Canberra (Aboriginal word for...
Canberra (Aboriginal word for 'meeting place') is the Capital of Australia in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), on ca. 700 meters height, on the Murrumbidgee, with a population of 310173 (Jan. 1999).
Canberra was build from a design by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin, and gave the city two centers; one political and one business center. Between the town center’s let they big spaces with a rural character. Central in the city laid the artificial designed Lake Burley Griffin, that named at the designer. Around the lake you find the governments buildings, the National Library (http://www.nla.gov.au), the High Court of Australia (http://www.hcourt.gov.au), the Australian National Gallery (http://www.nga.gov.au/index.html) and (opened in 1988) the New Parliament Building (http://www.aph.gov.au), which was build behind the old one (http://www.dcita.gov.au/oph.html).
Who has made all those incomplete Brochures?
Moan and complain about the lack of travel guides ;-)
I have really tried hard to find a travel guide for Canberra. I already started searching back home in New Zealand, but I gave up after a while. Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth... But no book about Australia's capital which - as I know now - has a lot of things to see and do.
I thought, ok, it might not be so popular outside the Australian borders. So I kept on searching in Melbourne where I spent a week before my flight to Canberra. The result was the same.
And you know the rest of the story if you have read my intro. No travel guide about Canberra in Canberra.
So I heavily relied on brochures, and thanks to my status as a journalist I got a lot of good information sheets and more brochures from the media people of the tourist board and the public affairs officers of some attractions like the National Museum. I grabbed brochures everywhere I went until I had a collection of two kilos. The amazing thing was that you got different brochures everywhere, and always found out about new things. And I love brochures because you can take them with you. It does not help to check everything on the internet and then leave. You need it printed to read it when you are on site. ---
But who has composed all those brochures?
The "See & Explore your National Capital" folder lists Historic Blundell's Cottage, Anzac Parade, the National Carillion, the National Capital Exhibition, the Old Parliament House Gardens including Magna Carta Place, Commonwealth and Reconciliation Places.
"See Yourself in Canberra" just names some attractions without any hint where they are located, and even gives some ideas about the things to do in the wider region. But everything without maps, directions or addresses. This is not really helpful, given the lack of travel guides.
Probably the best list is in the "National Capital Attractions" booklet. It gives addresses, contacts and websites, so you can work through that.
And finally I have also found a nice booklet in A-4 format about the natural wonders of Canberra, including outdoor recreation in parks, forests and bushlands, as well as heritage and aboriginal sites. The title is "Get out there!" The annoying thing about it is that they list Visitor Centres with internet but no physical addresses - in a printed booklet! Strange world!
Some of the internet sites I have listed in one of my other tips are really good.
Here are some more:
Visit the Australian National...
Visit the Australian National War Memorial. This is probably the best war museum and memorial I have ever visited. Beneath the memorial itself, lies the museum, which contains an excellent visual presentation of the wars that Australia has participated in.
This is one of my favourite photos from the Floriade in 2001...there was heaps of space around the flowers so it's very easy to get close up photos without annoying anyone. There are also some stalls and food available at Floriade so you can spend all day there.
Let's have a beer
The ACT has quite liberal drinking laws. Clubs and pubs are nearly unrestricted in their trading hours. Most local residents drink at home or when visiting friends, so bottle shops are popular: these are to be found in all supermarkets including those in local shopping centres. As the larger supermarkets are open every day from early morning to near midnight, running dry is never a problem!