The stories of a nation

One of the things that Canberra excels at, is placing people at the heart of the Australian story.

There are museums aplenty, frequent ‘one off’ exhibitions, and numerous monuments to what it means to be a part of this nation’s history.

A tourist brochure promoting the Australian War Memorial with a poppy laid on top.

The Australian War Memorial, part tourist attraction, part lesson, part pilgrimage.

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Rolling out the red carpet

An aerial shot of New South Wales from an aircraft window.

Our final short flight to Canberra was filled with excitement.

The countdown has begun. In just two weeks, we will be rolling out the red carpet for our first overseas visitor, my mum, Nanny CBRbound.

The boys are excited, and I think Nanny is a little bit nervous. This will be the longest trip she’s ever taken, by far.
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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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Canberra’s sporting bonanza

The CBRbound clan likes a bit of sport – we’ve trekked across Europe to see the World Equestrian Games, had season tickets for our favourite football teams, seen the royals play polo, and even been to Wimbledon on men’s semi-finals day, to say nothing of all the sporting activities that the kids actually participated in. But nothing quite prepared us for the feast of sporting activity that is on offer in and around Canberra this southern summer.
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Fireworks above a house.
The Syney Opera House, seen from the Manly ferry.

Taking the slow train to Sydney

Inter-city train travel in Australia isn’t fast. It takes more than four hours to travel the 286km from Canberra to Sydney, but what the journey lacks in speed, it more than makes up for with its in-flight entertainment, otherwise known as the scenery.

Whatever the merits of living in Canberra, it’s fair to say that Australia’s capital doesn’t represent most people’s view of a classic Australian landscape – at least, not until you head out into the countryside. But board one of the three daily trains that leave Canberra’s only station and the ‘real Australia’ quickly reveals itself. Continue reading

Australia’s national sport: Canberra bashing

A child riding a pony at sunset.

These are the views every Canberran knows and no Canberra-basher will admit to.

Once you start researching a move to Canberra, it doesn’t take you long to realise that Australians have a rather schizophrenic relationship with their own capital, to the extent that ‘Canberra-bashing’ would easily compete with cricket and Aussie rules football for the title of national sport.

The uneasy between Aussies and Canberra seems to taken as carte-blanche for others to say what they like about the place, whether based on fact or not. Continue reading

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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