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The great divide – North vs South

By Krystal Sanders - 10 October 2014 19

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So in the first couple of weeks I was living here I heard about the great ‘North vs South’ divide. Old news I know and it’s been covered many a times including on this site and it seems to have even existed back in the days of yore. (Well at least from 1913)

To me it sounds ludicrous that it even exists, given the size of Canberra, but when I originally moved here I moved to Kingston and was told many times that I was a ‘Southie’. I now live in Braddon and I have no idea what I’m classified as!

But very recently my take on the North vs South slapped me hard in the face. At the beginning of a rather interesting night out in town, walking up to Hopscotch one of our group members announced “I’ve never been this side of Canberra, I’m from the South”. All I could think was …is.he.serious? It wasn’t what he said, it was the way he said it (I know, an infamous line from any woman) but I think this would irk even any fellow male. It was with almost disgust that he was gracing Londsdale street with his presence. Secretly I laughed, and maybe a little openly too. He proceeded to explain that he had everything he needed in Kingston, it was the greatest and coming into Braddon was just too far north.

This isn’t the first I’ve heard of it, I also know of girls that aren’t appealed by the fact that they would have to date someone that lived so far on the other side of town!

Now when I think about a night out, a nice lunch or visiting anywhere I personally don’t mind driving if the offer is good and the company is good. Everything in Canberra is literally in a 20 minute radius give or take. With Braddon constantly evolving with what seems to be a new restaurant or hip bar every week, the developments of the Kingston foreshore with the amazing Walt & Burley, the fun to be had out at Rose Cottage on a weekend, can somebody please tell me what the big deal is all about?

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
The great divide – North vs South
justsomeaussie 8:29 pm 11 Oct 14

People’s perceptions of distance in Canberra are pretty terrible. I’ve worked in Belconnen and lived in Queanbeyen and had a quicker commute than some of the people living in Bonner YET they thought Queanbeyan was basically a different country and thought my commute was 40 minutes when it was 25 minutes.

Weatherman 6:18 pm 11 Oct 14

There really isn’t much of a divide. People from Canberra commute all across the city to work. No one ever talks about the east/west divide. Weston Creek in the west and Queanbeyan in the east.

wildturkeycanoe 6:47 am 11 Oct 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The only people I know who give a cr$p about the north/south thing are people who live in Belconnen. Strange.

I’m from Belconnen and can’t really understand that I am supposedly in the North. I consider Gungahlin North and we are more Westies than anything. West’s Rugby Club for example.
As for 20 minutes from anywhere, are you joking? I had an urgent trip to the ER yesterday afternoon due to the little one hurting his back and it took me half an hour, no less, to get to the Calvary hospital from Macgregor. This is a distance of 14.8km. My average speed whilst actually moving would have been close to 80km/h [save for the retards blocking the right hand lanes doing 65km/h], meaning I was driving for 11 minutes and stopped at traffic lights for 19 minutes. I can drive all the way to Barton in less than 20 minutes in the morning but peak hour changes everything.

Maya123 1:27 am 11 Oct 14

I’ve never noticed a strong north south divide in Canberra, but then I don’t live in Belconnen. Someone thought that was a Belconnen thing. I would have thought there would be a stronger inner versus outer suburb thing, if anything.
If this Canberra divide exists or not, decades ago I lived in Brisbane for a few years. Then there really was a STRONG divide between those who lived north of the river and those who lived south of the river. I think in the few years we lived there we only visited people south of the river once, and I remember thinking we were visiting another world. Canberra has nothing like that.

milkman 1:00 am 11 Oct 14

sepi said :

Thing is, everything is Canberra is not 20 minutes away. At peak hour the inner north is more than 20 minutes away from Civic.

And if you are in the middle (braddon or kingston) most places might be close to 20 minutes away. But if you are in Holt, Gordon is practically an hour away.

Gordon is further from civic than places in nsw like Sutton.

Twenty years ago most of Canberra might have been only 20 minutes away, but it annoys me when people keep saying that – it just isn’t true today.

Most of Queanbeyan and Jerra is 20 mins in peak hour.

BenjaminRose1991 11:56 pm 10 Oct 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The only people I know who give a cr$p about the north/south thing are people who live in Belconnen. Strange.

I’ve noticed this too since moving to Canberra in ’98. Some seem to me to be under the impression that Canberra is like Cold War Berlin with a democratic prosperous west and a communist underdeveloped east.

thatsnotme 11:08 pm 10 Oct 14

He proceeded to explain that he had everything he needed in Kingston, it was the greatest and coming into Braddon was just too far north.

See, that’s not an example of any ‘North / South’ divide, that’s just an example of an utter knob. Personally, I consider the Kingston area part of ‘Central Canberra’.

I dunno – I’ve been in Canberra close to 30 years now, and I’ve lived north and south. I’m northside now, and my southside mates always give me a gentle ribbing when they head over this way, but that’s all it is. If the north / south divide was as important as some thing it is, I wouldn’t be married today, and my southside mates wouldn’t be heading over this way for my daughter’s 3rd birthday party tomorrow!

sepi said :

Thing is, everything is Canberra is not 20 minutes away. At peak hour the inner north is more than 20 minutes away from Civic.

And if you are in the middle (braddon or kingston) most places might be close to 20 minutes away. But if you are in Holt, Gordon is practically an hour away.

Gordon is further from civic than places in nsw like Sutton.

Twenty years ago most of Canberra might have been only 20 minutes away, but it annoys me when people keep saying that – it just isn’t true today.

From Holt, Gordon is no more than 30 minutes away, as long as you’re not heading there in peak hour traffic. You’d have to be heading from Banks in the south, to Bonner in the north, with traffic and unlucky traffic lights, to come close to an hour trip anywhere in Canberra.

Sandman 10:13 pm 10 Oct 14

That’s just hipster pretentious w$nkers trying to sound like they belong to a “team”. Ignore them.

Sure, one area might have everything you need, but sometimes you need to go elsewhere if just for the journey . I once drove to Bondi for a Deep Fried Mars Bar. So worth it.

GardeningGirl 9:40 pm 10 Oct 14

I’ve lived here for decades and apart from online discussions I have only heard about the north vs south once, from someone who had moved here only a few years prior. It was news to me!
I agree the 20 minutes idea is no longer accurate and for work I would care about where I live as going all the way across town twice a day during peak hour could get tiresome. But not crossing the lake to socialise is a little unusual. I hope?

gooterz 9:38 pm 10 Oct 14

sepi said :

Thing is, everything is Canberra is not 20 minutes away. At peak hour the inner north is more than 20 minutes away from Civic.

And if you are in the middle (braddon or kingston) most places might be close to 20 minutes away. But if you are in Holt, Gordon is practically an hour away.

Gordon is further from civic than places in nsw like Sutton.

Twenty years ago most of Canberra might have been only 20 minutes away, but it annoys me when people keep saying that – it just isn’t true today.

Not really

The south is much better designed so that even in peak hour someone can travel into the city from Gordon in no more than 30 minutes. Where as the 12 km trip from gunners will take longer.

It would only be 20 minutes if west Tuggeranong was built however it wasn’t and the parkway is only half the size it should have been.

Most of the people that care about north south are indeed belcoknights. When I started working in civic 90% of the workplace came from the southside. Civic is more southlife than north side, a subtle person can tell the culture difference.

HiddenDragon 6:57 pm 10 Oct 14

It’s always struck me as a symptom of dismal parochialism and insecurity – sadly amusing in a city which fancies itself as oh so cosmopolitan and sophisticated – and getting over it (allowing for the fact that some kids are probably inculcated with it by their idiot parents and others who should know better) is an encouraging sign of maturity.

sepi 5:01 pm 10 Oct 14

Thing is, everything is Canberra is not 20 minutes away. At peak hour the inner north is more than 20 minutes away from Civic.

And if you are in the middle (braddon or kingston) most places might be close to 20 minutes away. But if you are in Holt, Gordon is practically an hour away.

Gordon is further from civic than places in nsw like Sutton.

Twenty years ago most of Canberra might have been only 20 minutes away, but it annoys me when people keep saying that – it just isn’t true today.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:46 pm 10 Oct 14

The only people I know who give a cr$p about the north/south thing are people who live in Belconnen. Strange.

Raging Tempest 2:31 pm 10 Oct 14

I’ve been here most of my life and I think its weird. I grew up in Kambah, had a boyfriend in Macgregor (a lifetime ago when buses ran half hourly), and my bestie used to live in Evatt, had friends both sides of the lake. I still live in Tuggers (have also lived inner south, Weston creek and oaks estate) but my nail chick and massage guy are in belco and I’ve worked out that side too. Secretly, they are very similar.

ausbradr 12:20 pm 10 Oct 14

I’ve never understood it for the year and a half I’ve been living here. It’s quite sad really, that some people shun a whole other half of the place because it’s the cool thing to do.

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