Rave for Canberra

Nov 20th, 2005, 08:44 PM
  #1  
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Rave for Canberra

Neil, this one for you

I was in Canberra briefly on business on Friday. Flew in, drove back to Sydney (great deal one one way drive with Hertz). Used a couple of free hours to visit the Nat. Gallery. "Transformations" exhibition is breathtaking! http://www.nga.gov.au/Home/Frameset....../Exhibitions

Canberra was at her beautiful best: Newly leafed trees and sparkling clear sky. The walk around the lake near the Gallery was a tonic.

And, I'd forgotten how EASY it is to drive around (and around,and around if you get lost in the circuits (lol)). Literally 10 mins from the gallery to the other side of town.

$20 for a box of new season cherries, 3 hrs back to Sydney. Was a great day & reminded me I should do it more often.
Bokhara is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:00 AM
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Yes, isn't Canberra just wonderful! I'm glad to hear that you found it so easy to drive in Canberra. I've often read criticisms on these forums that Canberra is difficult to drive in, but I never found it that way. And with the light traffic there, it takes no time to get anywhere. Ah, I wish I were there right now!
longhorn55 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:52 AM
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Hi Longhorn,
Yes - and as a Sydneysider it almost pains me to admit it (LOL) !

Where are you - your "tag" would suggest Texas?

Cheers
Bokhara
Bokhara is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:54 AM
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Bokhara, Canberra and the surrounding countryside are as green as I've seen them in my 20+ years here. (As is a fair slice of NSW, judging from our drive through Cowra, Bathurst, Mudgee and the Hunter Valley last week.)

I'm glad you had a chance to walk around near the Gallery. Did you visit the outdoor sculpture garden, among the small forest of she-oak trees, and the reedy mist-covered pond (a sculpture installation itself)? Even better, stop for lunch at the outdoor cafe.

I've heard a few bitter complaints about getting lost in Canberra. Speaking as someone who can easily get lost in much smaller cities than this, I always recommend a street map. A common problem is that of a visitor approaching the city centre from the north, failing to recognise it as the said centre, and next thing they know they've crossed the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and are circling Parliament House (or, worse, have passed it and are well on their way to the Woden town centre to the south).

Having said that, I don't know that anyone who's negotiated the sprawling dog's breakfast that passes for a road system in Sydney could seriously complain about navigating Canberra.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:46 PM
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Hi Neil,
Yes, always go & visit the sculpture garden. Took some snaps to send to McLaurie (if I ever get my head around the technology (LOL) ) I know the NAG quite well and have had lunch at the restaurant a couple of times. Anyone visiting - it's great ... very atmospheric, and excellent food.

Regrettablly, only had a couple of hours before meeting with clients, so it was just a dash in to see what was on ... and spent every minute at the "Transformations" exhibition.

You're right - it is SO good to see the country green again (and it's that way out to Tamworth, Coonabarabran & Gilgandra as well) after so long in drought. Times like now, it's hard to imagine, or even remember, how bad it can get - and when it's so parched & cracked our hearts break along with it. We just hang on to the knowledge that some day it will rain and for those who can hang on, the lush green will come again.

Dorothea certainly knew this country, didn't she?
Bokhara is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:16 PM
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Bokhara--I was born in Texas but haven't lived there in many, many years. But once a Texan, always a Texan.
longhorn55 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 05:56 AM
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It has been more than 20 years since I went to Canberra but I remember it fondly. In fact I visited the National Gallery the month after it opened.

At first Canberra reminded me of Disneyworld, all laid out in grids and so clean and neat. But after a couple of days it grew on me and it wasn't a sterile place at all.

One mention I have to make is that I think the War Museum there is worth visiting if it is still as good a museum as it was back then. I am not someone who would ordinarily choose to go to such a museum but went along with friends.

Very moving and well done and important for people of all political perspectives.
LynAK is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 01:26 PM
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LynAK, the Australian War Memorial is very definitely still worth visiting. In fact it's been extended, with an annex at the rear accommodating a number of historic aircraft formerly in storage, including a WWII Lancaster bomber. There's also another detached annexe for admin/curatorial staff. I believe the AWM is still one of Australia's top tourist attractions.

The city has spread quite a lot since we arrived in 1984, and has lost the old somewhat transient feel - the population has grown and diversified (it's much less of a public service "company town", government employees being less than half of the workforce), and nightlife and cultural attractions have improved greatly. The city is now self-governing, and the territory government is looking at plans to give the civic centre a proper city feel - including connecting it to Commonwealth Park alongside the Lake, by roofing over the 6-lane highway that now separates them.
Neil_Oz is offline  
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