Parliament House

Parliament House

We went to the nations’ capital Canberra recently for a weekend.

When we mentioned this trip to any Australian the normal reply was “Why?!”. Most of them had been there though, so we figured we should to. There is actually a fair bit to do in Canberra and we could probably have stayed another day, maybe even two. I don’t think its worth adding on to a holiday to Australia unless you have a couple of months to spare, but as we’re living only about 3 hours drive away (5 if you try and leave after work on a Friday!) it was worth a visit.

We drove down on Friday night. On the way you pass Goulburn which is famous for merino sheep and wool. In Australian tradition of giant things – they have a giant Merino. Unfortunately it was dark when we got there, but I still got the obligatory photo. Funnily the sheep used to be in the town center, but when they built the bypass visitors dropped off so they relocated it. Its now just by the main road, next to McDonalds and Subway!

Saturday morning there was a Farmers Market on our campsite. We checked that out with an awesome sausage sandwich for breakfast, and picked up some yummy bread, cheese and muffins for lunch.

After that we headed to the main attraction – Questicon – a science museum. Its mainly aimed at kids, but we still managed to spend 3.5 hours there! It was very interactive. We went to a show on perception in the theater and went in an earthquake simulator. My favorite bit was the 360 degree swing. Using mainly your own momentum you get strapped in the swing and see if you can do a 360 turn! Matt managed it, I wasn’t quite strong, heavy or co-ordinated enough, but it was great fun.

Awesome 360 degree swing at Questiocon

Awesome 360 degree swing at Questiocon

Next stop was Parliament House with the giant 4 legged flag pole and various official rooms which you can wander round. They were setting up for a big awards event and played BeeGees Staying Alive as we left which amused me enough to do a little dance! We went back to the campsite and dinner via the War Memorial and Mount Ainslie lookout.

On Sunday we went to the Australia Museum. This had lots of cool exhibits including Aboriginal History and a replica skeleton of a giant wombat type dinosaur! There was also info on the rabbit proof fence they put up across the whole length of Australia in WA, a cart that came from Scotland to Oz, back to Scotland and then back here again and a Citroen C7 that had driven all the way round the country! (IT might have been the first car to do that, I can’t quite remember).

One of Rolf Harris' wobble boards

One of Rolf Harris’ wobble boards

Sunday afternoon we went to the Telstra Tower on Black Mountain reserve where you can look out over the city from the tower which had some good views. After that we went for lunch and a walk around the Botanic Gardens before heading home again.

Canberra was a bit of a strange place. It was designed and built as the capital, so has some textbook town planning and street layouts going on. It was really quite quiet really, so I guess a lot of people only come int he week for work and then live somewhere else.

Flower in the Red Soil Garden

Flower in the Red Soil Garden

 

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