Canberra’s local tourists

Tourist information centres aren’t just for tourists, they’re great for locals too, and the one in Canberra is a particularly useful resource, especially if you’re new to town and don’t quite know what’s on offer.

We discovered Canberra’s tourist information centre by accident when we were on a research trip to the city a couple of years ago. We left laden with enough reading material to give us cause to check our baggage allowances, and nearly all of it came in handy as we planned our permanent move. In fact, most of the brochures that appear in the CBRbound header came from that impromptu visit.
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When Canberra comes out to play

When we lived in Denmark, one of our favourite days out of the year was the Roskilde Dyrskue, or agricultural fair. It always provided a wonderful mix of great weather, pet and farmyard animals, interesting and bizarre sports, and attractions for the kids. In short, it was the perfect day out and one that we thought we’d miss after our move.

A view of the show's main arena.

Show-jumping in the foreground and a funfair in the background at the Royal Canberra Show.

Not a bit of it, because Canberra has an agricultural show all of its own – the Royal Canberra Show – and it offers all the things you’d expect, plus a few surprises too.
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The summer of a lifetime

Anyone who also has kids will know what I mean when I say that sometimes it’s hard to find the time to step back and take stock of life when there’s always just one more errand to run, or one more call for help to respond to.

But today, while driving along with mini- and maxi-CBRbounds in the back of the car, maxi confided in me that he thought our first summer in Canberra had been the best of his (admittedly still short) life.
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When football came to town

Canberra Stadium, with an Asian Cup football match in progress.

Canberra Stadium: time for a replacement?

I love a bit of football. Aside from my lifelong devotion to Liverpool FC, the highlight of which was a seven-year spell as a season ticket holder at Anfield, I’ve always gone along to support my local team wherever I’ve lived, and have been known to pause to watch the odd interesting park game for more than a minute or two.

Imagine then, my disappointment at learning that Canberra is one of the few Australian cities not to have a team in the country’s national league, the Hyundai A-League. Imagine then, also, my delight at learning that the AFC Asian Cup – one of the world’s biggest tournaments outside of the FIFA World Cup – was being held in Australia this year and that Canberra had been named as one of its host cities.
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Australia’s dominant religion: cricket

When I was growing up in England, cricket had a much greater presence in the consciousness of the general public. As I recall, football and cricket were held in relatively equal thrall and were largely confined to their seasons of summer and winter, only overlapping for a few weeks at either end. Indeed, some players even played both games – Ian Botham included.

Since then, the behemoth that is football has sucked up nearly all the media attention in England such that, outside of the Ashes and the world cup, cricket has become very much the poor relation in the nation’s sporting line-up.
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Fireworks above a house.
The beady eye of a T-Rex.

Canberra, land of the dinosaurs

The brilliant thing about living in Canberra is that there are so many things to do. The bad thing about living in Canberra is that the kids know that there are so many things to do.

Entrance sign to the National Dinosaur Museum.

Canberra’s National Dinosaur Museum has been on the kids’ wish list since we arrived.

Since we arrived, five weeks ago, mini-CBRbound and maxi-CBRbound have taken every opportunity to let us know that a visit to the National Dinosaur Museum was high on their wish list. So, mildly encouraged by vouchers offering free entry for children accompanied by an adult, we finally gave in and headed back in time a few million years.
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Close-up of a snake.

Luck and Gungahlin’s local delights

Luck is a major determinant of your fortunes when you decide to choose a neighbourhood and a home from 15,000 kilometres away, and I’m happy to report that ‘the lucky country’ has so far blessed us with a fair amount of fortune.

A mere month ago, Gungahlin seemed an exotic name for an outer suburb of a city we’d researched but didn’t know too much about. We reasoned that, given Canberra’s reputation for being easy to get around, even if Gungahlin turned out to be as dull as an Eskimo’s diet, there would be plenty of other options within easy reach. Continue reading

A little boy waits to mount a pony.

Pony riding at sunset

Each member of the family had their own special reason to look forward to life down under. For our youngest son, the big attraction was the chance to learn to ride horses.

He’s been asking for a few years now, but both the weather and the language proved to be barriers in Denmark. “When we get to Australia, you can start,” we’d said. This week, we made good on our promise. Continue reading

Welcome to Canberra

So, we’ve completed our first week in Canberra and, while it’s been peppered with highs and lows, I have to say that we’re still very happy to be here.

Since our arrival to an empty house, we’ve been on the receiving end of two mercy dashes by friends and their extended family, had offers of help via social media from people we only know via tweets and blog posts, and we’ve had our first tastes of family life here in Australia’s capital. Here are a few highlights:
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