Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is Australia’s smallest state (territory, area, whatever) covering an area of just 2,358 km². Even if it were a country in its own right, it would still be a small country. It would be slightly smaller than Luxembourg but twice the size of Hong Kong. It is about 100 times smaller than the UK and if it were an American state, it would be the smallest.

It’s small!

It has a population of around 380,000 people. It is known as “The Nation’s Capital” but it is also known as “The Porn Capital of Australia”. I think this is a reference to the relaxed laws of the territory.

Australian Capital Territory MapBeing so small, there isn’t an abundance of attractions to enjoy. Being land locked, there are no beaches to go to either. So what can you do in ACT? Well, there are quite a few things you can do that you can’t do elsewhere in Australia, thanks to those relaxed laws.

But now I will just suggest taking a bike ride or going for a walk around the man-made lake in the centre of the city.

I thought I would struggle to find anybody famous from Australian Capital Territory, but I hadn’t counted on one great man. The name’s Bond. James Bond! George Lazenby, the second actor to play the part of Bond was born in Queanbeyan in 1939. Bond saves the day again.

Only problem is, Queanbeyan appears to be on the border between ACT and NSW. Which part did George live in? No matter.

Update:

There are two problems with my above statement. First, Queanbeyan is not in the ACT, it’s in NSW. Thanks to moom and some others elsewhere on this website who have pointed that out to me. Then Al came along and explained that George Lazenby was actually born in Goulburn, NSW.

So I have had to rethink…..

According to the IMDB, Mia Wasikowska, who played Alice in Alice in Wonderland (the 2010 version with Johnny Depp) was born in Canberra. So, until anyone can come up with somebody more famous, she is our chosen celeb from the ACT.

Places in Australian Capital Territory

Apart from Canberra, the capital, there aren’t any other towns in the ACT with a population of more than 10,000 people.

Very close to it though, but NOT in it is, you guessed it….

  • Queanbeyan – approaching 40,000 (As at 2011)

If you live anywhere within the ACT, or even in Queanbeyan, why not tell us about it in the comments below…

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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Christine July 18, 2017, 1:03 pm | Link

    Hi. I am looking for some small town or a place that is relatively restful (i.e. low crime, small population, good for raising a family). My family and I are living in a small town in Central Queensland and we want a change of scenery. I have 3 young kids and I am a health care professional. We are seeking somewhere coastal where we can enjoy the outdoors, and where tertiary hospitals and universities are within easy access. ACT is one of the places we’re considering, just wondering if this is a good place for us to settle for their growing years at least.

    • BobinOz July 18, 2017, 11:16 pm | Link

      Well, there’s nothing in the ACT other than Canberra, and I don’t think we can call that a small town or coastal. I think you will be further limited if you want easy access to universities as well, so I’m not sure what to suggest.

      There are plenty of small towns along the Victorian coast though, from Batemans Bay further south, I think you just need to find one that is close to the other things you need.

  • Bella April 27, 2016, 3:46 pm | Link

    I lived in Canberra for a few years. It is a very comfortable place. There are wonderful galleries and museums, most of which are free. There is a relaxed lifestyle, not too much traffic, an abundance of relatively convenient amenities and an educated population. Public transport is terrible, but there is an excellent world class university (ANU)

    HOWEVER, a lot of people really really hate Canberra. They find it to be deathly boring, not very cosmopolitan and every stale.

    This is sort of true. However, if your main aim is to find a relatively well-paying but relaxed public service job (which you probably need to be a resident to get) and you don’t care too much about liveliness and culture (beyond the national institutions) and your main activities are a few bush walks and bike rides and time at home with the kids, Canberra offers a pretty good lifestyle.

    Canberrans can be very cliquey. People complain that the population is transient and suggest that this is why it is hard to make and keep friends, but that wasn’t my experience. By contrast, I encountered many people who had established their friendship groups at school and weren’t interested in newcomers. If you don’t find your niche it is a very depressing place to live.

    If you want to have a cosmopolitan lifestyle, avoid, avoid, avoid.

    • BobinOz April 27, 2016, 5:15 pm | Link

      Good overview and advice about Canberra, thanks Bella, I’m sure lots of my readers will find this useful.

      Cheers, Bob

  • anshull October 29, 2015, 2:10 am | Link

    hello sir,
    me and my mother want to go to australia as soon as possible on pr from india. but i am very much confused in all these different types of visas. can u help me out here sir.and forgot to tell you that i am under 18 and still dependent.

    • BobinOz October 29, 2015, 11:18 pm | Link

      No, that’s something you would need to discuss with a MARA registered migration agent, I can’t help with this for the reasons given above in my important notices. See Would I Qualify?

  • Sunny December 19, 2013, 8:03 pm | Link

    Hello everyone involved with this site and the conversations here.

    Well, first, please accept my appreciation on the great work all you guys are doing with this site & the patience and details with the responses to people I’m sure you’re aware value this information extremely highly. This is a seriously great service to all those exploring potential opportunities and need to understand all the possible pros & cons to be able to arrive at a decent evaluation of their decisions and the likely outcomes of those. Much appreciated!!

    We (wife, two daughters 4 & 11) are from India. Both me and my wife are recruiters with 9 & 5 years domain experience each. This skills category seems open at the moment for a 190 state nominated PR visa with South Australia and Canberra.

    Unfamiliar with either of these places (Adelaide & Canberra) and without any family / friends’ presence there, we really wouldn’t know which one to consider for important parameters such as long term career prospects, children’s education and well being, earning and savings potential, cost of living, quality of life etc. Another important factor being how welcomed are Asians / Indians there? Apologies if that sounds a bit inappropriate to ask.

    Would much appreciate if anyone could help with some relevant information here!!

    Best!
    Sunny

  • Sally October 7, 2013, 7:43 am | Link

    If you’re looking for famous Canberrans don’t forget actress Sigrid Thornton (Man from Snowy River and Seachange),

    • BobinOz October 7, 2013, 7:22 pm | Link

      Sigrid who? Just kidding, I Googled it, I know who she is now.

  • Sally October 7, 2013, 7:33 am | Link

    I emigrated from Manchester as a kid in 1969 and lived in Sydney, in 1999 I moved to Canberra and stayed for 12 years. I absolutely loved it. No it’s not the porn capital of Australia, there’s a small section in Fyshwick, but that’s about it. There’s far more going on in Kings Cross and Darwin. It is a GREAT place to bring up a family, great schools, great sporting facilities and plenty of work, my son had a great part time job from the time he was 14 at the Canberra stadium, he was well payed and got to see rugby, rugby league and soccer matches for free. The cost of living is quite high, however so are the wages. The down side is very cold winters. It also has hot summers but you can always sleep at night. You are two hours drive from the coast and believe me if you live in Western Sydney you can spend that long driving in traffic to the nearest beach. You are also two houe\rs drive from the snow in Thredbo and only 3 1/2 hours drive to Sydney. It’s like a huge country town with all the facilities of the city, but without the traffic jams and yes it does have it share of crime but compared to Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold coast it’s quite tame. It gets a bad wrap because of the politicians being in Canberra as it is the Capital of Australia and that’s where the Federal Government is, but there are lots of opportunities. Give it a try, I’m in Melbourne now because of work, which I’ve got to say leaves Sydney for dead, but I do miss Canberra terribly.

    • BobinOz October 7, 2013, 7:18 pm | Link

      Hi Sally

      Well, I’ll take that as a big thumbs up from you for the city of Canberra. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion here, it’s always helpful to know what these places are like from people who have actually lived there.

      My write-up of this city, and the other cities in Australia are in no way based on the experience of having lived in these places (Brisbane aside) so information from people like yourself is far more useful than anything I can say.

      I only have two major cities left to visit, Perth and Canberra and they are both high on my list for 2014. I’m looking forward to seeing what Canberra is really like.

      Cheers, Bob

    • George September 6, 2016, 2:23 am | Link

      Canberra is likely the porn capital of Australia. For example, it continually demonstrates talent recruitment and lobbyists international. The kind of whom hands drizzle with cane toad like poison upon first and subsequent meetings; sweaty palms. An experience to be avoided down under.

      Canberra is okay. Better in November and March; gawd awfull bleak in winter, gawd awfull bleak most of the time. Except of course, for sweaty palmed recruitment types.

  • Tina June 1, 2013, 6:54 am | Link

    Very interesting and useful website….I have applied for my Australian PR and will be moving to ACT in a couple of months from India. I have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old Oct born son. Per ACT edu sys, my oldest will start Pre-school only in 2014 right? Here in the Indian system, he is already in Upper KG and is writing words. Can you suggest any good schools in Act? Also how sooner should we apply for Public schools? Do all Private schools have a waiting list policy? I haven’t yet started on the school search. I looked up ur site and enjoyed reading all the posts. If you can help, that will be great.

    • BobinOz June 3, 2013, 11:50 pm | Link

      Hi Tina

      I can’t help you with schools personally as I do not know the area at all over there. Hopefully somebody from the ACT will help you out. I think you will find that state schools have a legal obligation to find a place for your child, private schools will each have different policies and waiting lists.

      My page Which school? might help you further. Cheers, Bob

    • Sunny December 19, 2013, 8:01 pm | Link

      Hello everyone involved with this site and the conversations here.

      Well, first, please accept my appreciation on the great work all you guys are doing with this site & the patience and details with the responses to people I’m sure you’re aware value this information extremely highly. This is a seriously great service to all those exploring potential opportunities and need to understand all the possible pros & cons to be able to arrive at a decent evaluation of their decisions and the likely outcomes of those. Much appreciated!!

      We (wife, two daughters 4 & 11) are from India. Both me and my wife are recruiters with 9 & 5 years domain experience each. This skills category seems open at the moment for a 190 state nominated PR visa with South Australia and Canberra.

      Unfamiliar with either of these places (Adelaide & Canberra) and without any family / friends’ presence there, we really wouldn’t know which one to consider for important parameters such as long term career prospects, children’s education and well being, earning and savings potential, cost of living, quality of life etc. Another important factor being how welcomed are Asians / Indians there? Apologies if that sounds a bit inappropriate to ask.

      Would much appreciate if anyone could help with some relevant information here!!

      Best!
      Sunny

      • moom December 19, 2013, 8:17 pm | Link

        Canberra obviously has 1/3 of the population of Adelaide but higher income per capita but dominated by the public sector and regional or local branches of other businesses. I don’t think you will find any real issues regarding being accepted in Canberra personally. Professionally might be a different issue. I don’t know how well your experience from India will be be considered as relevant. My guess is not that much, but you’d have to ask someone in your field. In other words, you might need to find other work and the Federal government requires workers to be citizens. State government, universities, private business etc. doesn’t of course.

        • Sunny December 19, 2013, 9:14 pm | Link

          Thanks, Moom! Much appreciate your prompt response.

          Just one more, if you don’t mind. We’d be open to taking up other jobs in the interim. How easy / difficult would it be to find one to cover just the basic costs say a 2 room rented accommodation, kids’ education etc.

          Best!

          • moom December 19, 2013, 9:25 pm | Link

            The problem in Canberra at the moment is that the Federal government, ANU, CSIRO (and maybe other agencies) all have hiring freezes in place. The government is trying to cut it’s budget as the deficit is almost $50 billion. Rents are higher in Canberra than Adelaide of course. So, you need a decent income to cover rent (www.allhomes.com.au can show you what things rent for). We spent about half our income on rent when we arrived in Canberra in 2007 and only my wife was working at first.

            • Sunny December 19, 2013, 9:42 pm | Link

              Oh! Would you suggest we don’t plan moving to Australia under the circumstances??

              Best!

  • berna carag November 2, 2012, 1:11 am | Link

    hi there, i am looking for a sponsor going there in Australia, where can i send my CV so you can assess my resume..many thanks and hope to hear from you soon

    • BobinOz November 2, 2012, 6:11 pm | Link

      You can’t, that is not something that I do here. You would probably need to search for a reputable recruitment company who works in the field in which you are skilled.

  • Al July 31, 2012, 5:22 pm | Link

    Hi,

    Jackie Chan (famous actor) lived in Canberra for a short while and even briefly attended school there.

    In Canberra, there are some great car events like Summernats and the Canberra International Electric Vehicle Festival which attracts some of the big names in the car industry.

    Regards
    Al

    • BobinOz August 1, 2012, 7:29 pm | Link

      Hi Al

      Looks like I’ve made a right mess of this page, not only was George Lazenby not born in Queanbeyan, as you have rightly pointed out, but Queanbeyan isn’t in the ACT, as moom pointed out.

      I’m going to do an update right now! I don’t want any more incidents similar to what went on over at my page about Canberra.

      I should recheck my original sources, but of course I’ve forgotten what they were. I can’t let you have Jackie Chan, I need people who were born in the ACT.

      According to IMDB, Mia Wasikowska, actress in Alice in Wonderland (the 2010 version with Johnny Depp) among other things, was born in Canberra. She actually played Alice, so she’s top of the list so far for the ACT.

      Can anyone come up with anything better?

      • Paul January 7, 2016, 11:53 pm | Link

        Hi There,

        I moved to Canberra, from the UK in 2006, and lived there for 8 years, however the NSW border is very close and we lived in a place called Jerrabomberra, which is NSW as is Queanbeyan.

        It is true about George Lazenby, but don’t forget the recently retired F1 driver Mark Webber, also comes from Queanbeyan ! , although strangley he now lives in
        Monte Carlo !

        Bestest

        Paul

        • BobinOz January 11, 2016, 4:46 pm | Link

          Ah, Mark Webber, even I’ve heard of him. Good addition to the list, thanks Paul.

  • Al July 31, 2012, 5:13 pm | Link

    Hi,

    I thought George Lazenby was born in Goulburn, NSW (which is approximately 80km from the northern border of the A.C.T. if driving on the Federal Highway), but moved to Queanbeyan at age 13. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lazenby)

    Regards
    Al

  • moom October 9, 2011, 11:11 pm | Link

    Queanbeyan is in NSW though part of the commuting zone of Canberra… We don’t have a beach but we do have mountains and art galleries and a bunch of national monuments. There are a few villages in the ACT like Hall and Tharwa that preceded the founding of Canberra.

    • BobinOz October 10, 2011, 9:18 pm | Link

      Hi moom

      Yes, that has been pointed out to me on my page about Canberra, I listed a couple of places there that suggested to me that Queanbeyan was part of Canberra. But of course, it’s not, I now know it is definitely in NWS.

      Cheers!

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