14 Reasons Why Canberra Is Way Cooler Than You Think

11.09.16 By
This article is more than 7 years old

Canberra might be famed for its roundabouts, porn and fireworks… but lately, our capital city has emerged as a renewable energy powerhouse, hipster haven and foodie’s delight!

Here are just a few reasons why Canberra is cooler than you think – and for more on the ACT’s renewable energy leadership check out our latest report.

1. FreakShakes


Canberra’s Patissez Cafe is home to the original FreakShake: an epic dessert milkshake incorporating pretzels, brownies, marshmallows, nutella and more. The insta-famous shakes are now expanding globally!

2. 100% Renewable Energy Target

100% Renewable Energy Target

The ACT is the ONLY Australian state or territory going for 100% renewables! Next in line are SA and QLD – both going for 50% renewables by 2025 and 2030 respectively. In other words, the ACT is smashing it!

3. You can have a SLEEPOVER at the ZOO

You can have a SLEEPOVER at the ZOO

Lions and tigers and bears… right next to your bed! Yep, you read that right – the National Zoo & Aquarium offers “the ultimate overnight safari” for thrill-seeking holiday makers. WILD.

4. ‘The Code’ is set here

'The Code' is set here

The Code’ is basically Australia’s version of ‘House of Cards’ – a gritty political thriller featuring hackers, political conspiracies and subterfuge set in and around your nation’s capital. Canberra has never looked edgier.

5. Australia’s first solar suburb

Australia's first solar suburb

Denman Prospect will be Australia’s first suburb to require solar panels on EVERY. SINGLE. HOME. Amazing!

6. Sky high festivals

Sky high festivals

Canberra’s Balloon Spectacular festival sets off from the lawns of Parliament House every March, filling the sky with all kinds of weird and wonderful airborne creations (shout-out to the infamous Skywhale from 2013!)

7. Questacon


The National Science and Technology Centre is a playground for people of all ages. You can free-fall down a six metre slide, freeze your own shadow, experience an earthquake or challenge a robot to a game of air hockey. Science has never been so cool!

8. Dancing law enforcement

The local Canberra police force responded to NZ Police’s “Running Man” challenge with these sweet sweet moves, busted out on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

9. It’s the Bush Capital

It's the Bush Capital

Bushwalking is just how you get around town! And if there’s anywhere that you could actually live the ‘Strayan stereotype and ride a kangaroo to work – it’s probably Canberra.

10. Grape stomping & solar charging

Grape stomping & solar charging

Canberra’s cool-climate wine region is home to more than 33 wineries, and will soon host the largest community-owned solar farm in Australia! Taking root amongst the vine leaves at Mount Majura Vineyard, the solar farm will power 250 Canberra homes.

11. Coffee snobs rejoice

Coffee snobs rejoice

Move over Melbourne – there’s a new kid on the coffee block! Home to the 2015 World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic, and with local roasters and hipster cafes popping up all over town – you can be sure to get yourself a quality brew in the capital.

12. Errybody loves solar

Errybody loves solar

As of June 2016, there were over 17,000 small-scale solar installations in the ACT – that’s around one solar installation for every 20 people!

13. Fresh music scene

Fresh music scene

Canberra’s burgeoning music scene has fostered a new wave of musicians, making it big both here and overseas. From Hottest 100 runners-up Peking Duk to SAFIA, Canberra’s homegrown beats are booming globally.

14. Clean power pocket rocket

Clean power pocket rocket

At just a little over 2,300 square kilometres, the ACT might be one of Australia’s smallest states and territories… but it punches well above its weight when it comes to renewable energy! Read more in our latest report.

Image credits:

  1. FreakShakes: @patissez via Instagram
  2. Climate Council via Facebook
  3. Zoo: Jamala Wildlife Lodge
  4. The Code: ABC via iView
  5. Solar suburb: Climate Council via Facebook
  6. Balloon festival: @TwoForJoyCafe via Instagram
  7. Questacon: @sammibeee via https://www.instagram.com/p/BJ-IkwcjTGU/
  8. Dancing law enforcement: ACT Policing via Facebook
  9. Bush capital: @sweetconcrete via Instagram
  10. Solar vineyard: Graham Tidy via The Age
  11. Coffee snobs rejoice: @ona.specialtycoffee via Instagram
  12. Solar school: Rohan Thomson via Canberra Times
  13. Fresh music scene: themusic.com.au
  14. Clean power pocket rocket: Climate Council