Canberra, ACT – October 1999

Well, here we are in the start of spring and Canberra is rather nice at the time of year. Perhaps not in comparison to other places but definitely in comparison to the total shittiness of winter here.

The spring smell is in the air and lots of flowers are blooming.

If you are a flower fanatic, then this is the best time to come. A festival called “Floriade” has just started and will run through until the end of October. This is open day and night, although you have already missed the first free weekend, and now there is a cover charge (about$10).

It is a nice outing for the children and their parents. But if you are not in these social brackets then you may want to take a little altered perception to appreciate lying in a field of flowers. The sun is shining on most days but there may be a slight to moderate wind so take a jacket

just in case.

If you are not an outdoorsy person then never fear. I may find something else for you to do.


If you are into Punk and Ska then there will be a great line up at the ANU Refectory Bar this month. If you are reading this before the 28th of September, then get yourself to the Living End. These guys are a band from Melbourne. They don’t have a big repertoire of songs as they have only just managed to make a popular name for themselves in this last year. But what they have is good.

Then you have “Frenzal Rhomb” on the 30th (same place). They are a little more punkier (less rhythm more beat). They have been around a while and anyone from Sydney should know them and be able to tell you a little about their history and whether or not you will like


Then on the 8th of October there will be “Reel Big Fish” who are playing with “22 Jacks” and “Area 7”, all of which in a ska category I highly recommend. The first two being from the States and Area 7 from Melbourne.

In fact, while we are talking along these lines, I might add my opinion that anyone interested in the progressive Australian music scene should forget Sydney and go straight to Melbourne, as Sydney is stagnating worse than Canberra when it comes to the new live music scene. I don’t know much about the electronica though. My friend always goes up there when he wants a dance, but that may only mean that it is comparatively better, not necessarily good.

The Real Canberra

Well I am over Canberra now. And I will give any self respecting tourist about 2 weeks to know Canberra as well as any local. Mainly ‘cos after 2 weeks there is not much interesting stuff left to find out and you end up finding out information which is totally irrelevant to your current mind set, or to where you ever want to go. There are a lot of crazy people here and it is not hard to see why.

I feel like I shouldn’t be baggin’ Canberra so much as I feel like I am supposed to be writing to try and interest people into coming, but then I thought that the whole idea of BootsnAll was to have a page where ordinary travellers could go to see what other ordinary travellers have to say about a place. Unlike what I am sure happens to writers (maybe not every time but at least once before), in that they either get paid or feel obligated to write nice things about the people and places they go, just ‘cos people actually listen to them and they almost have the power of God over the livelihood of various tourist workers.

So, I decided that instead of having this major mental block as to what nice thing I should write I should just tell the truth and value my integrity. So here I am here to tell you not to bother coming to Canberra for New Year’s Eve. In fact, unless you are a Political Nut or have to stop over on your way from Melbourne to Sydney, don’t bother at all. There is bugger all here that you don’t get elsewhere, and virtually no other travellers to hang out with.

I am even leaving soon. Thank God. I am going to Indonesia in 41 days, not that I am counting. (I started at 87, so I don’t think 41 is very far away at all). However, me telling you this is not an invitation for you to vent your own opinion about the situation in Indonesia ‘cos I am sick of hearing ill-informed people have a go at my sanity just because they have been brain washed by the media. I do study the language and the politics and I know where I am going and the fact that this is almost 500 kms and as many islands away puts the situation in a little perspective…


The snow has melted here as well. I know that all the advertisments are still going on about there being decent coverage on all the resorts, but they are full of shit. Don’t listen to a word of it as the season is well and truly over. Go to Canada if you want snow at this time of year.


If you want more information about this area you can email the author or check out our Pacific Insiders page.

General Info Section

Here are some links to find the more conventional side of Canberra….

Canberra Tourism

Lonely Planet

Guide to the ACT

A-Z of Canberra Sites



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