It was October 10th, 2016 and after dropping our dog off at the boarding kennels we were then heading off to do some trekking/bushwalking in the Blue Mountains at Katoomba, NSW with a stopover in Canberra for a few days before hand to see the local sights.
It rained lightly off and on from Bundoora to Canberra however the journey was pleasant enough as the Hume highway was in first class condition and although there was flooding most everywhere near Albury the roads were not blocked so that was our gift for the day.
We stopped a couple of times along the way for morning tea and lunch until we neared our destination where we were to stay for a few days whilst we explored in and around our capital city and surroundings.
The one hiccup we encountered was that the address we were to stay at could not be located by our GPS causing us to drive past the spot by an extra 5 kilometres; on phoning the holiday park for directions they advised due to their location being on the service road that runs parallel to where their address says they are many people find their GPS cannot find the holiday park.Upon arriving and booking in and unloading our suitcases etc a cuppa and a short nap was the order of the day followed later on by a visit to the local country pub for a nice meal.
Our next port of call was Parliament House where we viewed the magnificent exterior of the building,the incredible marble entrance foyer, both the Upper and Lower houses,the portraits of all Australia’s past Prime Ministers as well as taking the elevator to the roof to where the biggest Flagpole I have ever seen proudly displayed our country’s flag.
From the vantage point atop the Parliamentary rooftop, a clear and uninterrupted view bordered by an avenue of trees, all the way up to the Australian War Museum was a sight to behold .
The War Museum was next on the agenda to visit and the feeling of walking through the main entrance to see the memorial pool left a sensation of being in a sacred place.
The tour guide was excellent and shared many stories of horrific circumstances and heroism of both our men and women who suffered greatly during the first and second world war,Korea, and Vietnam and reinforced how much we owe to those that fought,sacrificed and died for the freedom we so enjoy now!
Several of the battles were displayed in what is called a Diorama which is a scaled down pictorial version of fighting taken from photographs of that time and made into model form approximately six meters long .
As time was still on our side the National Museum of Australia was next on our list so once again off we went and spent a couple of hours there enjoying old and new Australiana plus an excellent exhibition of Egyptian artifacts on loan from the London museum.
Day three of our stay and off we head to the summit of Black Mountain where the goliath “Telstra“transmission tower is located.It stands over 192 meters in height has 360* views from the restaurant located 62 meters above ground and has views of Canberra and countryside that takes one’s breath away.
That afternoon after setting the GPS our next destination was the “Australian Coin Mint.”The mint was very interesting and showcased a historical collection of metal currencies from early settler times up to the present age.
A complete story of coin manufacture from sourcing materials,weighing,coin design, punching coin blanks through to the final pressing of the coin was explained and very interesting.
Late afternoon soon arrived which gave us just enough time to visit the “Australian Natural Botanic Garden” that enabled us to tour the “Eucalyptus Discovery Walk“where a huge variety of gums consisting of twenty different species were punctuated throughout a 1.8 kilometer walk that also included a rainforest,gullies of ferns,red desert display and many other features that took over an hour to enjoy.
In conclusion, it is a must if you have never been to Canberra before as it would have to be amongst one of the neatest ,well designed,treed and gardened place I have encountered,be sure not to miss it.
Part 2 of the journey to Katoomba will follow in the next blog!