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Why live in Canberra?

Thumper 27 March 2008 24

We saw a recent post about what canberra is to people. And the responses ranged from clean air to lack of traffic to arts and culture.

However, there is another thing that strikes me about Canberra and it occured this morning.

The morning was crisp and still. The air clean and fresh. As I drove to work the sun glinted through a soft mist that hung over Ginninderra Creek. Passing Lake Ginninderra one could not help but notice how still and calm the waters were with the only ripple being from a number of ducks as they paddled their way across the water. The sky, with the sun low on the horizon, was flecked to the east with wispy grey and pink clouds that seemed to change colour with the position of the sun.

A stunningly beautiful morning, and one of the reasons why I like this place.

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24 Responses to Why live in Canberra?
Snarky Snarky 2:34 pm 28 Mar 08

Canberra is a “bush capital” all right 🙂

More than once I’ve mused over what it says about Canberra that I can be riding my bike barely a kilometer from the Prime Minister’s residence and less than 2 km from our nation’s Parliament and have to swerve to avoid a dead roo by the side of the road.

In it’s way it’s a useful perspective – “don’t take yourself too seriously” and all that.

spoonbill spoonbill 2:08 pm 28 Mar 08

It’s interesting reading these evocative thoughts and yet a post about a high speed train and international airport received rave reviews on riotact recently. To me these it would be infrastructure like that which has the potential to diminish what is so wonderful about the Canberra environment, as we would become a dormitory suburb of Sydney.

Thumper Thumper 12:30 pm 28 Mar 08

I can go running in the afternoon and after a few minutes from my place I can’t even see a house, only feilds, cows, horses, etc….

ant ant 12:27 pm 28 Mar 08

I was thinking pretty-much teh same thing yesterday. I’d popped over to some up-market shops to grab some lunch, and was wandering back to work. As I crossed a busy-ish road, it struck me that, if this was Sydney or even Queanbeyan, it would be more cramped, dirty, buildings jumbled together, fewer trees…. plus the air was clear, the sun was bright, and it just felt very nice.

I love autumn and spring, both are stunning in Canberra.

astrojax astrojax 11:33 am 28 Mar 08

I also like the fact you can drive 20-30 mins away from Canberra and it’s hard to believe there is a city of 340 000 people anywhere nearby.

i love the fact you can sit by blundell’s cottage, watch the sun set over the hills above a placid lake, with only national monuments and gardens to alert you to any habitation at all – certainly not a hint of commercialism or suburbia – all just a ten minute walk to the civic hub! nowhere else on the globe, really…

and what other city has riot-act, eh?

Mr Evil Mr Evil 11:23 am 28 Mar 08

Because it’s not Sydney!

I love Canberra for pretty much the same reasons other people here have already said.

I like the hills all over the place in Canberra – which, thankfully, people like Pottsy aren’t allowed to build their “Look At Me” figgin’ eye-sores on top of. There’s nothing like a quiet walk around the hill tops here on a sunny autumn or winter’s day.

I also like the fact you can drive 20-30 mins away from Canberra and it’s hard to believe there is a city of 340 000 people anywhere nearby.

And I can sit on the back deck with a cold beer in the evening and watch the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos fly past at sunset.

And we have the Australian War Memorial here!

Ben H Ben H 9:52 am 28 Mar 08

I lived in Sydney for a couple of years, and was lucky to get an apartment located in a ritzy area (Point Piper). I had a top floor view of the harbour, stretch limos pulled in and out of my street and old dolled up women walked their poodles. But like the rest of the city, no matter where you walked you seem to always be walking on a thin strip of pavement between a wall and busy traffic. Traffic and sirens all night, no space at all, and the footpath seriously smelled like poodle shit.

Even the low rent surburban areas of Canberra are way prettier than that, with trees and yards and hills and actual grass.

RandomGit RandomGit 9:38 am 28 Mar 08

Honestly Thumper, you and your romantic mists….


boomacat boomacat 9:29 am 28 Mar 08

Yes Autumn is definitely my favourite season in Canberra (was just discussing this with a mate yesterday), temperature is just right, air is crisp and fresh, clean light, beautiful colours and crunchy leaves falling everywhere in charming ye olde fashion.

Canberra is lacks the buzz and energy of places like Sydney or Melbourne, but it is so relaxed and such an easy place to live. The people are generally great (run into way less w@nkers here then you do in other cities) and the cost of living is a bit more manageable (compared to my home town of Sydney at least). Lots of space, easy to get around (with a car and bike at least), great institutions.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 9:28 am 28 Mar 08

I moved here 3 years ago planning to stay for 12 months then return to QLD. I had all the usual misconceptions of a cold, boring city full of politicians and public servants. I soon discovered that the rest of Australia is wrong. Plenty of cultural activities, art exhibitions, live music; access to all major ammenities, not the sheep padock I remembered from a yr 7 camp here.

CanberraResident CanberraResident 8:31 am 28 Mar 08

Post #9 is excellent. Next time an interstate visitor bashes Canberra, I’ll have #9 stuck to the toilet wall in 48 pt Helvetica. That way they’re sure to see it.

Thumper Thumper 8:28 am 28 Mar 08

Errr, sound of music….

Shoot me please 😉

Thumper Thumper 8:26 am 28 Mar 08

Notwithstanding your inane bs on other threads

That’s pretty choice coming from you Pottsy.

considering you usually only come out of the woodwork when someone comments on how much their house costs.

And even then you use another moniker to answer your own questions and statements.

However, Canberra is a great place to live. After living all over the world I wouldn’t live anywhere else (okay, I lie, London, but only in spring and summer and i couldn’t afford it anyway)

wishuwell wishuwell 8:25 am 28 Mar 08

Wow Thumper what a post! Makes me want to grab some children and run up a hill singing “The hills are alive….” no hang on I’m being a nob. But in all seriousness I totally agree with you.

captainwhorebags captainwhorebags 7:40 am 28 Mar 08

…particularly that first day in the season when the Brindabellas get an icing sugar dusting of snow.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 6:52 am 28 Mar 08

Top post Thumper! I also agree with snarky, to see Canberra at its best try a ride around Lake BG in the early morning (although I’d say any time around 7am) but try to pick a day its not raining. Even in winter where you’ll ride through a bit of fog, the view is sensational. Especially when you get around Royal Canberra Golf course. Sharing the open space with a a few roo’s, and just looking out over the lake is pure gold, it makes me remember why we live here.

For those on the southside, go for a walk up with Mt Taylor or Mt Arawang. The views are sensational and the experience different during each season.

Deano Deano 11:32 pm 27 Mar 08

Canberra is not:

* flat and dreary like Melbourne
* in the middle of nowhere like Adelaide
* completely isolated like Perth
* weird in that tropical sort of way like Darwin
* crowded and congested like Sydney
* flashy like Brisbane

Canberra is:

* modest, unlike Brisbane
* relaxed, unlike Sydney
* sane, unlike Darwin
* cultured, unlike Perth
* interesting, unlike Adelaide
* attractive, unlike Melbourne

Deano Deano 11:20 pm 27 Mar 08

My favourite is swinging around the hill just south of Long Gully Road on Erindale Drive and seeing, near sunset on a cloudy day, the bottom of grey clouds lit up in golds and pinks across the valley.

Yep, the sunsets are much better on the southside. Isabella Drive between the Monaro and Chisholm is another spectacular viewing location.

VicePope VicePope 10:35 pm 27 Mar 08

Yup. This place has beauty for all the reasons others have given – trees, the lake, real seasons and more. My favourite is swinging around the hill just south of Long Gully Road on Erindale Drive and seeing, near sunset on a cloudy day, the bottom of grey clouds lit up in golds and pinks across the valley. Or the drive along the Cotter Road around Anzac Day, as the trees turn copper red.

astrojax astrojax 10:33 pm 27 Mar 08

1954 planning authroities specifically nominated all the sunsets we get today, so thank menzies for that, and for the icicles we get on the three nominated cold-enough-days-now-we-have-global-warming… ; )

actually, one of the first reasons i give to inquisitive outsiders as to why i choose to reside here is the real and distinct seasons – and my faves in descending order are autumn, winter, spring then summer – not a fan of the heat me.

and then i suggest the liveability of the place, generally getting a park more or less where you need, having access to a reasonable commercial sector, artistic events pretty well any time you want one and the range of social interaction among the populace. usually you need to know someone to get ‘in’ to canberra, but as you all know, once you know one person you generally find you know about seven hundred. ‘oh dave? dave from blah? yeah, i know his cousin ethel, she’s my neigbour’s ….’ within about three sips of whatever you’re drinking. noice.

also messes with the mionds of foreigners – ‘hey but isn’t sydney the capital?’ ‘no, perth, perth is the capital’ (a real conversation, two yanks overheard in a cambridge pub by a friend, who interjected but was not believed, even when he said he was born in canberra and bloody well knew what he was talking about. they bought him a pint, but)

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