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Eight observations about Canberrans

Bethany Larsen

 (From someone who’s learning to be one)

I’ve been in Canberra for about three months now and as someone who has moved states (in this case territory) three times in three years, I’ve been able to identify certain characteristics that are unique to Canberrans.

It’s two degrees of separation, not six

Good luck dating someone who none of your friends have had a fling with. Chances are you probably know their ex too. Did you go to school with them? Same netball club? Same uni? Just check their mutual friends on facey, you’ll have at least 10 people in common.

Canberrans complain just as much about the cold as non-Canberrans

Since moving here (from North QLD I might add) I have not met one person yet who says ‘you get used to it, it’s not that bad.’ Instead, the responses have been “Hahahaha you’re going to die!!”

Cheers for that!

Canberra probably have the most speed cameras in Australia (per capita anyway!)

You can’t drive two minutes without a ‘Speed cameras used in the ACT’ sign, yet, everyone still speeds! I have to turn my cruise control on even if I’m driving for literally two minutes on the GDE because if I lose concentration and drive at the same speed as everyone else I end up with a speeding fine.

Pubs here are actually very decent places to be

I would be scared walking into a pub in some other states where all you can smell is beer and dried up vodka on the wooden floor, whilst all you can see is middle-aged men with their un-groomed beards and beer-bellies hanging out. Charming.

In Canberra, the pub food is delicious, the drinks are slightly cheaper than clubs (#winning) and if my family were visiting I’d quite probably ask “Hey, do you want to go to the pub for dinner?”

Canberrans know there’s a world outside of Canberra

In a lot of other regional/provincial places, I’ve found people haven’t travelled much, haven’t lived elsewhere and just seem to have the ‘big fish small pond analogy’.

Whether it’s a weekend away in Sydney once a month or visiting a friend overseas, Canberrans seem to be aware that there’s actually world outside of their hometown.

You can never be too dressy!

Yes, amazing news! Sometimes it might be like ‘Come on you can’t wear uggies and trackies right now’ but in no circumstance would it ever be awkward to wear a suit. YES! An excuse to wear all those heels I’ve been collecting for years. Oh and I guess I’ll ‘have to’ buy some more pairs now I’m living here.

For Canberrans, food is life

And living here, I agree! I have already been to so many impressive, quirky, innovative cafes, restaurants and wineries in my short time. Who needs clubbing when you can spend your cash on a divine night out at Elk and Pea in Braddon (and okay maybe go for a cheeky drink and a dance at Hopscotch afterwards)? Watch out Melbourne, the wining and dining in Canberra is on the rise! Don’t even start me on freakshakes and those cronuts at Ricardo’s in Jamison.

You’re sophisticated by all appearances but secretly know how to party

Maybe it’s because the city’s pretty much run by public servants and pollies or maybe being the capital of Australia Canberra just has the whole ‘we need to be responsible’ school captain effect but there’s definitely a polished vibe. Yet, behind closed doors…

Let’s just say as a Gold Coast girl (supposedly party capital of AUS) I was like ‘woah Canberrans are giving me a run for my money!’

As I mentioned earlier, this is my third move in just three years and I can honestly say it’s been the best one so far. If I can just survive the next few months of -4 degree mornings and having to use my electric blanket every single night, you never know, I might be stuck here for good.

Feature image by Martin Ollman


Bethany Larsen

Beth is a Gold Coast girl who's basically gone on a tour of all Australia to pursue her dream of radio. To outback Port Augusta at just 19, up to the tropics in Townsville a couple of years later and now to the beautiful, (but freezing) Canberra she's lived in a few places for a 22-year-old. You'll hear her weekdays on Hit 104.7 between 12-4pm. She wears her heart on her sleeve when it comes to her job and feels so blessed to work in an industry which celebrates her quirks! Feel free to drop her a line and follow her on her socials, oh and if you do run into her sometime in Braddon, she's a red wine girl ;) More about the Author

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