28th November 2016 – Max Temp: 27°C
Today we travelled 402miles north from Melbourne to the capitol of Australia, Canberra! Canberra is the largest inland city in Australia and is nicknamed The Bush Capitol because it’s surrounded by forests and farmland. It is also in its own territory, within New South Wales, known as Australian Capitol Territory! We briefly stopped along the way at Holbrook and Gundagai for some road trip snacks! Eventually we arrived at our studio apartment in Canberra called ‘The Abode Apartment Hotel’.
29th November 2016 – Max Temp: 27°C
As we’re only in Canberra for one full day we had a lot to do today!
Our first stop was to the Australian War Memorial. This was Petes favourite destination of the day, where we gained a large insight in to Australians part in both World War 1 and World War 2. We were able to see some of planes and radar systems used during the wars and they also had realistic models of reanactments from the battlefields. (Dad you would have been there for hours!) It was quite saddening and moving reading letters from men at war to their families back home and letters from the Red Cross Bureau to relatives of the wounded, missing and prisoners of war. It’s clear to see the respect and honour that Australians have for the men and woman who sacrificed their lives for the people of today.
Our next stop was to the Australian National Exhibition and information centre. The exhibition had an interactive model city of Canberra and explained how it came to be. A century ago it was a design of imagination which aimed to make an ideal city of the future which was to be like no other city in the world. We found that while searching for a place to call their Natinal Capitol, Canberra was not the first obvious option. However it couldn’t be Sydney as Melbourne wouldn’t allow it and it couldn’t be Melbourne because Sydney wouldn’t allow it! Many people felt that the capitol should be a place that belonged to all Australians, so in 1908 the area known as Yass-Canberra was selected by parliament as the site for the national capitol.
There were 700 proposed names for the new capitol some quite silly. My personal favourites were ‘Kangaromu’ and ‘Shakespeare’. In the end the government used the name that was already used here by the Aboriginal people before the British settlers arrived. Canberra is was.
Canberra is split into two sides with the man made Lake Burley Griffin flowing through it. The buildings with significant importance such as the Parliament Houses and National archives buildings are on the higher platform and the rest of the city is on the other side.
Next we stopped for lemonade and Ceaser salads at The Deck which had beautiful panoramic views of the lake with both New Parliament House and Old Parliment House in the distance.
Our next stop was to the New Parliament House which is the home of Australia’s Parliment which was my favourite stop of the day. We were able to go inside of the impressive building which was covered in glistening marble. (I would deffinely like to live there!) You could even be part of the audience for the daily question time or simply go to the top of the building to the Queens terrace which had beautiful views over Canberra.
Next we visited the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia. Here we could freely walk about the exhibitions and sculptures from Aboriginal, Polynesian, International right through to Contemporary art.
My favourite piece was called Barmah Forest by Lin Onus.
Whereas Pete preferred the Aboriginal arts with KalinyKalinypa Tjukurrpa by Beyula Puntungka Napanangka favourite! (Glad he didn’t find a complicated named one!)
Towards the end of the day we headed to the Canberra Centre to do some shopping and that was the end of our very short and full packed day in Canberra! It’s safe to say my feet were in agony, I would definitely recommend using the buses if visiting! I can’t quite believe how calm the city is, it has got more of a small town atmosphere rather than a capitol city, especially when compared to Melbourne and even Adelaide! Canberra is a lovely capitol full of culture and history so I’m glad we got to visit!
30th November 2016 – Max Temp: 26°C
Today we drove 173 miles to Sydney, passing the New South Wales Border! We managed to get to the city without getting lost until we got to Darling Harbour. The city is frightening when you have no idea where you are going, so we ended up having to drive over the Harbour bridge and back! Oh well, least we got to see the bridge and opera house as soon as we arrived!
We are staying at The Adina Apartment Hotel Harbourside, which is right on Darling Harbour! It even comes with our own private terrace garden but unfortunately we don’t have a view of the Harbour. I won’t say too much because Sydney deserves its own blog but we are so excited to be here and have 10 days fully packed of things to do! We are off out to now or some dinner in Darling Harbour!