Canberra

I travelled up to Canberra recently, to see the Turner exhibition. More of that in a later post.

For those of you out of Australia, you may not know that Canberra is our capital city. Our federal government is here, along with many public offices and building like the High Court. Unlike most cities, it is deliberately planned. The Australian states federated in 1901. There was debate about whether the capital should be Melbourne or Sydney, with a third option to build a city half way between the two. (Actually it is not half way — Melbourne is 660 kms and Sydney is only 280 kms. The rivalry continues!) So we have Canberra.

Following an international contest for the city’s design, a blueprint by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913.[4] The Griffins’ plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centred around axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory. (From Wikipedia)

For those of you in Australia, no, I didn’t hear any knives being sharpened or deals being done! But I am sure that some of that was going on.

It is a good city to be a tourist in. Its design is lovely. Lake Burley Griffin in a feature that can be seen from many places. Mt Ainslie and Black Mountain are nature parks, with native animals and many other spaces are beautifully treed. Design continues to be a feature. Many of the new buildings, such as the National Museum, are are interesting.

And there is lots to see. Here is my list of the things we visited

It also included getting lost a few times, because, what is a visit to Canberra without being confused on the roads. Thank heavens for roundabouts!

Parliament House. Which party will be in government there after September 7th? (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2009)

Parliament House. Which party will be in government there after September 7th? (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2009)

Lake Burley Griffen (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2009)

Lake Burley Griffen (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2009)

Looking, from the top of Parliament House, down to the Old Parliament House, across the lake, to the War Memorial. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2009)

Looking, from the top of Parliament House, down to the Old Parliament House, across the lake, to the War Memorial. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2009)

 

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About anne54

Botanic artist
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13 Responses to Canberra

  1. metan says:

    Ooh, Paul Kelly? Interesting!
    I haven’t been to Canberra since I was small, on a holiday with my grandparents. Maybe we should drag the kids up there and do the tourist thing. A great uncle has his name on the War Memorial and I would really like to see that. 🙂

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    • anneb54 says:

      It would be a great place for kids, especially Primary School age. The National Museum has some quirky displays; the Museum of Democracy in Old Parliament House is very interactive; and there is an excellent playground at the Arboretum. (Not that I tried it out!!) From the way you describe your boys, I think they would even enjoy the National Portrait Gallery. There would be lots of faces there that they will recognise.

      And yes, there were some very intense photos of Paul Kelly.

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  2. retrofemmeobjetdart says:

    I always enjoy ‘accompanying’ you on your travels Anne 🙂

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  3. Helen says:

    I loved visiting Canberra.

    But there are so many things that I still want to see there. There is so much in Canberra, and it is a beautiful place.

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    • anneb54 says:

      You are right, it is a great place to visit. A place you can go back to, because exhibitions and features change. And you can never take in all the War Memorial displays in one go.

      (What are the orchids like in Canberra? I imagine there would be treasures growing there!)

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      • Helen says:

        In Canberra, I mainly visited the touristy things. I would like to go back to the War Memorial, as I only was able to see half of it. Probably that was one of the most memorable places that I visited. I did actually look for some orchids, but I did not find much. It was a bit early in the season. You can read about it here, if you like!

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        • anne54 says:

          Thanks Helen. The photo of the sunset is stunning, and the echidnas are very cute. (Hmm, is that a word to apply to echidnas? These seem more like moving rocks, but fun to watch never-the-less!)

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  4. Great post! I’m visiting for the very first time next month after living in Australia for nearly 8 years! Going to the Floriade 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Turner from the Tate at Canberra | Anne Lawson

  6. EllaDee says:

    I agree Canberra is a good city to be a tourist. My oldest friend lives in Queanbeyan so sometimes I fly down to go to an exhibition or do something with her. Occasionally the G.O. and I will drive down. If we had more time, we’d go more as it is an easy place to get around, and yet easy to get lost. We are so much improved since we acquired phones with Navigator installed. On my own, I get my friend to drive me around, or catch a cab!

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