Well, well, well. If you write off Canberra as the boring capital of our fine nation, this news will make you think twice!
Lonely Planet has ranked Canberra third — yes, THIRD — on their ‘Best in Travel Top Cities’ list for 2018, making it the only Australian city with a place in the top 10, and the highest ever ranking for an Aussie city. Take that, Sydney and Melbourne!
The only cities ~better~ than Canberra, according to the list, are Seville in Spain and Detroit in the U.S.
But hey, this is something that Canberrans — whether native or not — have known for a while.
Here are 66 things that only people from Canberra can relate to.
1. Using Tinder in the ACT means you're bound to come across an ex, a cousin, a colleague and a friend's current boyfriend in your first four swipes.
2. Falling down the looming fairy-tale staircase at Mooseheads when you aren't even that drunk.
3. The fierce local spirit and stunning level of resilience the community saw after the 2012 earthquake that shook the nation's capital. "A sort of funny noise... and it ended with the windows sort of rattling."
4. How people try and make "Humans of Canberra" a thing.
5. How shit always seems to go down at bus interchanges. Den of Woe/Woden here’s looking at you, kid.
6. When you thought your Canberra life couldn't get any dreamier and DFO goes ahead and renames itself Canberra Outlet Centre aka COC.
7. Planning your life around the action buses and when/if they arrive, having to fork out $370 for the fare.
8. And if you live over the border in Quangers you can forget about it. Or, operate on a lyf schedule around one of three daily Deane's buses on offer.
9. The hallowed late-night pilgrimage from O'Malleys to Chicken Gourmet.
10. Innocently visiting Fyshwick for the furniture stores. Oh yea and the bakeries, b*tch.
11. Waking up to the beautiful snow-capped Brindabellas and knowing you’re in for a thermal underwear, flanny beneath your microfleece kind of day.
12. There will be a point in time when you or your friends will declare you're too old for Civic on a Thursday.
13. You are humbled to live in a city that has the highest Zambreros per capita. Well, aside from QLD and VIC. Regardless, Canberra has 11x more Zambreros than Sydney.
14. Once or twice you've considered gathering your friends on a non-Civic night and filming a Blair Witch Project of your very own at Brickworks.
15. The penis owl in Belco.
16. Titwhale. Plus all the frustration of our taxpayin' dimes going to 'art'.
17. Endless summer days at Wet ‘n’ Wild’s unofficial sister site: Big Splash! A venue that still proudly stands today: unbroken, un… well slightly bent.
18. Pining for Foreshore year after year.
19. Especially when you've been absolutely shredding for months and Canberra’s Stereobrahhhh gets cancelled.
20. While Bruce stadium was a SICK place to pick-up as a teen, it might as well be 800 miles north of the wall. F*cking freezing.
21. When your foreign friends visited you thinking they'd see robust Kangaroos roaming about but instead they were made privy to our slight roadkill problem.
22. Kingsleys is only in Canberra, so when you repeat the "Unbelievable value. ARSOME chips" jingle anywhere else, prepare to be deserted by your cool new city friends.
23. Same goes for Jim Murphy's. Your slurred impression of "Haim Jem Murphee marketseller" will fall on deaf, judgmental ears.
24. You often wonder if the dense Canberra fog is the accumulation of public servants’ smokos.
25. Skyfire was the definitive teen event as a nubile debutante. It was also the single biggest affair keeping the goon industry a fixture in Canberra.
26. Melbourne is an entire flight away while Braddon is but a step away in your lace-up Brogues. Plus you hear it’s far more à la mode, dar-ling!
27. Visiting the Bus Depot Markets on a Sunday but reeeeeally just going for the neighbouring Brodburger.
28. Rafting in Sullivan's Creek during Canberra's monsoon season.
29. When you return to Canberra (prodigal son FTW) from another city and realise just how clean, crisp and A-grade the air is here.
30. You will encounter people at your uni, or in a not-even-THAT-deserted city car park, performing medieval battle re-enactment. You will be aroused and confused. But mainly just confused.
31. Eagerly awaiting the multicultural festival. Because, CHIP ON A STICK!
32. Missing out on the ACT's abundance of public holidays (Family Day, holla atcha) because mournfully, you work in Queanbeyan.
33. Waiting for Uber to be available in Canberra. Not impressed with the current $60 Sat night taxis home.
34. The nice men who'd always visited you and your gurls' table at the now deceased Shooters.
35. You can bloody forget about Crown Casino (<3) and even the Star (shudders). Casino Canberra is essentially an inland Monte Carlo. Insiders say the Bond producers location scouted here.
36. You remember when you lost your Cube virginity. Ah, a place full of whimsy, wonder and self-exploration! It is noble to open oneself to such experiences.
37. Your face when Tuggeranong Library was legit named one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Meanwhile you can't stop wistfully thinking of the poor dead trolleys in the lake.
38. The feels when Ricardo's posts their cronut of the week. Excuse us while we drool like a rabid bloodhound...
39. Celebrating many a non-Macedonian friend's 18ths at the Macedonian Club.
40. Fondly recalling that time when Canberra residents wouldn't shear their hedges so the government widened the footpaths instead.
41. When UC students show up at ANU O-week events and it just gets to you.
42. Tap water tastes sublime here. Comes out chilled most of the time too. (It's only a matter of time till VOSS uses it in their gram-worthy bottles.)
43. Heading down for a sizzzzlin' Saturday at the beach Pine Island. Oh and dodging the nudists at Kambah Pool. Chant with me: Go left with your bathing suit, right if it's your birthday suit.
44. There's no denying the Hyperdome/Hyperdump makes you uneasy. But do you REALLY wanna turn your back on Limelight's stellar ticket prices?
45. Places like Jerrabomberra or Queanbeyan seem worlds away as they fall under the NSW banner. In reality, they're only a 15-20 minute drive or a pleasant 2-hour buffalo tow. We share the same starry skies, people. We are just like you.
46. You know life will only begin when the Capital Cat Cafe opens!
47. The observation deck at Mooseheads will tell you everything you don't want to know, but need to know.
48. You find yourself missing the halcyonic days of rolling down the steep Parliament lawns, sans today's blockades.
49. Heading to Civic solely for the curb-side pizza vendors when you’re 10 beers in.
50. Being hauled to a watery grave by the blue green algae when you’re swimming to a Lake Burley pontoon.
51. The desperation of some Canberra DJs trying to reach the A-list.
53. When your friend spent the night at a certain lad's college and she lived to tell the tale.
54. When the Northbourne window washer cleans your car anyway after you politely decline. Pls.
55. When the Moose photographer turns the club photo of you into a selfie with him.
56. You bloody live for the suburb sign vandals. With the flourish of a quill or probably a spray can, "Cook" becomes "Cock" and "Richardson" becomes "Hard on".
57. Prepping for the apocalypse at Costco. Yea super-sized bags of Peanut Butter Cups, we need you.
56. Sauntering over to Goodberries on a school night and seeing everyone you know but really don't have time for right now.
57. Your favourite season here is autumn. Beaut.
58. Those late night Acadz bathroom musings with strangers who are now a part of you.
59. Your ~reverence~ for our founding father Mr. Burley Griffin. In the rousing words of Martin McKenzie-Murray: Canberra once was “a clean canvas upon which American architect Walter Burley Griffin – and his wife – would later impose their diabolically impaired vision.” Staunch.
60. Journeying from your slum to the leafy Yarralumla for the delicious and perfectly portioned kebabs.
61. The almost constant stream of will-they-won’t-they press about Canberra’s proposed high-speed light rail.
62. You don't know if it's true, but heck, you FEEL it. There are sexual fluids on the Civic sheep. The genetic DNA here will see to it that Canberra is birthed a fine Unsullied-level army to defend the barracks.
63. The moment a nation's capital was divided: when the new Manuka Oval "fly swatter" lights were installed.
64. The inevitable part of the evening when the seagulls inexplicably appear at Civic interchange.
65. Doing the Free Fall at Questacon was a form of clannish initiation/hazing during your school excursions. Oh and the Guillotine. Weeding the strong from the weak, people.