Cruise South-East Asia and On to Australia / New Zeland travel blog

Australian Coat of Arms

Fountain in Canberra

Current Parliament Buildings

Historic Parliament Building - our preference

Aboriginal Protest at Parliament

Just Like DC - Canberra in Capital Region

We decided we could not travel Australia without seeing the nation's capital city, nestled inland across the mountains. Off we go up and over the mountains through mist, fog, light rain and the very occasional patch of sunlight. This section of a secondary highway was well treed until we dropped down into the plains. We felt we could have been driving around Kamloops in the semi arid flat land amidst hills.

We booked a historic hotel in Canberra in an older building but very significantly refurbished. The rack rate on the deluxe queen room was $439 / night but had a rate of $139. It was nice but certainly not worth the higher rates. Possibly bureaucrats stay there on the public purse?.

Late in the afternoon we toured the official Australian museum and learned a lot about the development of the country. They have dedicated much of the displays to aboriginal people throughout Australia with many of the stories similar to North America and forced resettlement of its first people. Their voices are louder today with much more to come.

The next morning we took in an outside view of a very modern new Parliament building as well as the more 1908 traditional former one. Canberra has lots of green areas around a large lake. Many of its structures stand out and we can imagine the dollars spent to establish this formal Capital region (even has their own poliice force). It was established there as a halfway point between Sydney and Melbourne and inland to prevent any military bombardment from the sea.

On our way out of Canberra we were advised to find Costco out by the airport as their fuel prices were considerably less (try about 20%). This sat amongst IKEA, ToysRUs, Pet Barn, Woolworths, McDonald's etc. and could have been in any modern North American city. We happily found a pre-cooked chicken and large greek salad for dinner back at the coast.

We took an alternate but better road back to the coast and stayed in a pleasant motel in Merimbula. The drive back was through arid grasslands mixed with rock covered rolling hills. Our takeaway meal was great and a nice alternative to fish and chips.

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