Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Your input is needed!

I received this email a couple of days ago:

"I currently have an opportunity to move to Canberra as a student. However, given all the negative reviews about Canberra as a "boring" city, I am really contemplating about the move. I chanced upon your blog awhile ago, and am quite curious to know more about the city through your perspective."

(I've decided the "your" should be read as a collective one)

Here's my list off the top of my head (and in no particular order):

* Festivals. From September to April* there always seems to be something happening in Canberra. Sometimes too much "something" and I end up feeling overwhelmed and just stay home.
* Music. (See also Festivals) Lots of acts stop off in Canberra between Sydney and Melbourne so we get to see them in a more intimate venue.
* Restaurants. We have more restaurants and cafes per head of population because of the politicians and business people who use them. So generally there's no need to book. And parking is usually pretty close by.
* Entertainment: National institutions, local art centres and galleries, theatre, dance, live music, markets, movies and Festivals (see above)
* Getting away. The coast is a couple of hours in one direction. The snow a couple of hours in the other direction. If you're into bushwalking and stuff, there are heaps of options very close by. Sydney is $15 away on a pre-booked Murrays bus ticket. And the rest of the country is fairly cheap to fly to (see Restaurants above regarding politicians and business people causing a glut)

What should I add to the list?

(*Should that be August with The Fireside Festival?)


Michelle said...

As a transplant to this lovely city (from the tropics), I am a big believer in a town only being as boring as you make it yourself.

Nowhere is too boring that you can't go bushwalking, or go to the regional or (in Canberra's case) national art galleries regularly. Make friends - you'll never be bored again with dinner parties and people to go to fabulous resturarants with.

Oh the restaurants and cafes here are pretty top notch - best in Australia I would wager!

The rest of the appeal of Canberra I like to think of as my little secret. I think the reason most Canberrans don't argue the point when people accuse our city of being boring is that they don't want people coming here to find out how fabulous it really is.

Olivia said...

Lots of sport opportunities of all types and levels. Canberra has lots of great facilities indoors and outdoors. Of course it's not everyone's cup of tea but I recommend joining a team (many indoor sport centres take names of individuals looking to play) as a way to get out and meet some people.

susan said...

It would help to know where the student will be studying and what - and where are they from. My experience teaching at UC and researching at the ANU (and being students at both, though some time back) make me think that this extra information would be helpful to shape my comments

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Canberra's natural wonderland. It's the only place I've ever been overtaken on the footpath by a small kangaroo, while heading to the Dickson shops. The only place I've ever been approached by a roo while picnicing. The only place I've ever seen a black cockatoo. The only place I've ever seen a brown snake (OK perhaps don't mention that one)


Anonymous said...

Once you've settled in, you can find low key quirky stuff to try as well, like Backyard Bacchanalia, a swing dancing and retro fashion scene, roller derby. :-)

Janet McKinney said...

I agree with Michelle that a place is only as boring as you make it. But also it does depend on your perspective and what you are looking for. If you are looking for entertainment served up on a plate, with tens of thousands of people there - yes it probably could be concieved as boring. But Sydney is only 3 hours away, and you can find your super-mass entertainment there

The joys of Canberra is that it is a smaller place which is concentrated with national icons. You can get really involved in your activities here - even help organise them. There is a diversity of people here - culturally as well as lifestyle. Experiencing such a diversity will be one of the most valuable assets for your future career. You can make contacts here - very powerful contacts that can assist you in your future career.

But best of all, you will gain driving and navigational skills to a degree that no where else in Australia will phase you again (joking)

Daniel said...

Hey there! Thank you for the very constructive views/advice given =) Yes I have decided take up the offer to study at ANU this July. I am really looking forward !