If you didn’t go to Canberry Fair, did you really grow up in Canberra in the 80s?

Remember when the silhouette of a rollercoaster used to dominate the skyline heading into Canberra from Sydney?

As a kid in the 1980s, Canberry Fair was the ULTIMATE. You’d go with your family, on a school excursion or – if you were lucky enough – for a birthday party. 

Canberra’s very own theme park opened in December 1981 and was part historical village, part zoo, part theatre and dining precinct. The Uncanny X-Men, The Cockroaches and even John Farnham played there over the years. Canberry Fair relaunched as Australia Park in 1987 and sadly came to a close in 1991.

Check out the images of Canberry Fair we found in The Canberra Times archives.

Heather Carter from Randwick, Sydney, left, and Rebecca Johnston of Reid on the Red Baron aircraft ride at Canberry Fair. Behind them is a tent marked 'CANBERRY FAIR'.

Heather Carter from Randwick, Sydney, left, and Rebecca Johnston of Reid on the Red Baron aircraft ride at Canberry Fair. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection

 

Jason Sazegar, 6, of Kambah in the cab of the Kiddy Train. The cab is in the style of a cartoon-style animal head. The empty cars of the miniature train are behind him.

Jason Sazegar, 6, of Kambah in the cab of the kiddy train. The cab is in the style of a cartoon-style animal head. You can see the empty cars of the miniature train behind him. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection

 

Tina Robertson of Gearys Gap, NSW, left, and Kellie Smith of Wollongong, both 12, on the Galaxi Rollercoaster at Canberry Fair.

Tina Robertson of Geary’s Gap, NSW, left, and Kellie Smith of Wollongong, both 12, on the Galaxi Rollercoaster at Canberry Fair. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection

 

Tamie Fraser, Mrs Sedaitis , Hodgman Fraser, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and Alby Sedaitis at the Chamber Pot antique shop at Canberry Fair during the opening ceremony.

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser officially opened Canberry Fair in April 1982. The Prime Minister (front) is pictured with wife Tamie Fraser (in white) and the original owners of Canberry Fair, Mr and Mrs Alby Sedaitis, at the Chamber Pot antique shop. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection

 

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser unveiling the plaque at the official opening of Canberry Fair. The plaque is mounted on the side of a plinth made of two dressed logs like railway sleepers. Mr Fraser stands behind a temporary podium and is pulling a curtain. In the background are two wooden casks used as rubbish bins, and a water wheel set against the side of a weatherboard building.

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser unveiling the plaque at the official opening of Canberry Fair. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection

 

Karen Sedaitis, 18, a receptionist at Canberry Fair, on opening day. She wears a period-style tartan dress and white apron, and a decorative bangle. She is sitting on a bench with two colonial style brick buildings behind her. At left is the administration block, two storeys with a verandah surrounded with iron lace. At the right is a barn-like building, the as yet unnamed Gift Emporium. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection. 008340.jpg

Karen Sedaitis, 18, a receptionist at Canberry Fair, on opening day. She wears a period-style tartan dress and white apron, and a decorative bangle. The two-storey building behind her was the administration block. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection

 

Joanne Marsh of Cook (front left), Bob Buchanan of Higgins (front right), Alan Paranthoiene of Wanniassa and Bill Crilly of Wollongong riding the Galaxi rollercoaster at Canberry Fair.

Joanne Marsh of Cook (front left), Bob Buchanan of Higgins (front right), Alan Paranthoiene of Wanniassa and Bill Crilly of Wollongong riding the Galaxi rollercoaster at Canberry Fair. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection

 

Aranda residents Alison Stanton, 8, and sister Renee, 3, enjoy their ride in the Swan Boat at Canberry Fair.

Aranda residents Alison Stanton, 8, and sister Renee, 3, enjoy their ride in the Swan Boat at Canberry Fair. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection

 

Canberry Fair - Darren Chirieleison, 10, of Charnwood is buried in a cage of plastic balls with only his head and left arm showing. The amusement is variously called 'Ball Crawl' or 'Colourful Quicksand'.

Darren Chirieleison, 10, of Charnwood is buried in a cage of plastic balls with only his head and left arm showing. The amusement was called ‘Ball Crawl’ or ‘Colourful Quicksand’. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection

 

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A Canberry Fair token from 1982. Photo: Graham Tidy

 

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and wife Tammy enjoy toffee flavoured ice creams at Blue Belly Joe Ice cream parlour for the opening of Canberry Fair. 20th April 1982.

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and wife Tammy enjoy toffee flavoured ice creams at Blue Belly Joe Ice Cream Parlour at the opening of Canberry Fair on April 20, 1982. Photo: ACT Heritage Library/The Canberra Times Collection