Canberry Fair – Where’d it go?

jayjay 14 January 2011 28

Can any rioters help me out?

Im trying to find info on the old Canberry Fair.

I have few memories of the water trikes as a kid but not much else.

Anybody know where in Canberra it was located and why it went?

Thanks for your assistance.

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28 Responses to Canberry Fair – Where’d it go?
TheDancingDjinn TheDancingDjinn 3:59 pm 11 Dec 11

I loved going to Clancy’s on the weekends. The only place i have ever been drunk and going to the bathroom and a peacock walks in and ruffles up his feathers – the place was beautiful, if i were a wealthy business woman i would have bought it just because it looks / looked so nice.

dungfungus dungfungus 3:32 pm 11 Dec 11

I helped a contractor take the train away – we started it up and did a couple of circuits first – the contractor was a bit tearful remembering all the times he had taken his children there. The venture failed because there were simply not enough people in the region to support it. A similar development at Forster-Tuncurry (Tun-Of-Fun?) failed for the same reasons. The promoters were probably well meaning but over enthusiatic people like the people who started TranACT. The difference is the former used their own money, the latter used ratepayers with no accountability. The ACT Government should note that any proposals for new, larger stadiums and convention centres and very fast trains will fail for the same unviablabilty reasons.

Golden-Alpine Golden-Alpine 12:42 pm 11 Dec 11

I wonder if Canberra is big enough to support something like this now. After reading the story about the stadium by the lake I thought perhaps this kind of facility by the lake would be ideal. Great setting and still sensitive enough to the location. How cool to see the return of the swans on the lake! Maybe next to an upgraded convention centre with parking facilities that can be used Monday – Friday for commuters.

Paul0075 Paul0075 10:52 am 11 Dec 11

Nice story in Canberra Times about Canberry Fair. Lots of reminiscing and a few photos too.

Special G Special G 10:28 am 16 Jan 11

I remember seeing a girl vomit on the gravitron and wear the whole lot straight back in her face. Sad to see that this type of amusement park didn’t survive in Canberra.

BundahBoy BundahBoy 12:30 am 16 Jan 11

I threw up on the Gravitron. The centrifical force dumped it on everone else except me.

Danman Danman 11:09 pm 14 Jan 11

For my own curiosity I googled Downunderland amusements, and found the following

There it claims that they are planning a bigger and better amusement park, though a simple whois tells me that the website was registered in 2001 and ceases in 2017, so the data on the website need not be current.

Open sources also tell me that Downunderland Amusements Pty. Ltd. (ACT) received an ABN, active from 13 March 2009 and also that Darryl Greggory Webb is an entity that has been trading as “Downunderland Amusements” since 20 Apr 2000, also in the ACT. The whois information found supports the above.

So it appears that Downunderland Amusements is still a legal entity, but whether they are trading or not, or intend to again is to be seen, though I think Canberra does need some local dodgems and a vomitron to keep the kids off the streets

tommy tommy 10:41 pm 14 Jan 11

Try searching in Google for “canberry fair” – heaps of stuff there. tl;dr – it’s in Watson beyond the old drivein next to the petrol station.

Soon the site will be affordable housing.

WonderfulWorld WonderfulWorld 9:56 pm 14 Jan 11

Some of the later news from a quick search.

It was difficult to get to from Woden suburbs for teenagers unless parents agreed to drive and pick up. I saw some iconic bands, Uncanny Xman included.

Not surprised it didn’t last, when the drive in didn’t survive it’s last round of support.

But, “my Canberra” is very different to what the city has to offer with these types of activities. Its the large country town feel still with these parks listed as “special” not permanent and fun is created by enjoying the temporary moments. Sporting events, big bands that come, Music festivals that they “tried to do” but won’t probably be seen for another few years (the whole lets try it for 3 years and then see but not bother to see, contracts over move on matter). I enjoy the comings and goings, but never expect…

Danman Danman 8:57 pm 14 Jan 11

I think it was called “Down underland Amusements” in its last incarnation…

Limited photos here

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 4:38 pm 14 Jan 11

I saw Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons there once a squillion years ago.

KSSparent KSSparent 2:03 pm 14 Jan 11

Canberry fair used to be in Watson out on the federal highway behind the petrol station at the big round about. It has been closed I think for quite some time now however…

Padoof Padoof 1:02 pm 14 Jan 11

I love how the sign for the ol’ Starlight drive-in is still there near all that new development.

My poor kids suffer through the stories of ‘I remember when….’ each time we drive past it.

Hopefully they won’t rip that down.

Frustrated Frustrated 1:01 pm 14 Jan 11

D2 said :

It’s a damn shame that it never worked. The buildings were beautifully put together and it seemed to be well-run. I have fond memories of playing music there in my band.

I saw Uncanny X-Men play there in 1985, I had forgotten it changed ownership/names a few times, but surprised to learn that someone was riding the rollercoaster in 2002. I though it had closed a decade or more since then.

Frustrated Frustrated 12:57 pm 14 Jan 11

Rollersk8r said :

What’s left of it is still there. It’s in what is now the new area of Watson, or just beyond. Right next to the Formule 1 hotel at the start/end of the Federal Highway.

I think it would be 20 years since it closed.

It was only open for a few years in the mid 80s, its been more than 20 years now.

D2 D2 12:48 pm 14 Jan 11

jayjay said :

On a side note, RiotACT is the only site I visit to keep up to date on news in Canberra. CT website is terrible and Win news seem to have given up on posting anything interesting on their website.

Couldn’t agree more. The CT web site is a disgrace and WIN’s audience is the under-5s.

I’m glad that you’re keeping up to date here. 🙂

EvanJames EvanJames 10:50 am 14 Jan 11

It was a great venue, before its time I guess. Agree re the well-built buildings, lovely timber in them. I worked functions at Clancys from time to time. Remember a great New Year’s Eve bash there, Goanna was the headline act, might have been at the end of 82?

jayjay jayjay 10:50 am 14 Jan 11

Thanks for all your responses. Unfortunately for me, I can’t visit. I live in the UK now. I do remember the starlight drive-in and vaguely remember the heritage village signage on the highway.

Again, Thanks to all for your responses.

On a side note, RiotACT is the only site I visit to keep up to date on news in Canberra. CT website is terrible and Win news seem to have given up on posting anything interesting on their website.


Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:44 am 14 Jan 11

Its being levelled, and redeveloped into houses.

Brought to you by cooperation between the Stanhope Government, and the Village Building Co.

D2 D2 10:34 am 14 Jan 11

It’s a damn shame that it never worked. The buildings were beautifully put together and it seemed to be well-run. I have fond memories of playing music there in my band.

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