Canberra

Mar 22nd, 2014, 05:21 PM
  #1  
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Canberra

Considering a 10 day trip to Canberra in early July. It's been on our radar for awhile, but we're just now getting around to seriously considering it. Looks like it's a bit of a hassle to get there as flights from Perth go via Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne and are in the 5-7 hour range.

When we mention Canberra most folks respond with "why?", so we're not terribly confident that it's worth a 10 day investment, but on the other hand, we tend to like things other people don't, so...

Just wondering if anyone out there in Fodorland has any recommendations/thoughts regarding Canberra and environs, as it seems we might need a little push to start the ball rolling.

Our interests include walks/hikes, cool weather, communing with nature and good food. We also enjoy, to a lesser extent, city attractions, markets and the odd museum.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 07:43 PM
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It is, especially for you two who are used to & like cold weather.

One of the grizzles from the Sydneyites is it's "too +%# hot in summer & too ]%}* cold in winter." I've survived & had a great time in every season ( and Canberra does have real Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter) - so can wholeheartedly encourage you to make the trek.

It's a popular thing to pooh hoo Canberra, but when you go, engage the brain before the mouth - there's a lot to like about it, the surrounds and it's proximity to both the south coast and the snowfields.

My 2cents? Go for it, book early, especially if you want to flip down to the snow, remember the rug rats are on holiday.

Have a look at the Canberra website, also NSW south coast, southern highlands.

Watch out, we might pull on a GTG - it's equidistant from Sydney & Melbourne!

Besides - how can a place that our great friend NeilOz chose to live in not be worth a visit?
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 07:48 PM
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It's only a 3 - 4 hour drive from Sydney, depending on how long you spend browsing at Berkelouws antiquarian books & having coffee enroute.

OTOH, if it works better for you, fly into Melbourne & drive up from there.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2014, 08:15 PM
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Thanks Bokhara, food for thought.

Forgot about school holidays, which we avoid like the plague. We're flexible though, August will work too.

Right now we're torn between a return visit to SA or a visit to Canbarra. SA is easier, much closer, and there's so much we missed last time. Oh dear, choices, choices.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 02:09 AM
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There are lots of free museums. The war memorial in particular is huge. The museum of democracy and the portrait gallery in the Old Parliament house are good as it the tour of the old parliament. The archives just behind the old parliament house has a good but small display including the original constitution act of the British government.

The National Gallery will have world class exhibits.
http://nga.gov.au/exhibitions/DEFAULT.cfm

The Mint is worth a look. The National museum is eclectic but interesting.

The merry go round in the centre of the city is very old and used to be on St Kilda beach.

Mt Ainslie and Black mountain offer great views. Back mountain has a short walk.

The Carillon is magnificent. Get a tour and be there when it is played.
http://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/in...233&Itemid=198

The Telstra tower has a revolving restaurant which was good dozen years ago.

There are lots of walks around the lake.

We did a dawn balloon flight which went right don the middle of the lake.

Ginninderra waterfalls just out of the city are lovely.

Tidbinbilla tracking station is interesting as it the observatory at Mt Stromlo.

There is heaps to do, but it will most like likely be cold (for us) although from memory not too rainy at that time of year. Jeans, a warm jacket and a beanie is all you will need.

Get a brochure and check the opening times. The Mint for instance was closed on Tuesdays when were there.

The school holidays should not be too much of a problem. Most will head north to the sun. The ski fields may be bit busy but not too bad.

It is the only "Australian" looking city. There are few English style buildings nor street lined with English trees. It is also the place you will see the most Australian flags flying and a wide variety of depictions of our coat of arms. These various depictions are worth looking at in their own right.

Ten days will give you plenty of time to explore at leisure without feeling rushed. It will allow you to take a day or two at each of the major museums.

For people who generally don't like cities, we have been to Canberra several time. It has more of a feel of a large country town.

Be careful with your navigation - it is a city of roundabouts and dual carriageways. Often if the thing you want to go to is on the right, you will have to turn left!

Enjoy. It is well worth seeing.
peterSale is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 12:52 PM
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I like Canberra a lot. If you take in the hinterland you could easily spend a week if not longer.

For accommodation in Canberra my favourites are University House, Hotel Kurrajong and Olin's. Don't miss Ottoman for upmarket Turkish food.

Adding to Peter's list there's also the Drill Hall Gallery on ANU campus, Canberra Museum, plus the Film and Sound archives, they often have evening screenings, Sidney Nolan Gallery is also worth visiting, it's near to a historic homestead.

The Botanic Gardens is also worth a visit, great lizard spotting place.
Susan7 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 03:19 PM
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Thanks Peter and Susan, great info.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 08:00 PM
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And don't forget the National Library with its Treasures Gallery -

https://www.nla.gov.au/exhibitions/treasures-gallery

and other exhibitions - the recent Mapping Our World exhibition proved to be very popular -

http://www.nla.gov.au/exhibitions/mapping-our-world

and if you'll be there in August, check out the Canberra Then and Now photographs -

http://www.nla.gov.au/exhibitions

And then there's the National Portrait Gallery, one of my favourite Canberra buildings, which has a very pleasant cafe and - take note of this as parking in the area can be difficult to find and will shortly be all metered - free basement parking after about 0945 - enter from King Edward Terrace via the one way street which goes first, past the Portrait Gallery (keep an eye out for the sign on the right showing car spaces available in the basement carpark to the left, then the High Court, before swinging around to the National Gallery, and its underground carpark -

http://www.portrait.gov.au/site/index.php

Red Hill lookout offers other panoramas, yet another restaurant choice (haven't been), and often kangaroos on the drive up and down.

And there is a lot more to see than the different panoramas again at the National Arboretum which opened just last year -

http://www.nationalarboretum.act.gov...tum-highlights
farrermog is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 10:00 PM
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Thank you very much farremong, most helpful.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 11:56 PM
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Honestly Melnq8, Canberra has so much to offer ( including some pretty good wineries ) I'd encourage you to go, irrespective of the possibility of rug rats on the loose.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 03:21 AM
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Well, it's certainly refreshing to hear all the positive feedback regarding Canberra - ask someone in Perth and they look at you askance....Can where? And no, it's not because I talk funny. We'll give this some serious thought, thank you all.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 09:06 AM
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We had a delicious meal at The Chairman and Yip last time we were there.

I like Canberra but to be honest I'm not sure if it could fill 10 days. If you have to go via Adelaide or Melbourne then would you consider combining canberra either another destination still? Say 5 days canberra, 5 days Adelaide?
cathies is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 03:18 PM
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That's a distinct possibility cathies, but I think then we'd not have enough time in SA. There's just so much on my wish list.

Arghhhh...
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 03:37 PM
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On another note altogether I thought you will appreciate the following.

My daughter and SIL flew Sydney to Perth last weekend for a wedding. At about the half way point the pilot announced they were flying into bad weather and didn't have enough fuel to cope with a storm. Detour to Adelaide to refuel, sat on the Tarmac for several hours. Total trip time - just over 8 hours! Oh, and no bad weather at all! They weren't happy. My daughter is one of those annoying flyers who falls asleep either on the Tarmac or as soon as the wheels leave the ground. Not so my SIL who has ants in his pants 24/7 and hates flying because he can't sit still.
cathies is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 04:43 PM
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>>Can where?<<

It is a quirk of our History - WA nearly didn't Federate with us and NZ nearly did!

We could have had WA as another country and NZ as a state. The boat from NZ arrived late and WA changed its mind and just got in.
peterSale is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 04:46 PM
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Further to the Federation lesson. The ACT and Canberra were purposely created to stop the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney.

Melbourne of course being the better city was the home of the first Federal parliament until the temporary parliament house was built in Canberra. It was designed to last 50 years but lasted closer to 80 before the new one was built on the hill.
peterSale is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 06:02 PM
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Sometimes WA feels like it's own country. The topic of secession comes up a lot around here, which I guess explains the local attitude towards Canberra in general.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 06:43 PM
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< Sometimes WA feels like it's own country.>

I can relate to that, when I spent about 3 months in WA as a hippy bum in the 1980's, there was only ever talk of "going east". Never a mention of states or cities, just east.

Canberra will be likely freezing in July or August, but then I see that will suit you.
There's some great countryside within easy striking distance if you get tired of the city.

Good on you for wanting to see your adopted home Australia. I bet there's plenty of Aussies who've never been to our capital.

Cheers
Caroline
sartoric is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 09:08 PM
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I'm guessing there are a lot of Aussies who've never been to WA either.

Apparently not much has changed sartoric. Everything is over east. Need a part for your air con? There will be a six week wait because it's over east. Need agave nectar? Have to special order it from over east. Want to take advantage of an airline special? Sorry, only good for those living over east.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 09:21 PM
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Haha, sorry to laugh, but in did
sartoric is offline  

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