard, sport in general is a big part of our life (participating not just watching), the natural space we have around our lakes is something really special (perhaps not to a hardcore nightclubber, but for those who’ve moved on from that seen).

When I hear people talking about Canberra being boring, I often think what they mean is that it’s not all congested and busy. It’s as if we pushed the heavy traffic through urban and shopping areas, added a few traffic jams then the city would be ‘interesting’. Sure, when you drive on Canberra’s busy roads they aren’t lined with people or houses, but that’s by design and for the better.

Get the ones who think that Canberra is boring to have a crack at our downhill mountain bike track, then see what they think!

wildturkeycanoe 6:52 pm 15 Sep 14

Canberra is also very boring for kids and young adults, who obviously are so bored they have to resort to wild parties at abandoned houses, aggravated robbery and assault, graffiti, stealing and burning cars, alcohol and drugs. Apart from the war memorial, there are not many other venues that keep you occupied for more than a couple of hours or so before you’ve seen it all.

Ben_Dover 2:52 pm 15 Sep 14

Captain RAAF said :

[
I have lived in Canberra for 14 years, it’s a lovely place. It’s quiet, has some great views and if you want space to just reflect or just live a quiet life then this is it, but it’s boring as batsh/t! Don’t try excusing it, you’re not fooling anyone! Canberra is boring!!

Thank you, I couldn’t have put it better myself. Some here seem to confuse “I like living here” with “it’s not boring here,” they are two different statements.

As for the people who trotted out the old clichés’ “if you are bored, it’s your own utter failing,” and ”why do you still live here then” such nonsense cuts no ice I’m afraid. I live here and love living here, because it’s a safe, prosperous, clean, friendly, easy, well served, place to live, it’s just a bit boring that’s all.

Turning the accusation on its head, you must be a very boring person to find Canberra not boring, to settle for such a mediocre level of excitement is a city is a sure sign of someone without much vision or imagination.

I’ve lived in four capital cities, including Canberra. Canberra, as a capital city is not in any way outstanding, (apart from its boringness.)

rosscoact 1:19 pm 15 Sep 14

Positive people see the silver cloud, negative people see the black lining. It’s just a matter of perspective, not which is correct

Maya123 12:09 pm 15 Sep 14

Captain RAAF said :

Mysteryman said :

dkNigs said :

I don’t think there’s nothing to do in Canberra, there’s just nothing to do in Canberra except drink, eat, exercise and look at museums/galleries.

There’s a lot of nice restaurants, cafe’s, bars and pubs, and we have a beautiful city for spending time outdoors, but besides eat, drink, exercise and the old museum/gallery, what is there to do?

Ok, now I want you to explain how that’s different from every other city. List for me, the things that you can do in other cities that you can’t do here, that don’t fall into those categories.

Go to the Grand Prix.
Go to the V8 Supercars.
Go to the drag races.
Go to the ski boat races.
Go to the air show.
Go to the gigs of the worlds biggest rock bands.
Go surf fishing.
Catch a direct international flight.
Have a romantic dinner at the restaurant at the top of a skyscraper.
Go to an old drive-in theatre (yes, some cities still have one or two).
Go to an amusement park.
Go to a Botanical garden that is actually pleasant and not full of gum trees (admit the Arboretum will be great….in 50 years).
Go to a beach.
Experience the vibrance of the docks and seafood restaurants selling fresh off the boat produce.
Watch the tall ships sail into and out of the bay.

I’m sure I could come up with more, this was just a minutes work….

I have lived in Canberra for 14 years, it’s a lovely place. It’s quiet, has some great views and if you want space to just reflect or just live a quiet life then this is it, but it’s boring as batsh/t! Don’t try excusing it, you’re not fooling anyone! Canberra is boring!!

What a boring list you have come up with. Not everything, but the first half are a yawn a minute. Moving down the list, beaches are overrated; at least to those who didn’t grow up with them. A nice river is far more fun. Riding the rapids and jumping off waterfalls (at least when younger); being able to sit on the river bank under a shady tree, instead of a hot, sandy, gritty beach. Beaches are good for the occasional visit, but I wouldn’t want to live near one. The National Botanical garden has a lot more than just gum trees. So many interesting, pretty things, that when you wrote “full of gum trees” I had to think for a moment. All the other wonderful native plants growing there, to me, send the gum trees into the background. Haven’t you ever looked? How can you miss all the other wonderful plants. Yes, Botanical Gardens everywhere are generally pleasant, but ours is one of the best and most interesting, and certainly at the top of “pleasant”. And I have visited a number of Botanical Gardens around the world on several continents, so I feel I can say this.
Sure have your romantic dinner at the top of a skyscraper if that’s what ticks your box. We do have Telstra Tower here if you want to dine at height, and the food can’t be worse (that would be near impossible) than the meal I had a few years ago at the top of the tower in Sydney. Please make sure your partner shares your love of heights first though.
Go through the list of drive-in movie theatres and tell me about the exciting metropolises they are in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drive-in_theatres_in_Australia
Yes, “catch that international flight” and flee that place you think is exciting.

Captain RAAF 10:03 am 15 Sep 14

Mysteryman said :

dkNigs said :

I don’t think there’s nothing to do in Canberra, there’s just nothing to do in Canberra except drink, eat, exercise and look at museums/galleries.

There’s a lot of nice restaurants, cafe’s, bars and pubs, and we have a beautiful city for spending time outdoors, but besides eat, drink, exercise and the old museum/gallery, what is there to do?

Ok, now I want you to explain how that’s different from every other city. List for me, the things that you can do in other cities that you can’t do here, that don’t fall into those categories.

Go to the Grand Prix.
Go to the V8 Supercars.
Go to the drag races.
Go to the ski boat races.
Go to the air show.
Go to the gigs of the worlds biggest rock bands.
Go surf fishing.
Catch a direct international flight.
Have a romantic dinner at the restaurant at the top of a skyscraper.
Go to an old drive-in theatre (yes, some cities still have one or two).
Go to an amusement park.
Go to a Botanical garden that is actually pleasant and not full of gum trees (admit the Arboretum will be great….in 50 years).
Go to a beach.
Experience the vibrance of the docks and seafood restaurants selling fresh off the boat produce.
Watch the tall ships sail into and out of the bay.

I’m sure I could come up with more, this was just a minutes work….

I have lived in Canberra for 14 years, it’s a lovely place. It’s quiet, has some great views and if you want space to just reflect or just live a quiet life then this is it, but it’s boring as batsh/t! Don’t try excusing it, you’re not fooling anyone! Canberra is boring!!

Postalgeek 9:58 am 15 Sep 14

There is plenty to do in Canberra, so let’s be clear, if you are bored, it’s your own utter failing.

If you need an unremarkable Sony label artist to visit regularly in order to give your place of residence some validation, then good luck with that narrow parameter. If you’re a person who demands strangers to arrange your entertainment for you, it speaks volumes about your passivity and dullness.

davo101 9:49 am 15 Sep 14

Mysteryman said :

dkNigs said :

I don’t think there’s nothing to do in Canberra, there’s just nothing to do in Canberra except drink, eat, exercise and look at museums/galleries.

There’s a lot of nice restaurants, cafe’s, bars and pubs, and we have a beautiful city for spending time outdoors, but besides eat, drink, exercise and the old museum/gallery, what is there to do?

Ok, now I want you to explain how that’s different from every other city. List for me, the things that you can do in other cities that you can’t do here, that don’t fall into those categories.

Sarcasm never does really work on the internet.

Postalgeek 9:42 am 15 Sep 14

dkNigs said :

I don’t think there’s nothing to do in Canberra, there’s just nothing to do in Canberra except drink, eat, exercise and look at museums/galleries.

There’s a lot of nice restaurants, cafe’s, bars and pubs, and we have a beautiful city for spending time outdoors, but besides eat, drink, exercise and the old museum/gallery, what is there to do?

Besides eat, drink, exercise and the old museum/gallery, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Mysteryman 9:28 am 15 Sep 14

dkNigs said :

I don’t think there’s nothing to do in Canberra, there’s just nothing to do in Canberra except drink, eat, exercise and look at museums/galleries.

There’s a lot of nice restaurants, cafe’s, bars and pubs, and we have a beautiful city for spending time outdoors, but besides eat, drink, exercise and the old museum/gallery, what is there to do?

Ok, now I want you to explain how that’s different from every other city. List for me, the things that you can do in other cities that you can’t do here, that don’t fall into those categories.

dkNigs 9:07 am 15 Sep 14

I don’t think there’s nothing to do in Canberra, there’s just nothing to do in Canberra except drink, eat, exercise and look at museums/galleries.

There’s a lot of nice restaurants, cafe’s, bars and pubs, and we have a beautiful city for spending time outdoors, but besides eat, drink, exercise and the old museum/gallery, what is there to do?

wildturkeycanoe 6:05 am 15 Sep 14

Canberra IS boring. For evidence I submit this – we won a free attraction pass in a popular food restaurant competition currently underway. It has a lot of listings for great places such as Melbourne and Sydney aquariums and zoos, wax museum and interesting things. What do Canberra winners get? A trip to Sydney or Melbourne for these things or a choice from one of many paintball games, trampoline world and badminton. Not even our own local zoo is included. If badminton or paintball is the best we have to offer as an “attraction pass”, it doesn’t exactly say a lot about this place.

Maya123 8:33 pm 14 Sep 14

I enjoy visiting Floriade and don’t find it at all boring. The flowers are great to see. One of favourite things there are the shops. Much more fun than visiting the mall, and more likely to get money out of me too than the bland mall. (I use ‘the mall’ for all malls, as they are blandly similar.)

Postalgeek 7:57 pm 14 Sep 14

Ben_Dover said :

Hey gang, the most exciting annual event in our “not boring” city’s calander is on. That flower show thing!

And yet you’re still here. Why?

Ben_Dover 12:56 pm 14 Sep 14

Hey gang, the most exciting annual event in our “not boring” city’s calander is on. That flower show thing!

Ben_Dover 1:40 pm 10 Sep 14

chewy14 said :

Trust the pom to be a whinger.

Just giving a sense of perspective. trust an Aussie to attack the person not the post.

chewy14 said :

For a small city of 350k we bat well above our weight when it comes to entertainment. I think a large part of that has to do with the diversity of people, our higher education levels and clearly the higher levels of income allowing businesses to succeed.

Big deal. As a “capital” city we are W-a-a-a-A-A-A-Y–Y-Y behind.

This is Canberra’s problem. If we could only man up and admit we’re not a “capital” but an administrative centre, and that Sydney is the real capital, then all these negative views on Canberra would lose their power.

Canberra is a very nice small city, with a population which does not lend itself to being exciting or vibrant. (How many accountants and middle managers more per head of population here than any comparable city?)

Canberra is a lovely warm welcoming city, with places of interest, and is near to some very attractive places, (the snow, sea, and Sydders.) It has a small city vibe, a small city nightlife and a small city ambiance. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But it’s boring.

To put it in perspective, if it hadn’t have been for the stupid Titty-Carp farrago, would the centenary of the capital of Australia have been mentioned outside of Aus? I think not.

dungfungus 1:00 pm 10 Sep 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

watto23 said :

I think a lot of criticism comes from people who’ve never been here and equate that too have fun you need a beach and hot weather. I have stated to many that living in Sydneys west or in parts of Melbourne the convenience of a local beach is no more convenient than a trip down to the Bay for a Canberran.

I recently went and watched 3 sessions of the short + sweet short play festival at the theatre. I remember going to see Empire last year in the Spiegeltent, which was a great nights entertainment. We have plenty of cinemas, I’ve ice skated in Garema place for many years, plenty of walking and cycling options. Most Canberrans would have a nature reserve within 5 minutes of where they live.

I go kayaking on the lake, without fear of being hit by a motorised boat. We get a reasonable amount of sporting events here as well. I’ve got tickets for Afghanistan vs Bangladesh cricket game for a whole $20 each! I’d rather go see that for the culutral experience in the crowd than watch a bunch of drunk bogans at an Australian game (which I might go to also!).

Finally as a avid traveller I’m always telling people to visit here because its unique. I’ve yet to find another city that is like Canberra anywhere in the world. The people I meet who’ve visited here all rattle off tales of the things they did here and many ask why do Australians hate Canberra so much, because they couldn’t understand it. If Canberra was in Europe people would love to visit it.

What are you going to do when climate change melts the ice in Garema Place?

Water Ski

NCA won’t allow that.

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