I never did leave Canberra in the end. A co-worker ('Becca') was kind enough to let me sleep in her lounge. It was a relief but also interesting, since I then got an insight into how ordinary young adults live in Canberra. For one thing, a lot of them live in far-flung suburbs because they're cheaper than the city-centre flats. Not much of a surprise.
But the real reason that the hostel suddenly got so booked up when normally there are beds to spare was little to do with the university starting and more to do with its renovation. The entire first floor was blocked off while it was getting freshly painted. The university only houses its students in hotels temporarily, not hostels.
Right, well, since I no longer worry about where I'm going to sleep, I've been attempting to learn the differences between the Aussie and New Zealander accents. Actually, very little, the difference is starker in the dialects (vocabulary). Because New Zealander is so long and arduous to type, I'll be referring to them as 'Kiwis' from now on, since they also refer to themselves as that. When Aussie says 'roundabout', Kiwi says 'circle'. When Aussie says 'traffic light', Kiwi says 'robot'. You would also never catch a Kiwi greeting you with "G'Day".
I also couldn't help but notice that Canberrans, like Aussies everywhere, are kind people. But the peculiarly Canberran way of offering help or hand of friendship is to offer a lift somewhere. See, Canberra, as a city, is very expansive and often has forest or parkland separating each suburb. So to get around quick, you need a car. In my case, I just keep everything within walking distance ;).