Canberra Lifestyle

10 Exclusively Cool Canberra Things

Canberra isn’t just the home of public servants, national “things” and pollie’s, even though that seems to be what our reputation is built on. We have some pretty awesome things going for us! Check out our list below of some of our favourite things about Canberra. 

Kingsley’s Chips

Unbelievable Chicken, Awesome Chips! Is a phrase Canberrans know all too well. Kingsley’s has long been an iconic Canberra institution. Their chips reign for a number of ways – they’re crinkle cut, served up in extremely generous portions, they have the perfect amount of chicken salt and they’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside!

The Rainbow Roundabout

To celebrate the passing of Same-Sex Marriage Laws in the Capital, we did “the most canberra thing ever” and painted a roundabout in Braddon, just like a rainbow. Painted in the colours of the Pride Flag in 2017 to celebrate the ‘yes’ result of the Marriage Equality Postal Survey, the rainbow colours were an affirmation of Canberra’s support for the LGBTIQ community. Of the 800+ roundabouts in Canberra, this one is definitely our favourite!

The Big Owl

The Big Owl, or ‘Belco Owl’ was originally created to replicate a bird native to the area, envisioned as a powerful guardian spirit watching over its habitat, the sculpture unfortunately has become iconic for a vastly different reason. When viewed from behind, the angle of the owl’s body and length of its feet near the base of the sculpture have a very unfortunate resemblance to that of a particular part of the male anatomy. Canberrans have taken it in stride though and it’s been used as a marketing tool in recent years, even appearing on takeaway coffee cups! 

The OG Freakshake

Freakshakes have taken Australia by storm, they’re everywhere now. Extravagant milkshakes that are every sugar-lover’s best dream (and maybe, slightly worst nightmare?) and also the ultimate insta-worthy content. Patissez in Manuka are the creators of the OG Freakshake that took Australia by storm. With vegan Freakshake options available too and a seriously delicious food menu on the side, you’re pretty much set in terms of a day’s worth of food!


It’s the stuff of dreams for Year 6’ers on school camp but Questacon isn’t just for kids – the science museum of the Capital is still bringing joy to all ages with it’s weird and wonderful interactive exhibitions. No matter what age you are, there’s still something for everyone at Questacon. 

Peking Duck and SAFIA

Peking Duck and SAFIA are local legends that helped put Canberra’s burgeoning music scene on the map. Both bands are making waves on a national and international scale, proving that small cities can boast impressive talent. 


Canberra winters are cold and miserable, so it’s no wonder we do a festival of flowers to see off winter and welcome spring every year! Every Canberran knows what time it is when they see the Ferris Wheel towering over Commonwealth Park. Floriade is a technicolour, floral masterpiece, strolling through the installations by day and then seeing them come to life in the light at night with exclusive performances and foodie festivals during the NightFest. 

Phar Lap’s Heart

Everyone knows the story of Phar Lap, the ‘Wonder Horse’ who brought hope to Australians and New Zealanders alike during a time of economic depression. Winning 37 of his 51 races between 1928 and 1932, including the Melbourne Cup, Phar Lap quickly became a fan favourite. After his sudden death in 1932, the now National Icon had his skeleton displayed in New Zealand’s National Museum, his hide was mounted for the Melbourne Museum however, his massive heart, weighing 14 pounds (twice as big as the average horse), that powered the incredible horse is preserved and on display in Canberra’s National Museum of Australia. 

The Shine Dome

Take the name literally, its a shiny dome, surrounded by a moat that lights up at night! The Shine Dome was constructed in 1959 with the purpose to house the nation’s foremost scientific society – the Australian Academy of Science – a.k.a, the Shine Dome. It’s Australia’s largest freestanding dome


Deep Space Network

Part of NASA’s Deep Space Network, the complex in Canberra is one of three placed 120 degrees apart around the world including the Mojave Desert in California and near Madrid, Spain. The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex features several large ‘big dish’ varieties of antennas that receive daily data and transmit communications to spacecraft. There’s also a visitors centre, where you can find out more about Australia’s role in the exploration of space and get some amazing views of the previously mentioned ‘big dishes’; there’s also lots of interactive displays!

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