We did a quick trip to New South Wales to visit family and rented a car. Since it’s not a far drive, we decided to go south and visit Australia’s quiet capital, Canberra. I got funny looks when I told people that we were going there because apparently there isn’t much to do. Still, I had some friends I hadn’t seen for several years and was quite keen to check out a new place.
A planned city, Canberra is laid out in logical grids with massive roundabouts at strategic places to give it a wide sense of space. For example check out this Anzac Parade below which is strategically situated between the Parliament House and Australia War Memorial.
The top tourist attraction in Canberra is probably the Australian War Memorial. This is built primarily to remember the Anzac soldiers at World War I. Earlier in the year I visited the Anzac memorial at Te Papa Museum in Wellington so I quite welcomed the opportunity to experience this shared trans-Tasman shared history.
Next on the tourist trail is the Parliament House. This is quite an interesting experience as you get to see where politicians meet to do their lawmaking stuff.
And check out these awesome rooms where it’s considered cool to be loud and argumentative haha… In NZ I only see the parliament room on TV (usually Winston Peters saying something snarky).
Apart from these big attractions Canberra also has a charming provincial city vibe in the CBD. I really like the mid century feel of the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings here. In the afternoon sun you get cool contrasty light which is great for some street photography.
My highlight in Canberra is actually the big hill with an awesome lookout, called Mount Ainslie. You can basically see the whole city from up here. Just bring something warm, I’m pretty sure the temperature dropped 10 degrees Celsius once the sun went down!
Basically all my sightseeing can be summarised by looking at them all from Mount Ainslie!