Australia’s Capital Territory

VISITING CANBERRA

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If you’ve read our previous posts you will know that our eldest daughter, Louvaro is a National Athletics Champion. We’ve been lucky enough to travel to a few of our capital cities in Australia for different competitions.  We’ve travelled for sport for the last 3 years and this post is about our visit to Canberra.

Canberra is the capital of Australia and less than 3 hours South West of Sydney.  More than 1800km from where we live in Central Queensland.

We flew into Canberra via Brisbane and hired a car for the duration of our trip.

The Canberra airport would have to be the cleanest airport I have ever seen!

This trip started off to be hectic as the airline actually forgot to load our 18 month olds pram onto the plane.  The airline then went on to miss the next flight as well, however, we did eventually get it couriered to us. I have to say that both our forearms got a good work out.

Nevertheless, here are some of the things we got to see and do during this trip.

Australian War Memorial

A world class museum where even the children will be pleased that you dragged them along.  There are free daily tours run by a magnificent team of volunteers or you can explore everything the museum has to offer at your own pace.   This one is great to help the kids understand the sacrifices made and just what happened during the war and teach them why it is important to remember the men and women who served in the Australian Military forces.

Inside you will find memorials, information, simulations and much, much more.  If you’re wanting to look up a loved one, head to the archives, give them a name and they will direct you to where you will find more information.  Buy a poppy and pin it beside your loved ones name on the wall of poppies.  If you hang around until 4.55PM AEDT you can witness the incredibly moving last post ceremony or watch live online.

You can find out more on what the Australian War Memorials displays and tour times, here.

Parliament House

The Parliament House actually caught us by surprise.  My husband took some convincing but once we were in we actually really enjoyed ourselves and for people who weren’t too interested in visiting – we seemed to take the most photos here .  There is plenty of parking beneath the building and to get inside you need to pass through a heavy security screening similar to the screening at the airport.

There are free daily tours, tours you can pay to join for a more in depth experience or you can self-guide around the building.  If you’re taking a self-guided tour make sure you are reading the signs displayed as to where you can and can’t enter.  The foyer is something you just have to see for yourself with a stunning marble staircase and 48 marble columns.  The Great Hall isn’t much to see but if you are into everything politics than you might enjoy it.  Most will also enjoy the parliaments architecture.  We were lucky enough to visit during a non-sitting day so we were allowed to enter  into the House of Representatives and Senate which was kind of exhilarating. Our favourite part was heading up to the roof and a photo opportunity out the front of the house.  I do recommend everyone to go to the gift shop though.  I guarantee you will not leave empty handed.

 

Questacon

With spectacular science shows, displays and hands on activities this is one the kids will LOVE.   There just isn’t enough hours in a day to discover it all.  If you follow the link below you will see just how much there is to see and do at Questacon alone.  Plan at least a half a day here.

Questacon – The National Science and and Technology Centre.  

A large granite stone ball sitting on a large slab of stone, which intern sits within a stainless steel bin. Water flows from under the granite and over the stone to the bin.A rectangular black granite pilar about 1500 milimeters heigh, with for slits running from across the top to three quarters of the way down the sides. The pilar sits on concrete and is located in a garden environment.

Cockington Green Gardens

Handcrafted miniature buildings have never been so cool.  Cockington Green Gardens is for the whole family.  If you have green fingers you probably won’t want to leave; you will be busy admiring the perfectly landscaped gardens on show.  There is also a miniature train ride and  I don’t know about everyone else but I think these rides never seem to get old.

Entry for the whole family will cost you around $60 (up to 3 children).  And it is well worth it!

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What we missed…

Our daughter was competing in 5 different events so you can only imagine how busy we were throughout the trip.  So here are a few things that we have on our list the next time we visit.

Royal Australian Mint

National Dinosaur Museum

Australian Institute of Sport

National Zoo & Aquarium

Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex

National Library

MORE INFO

Everything in Canberra is easy to get to and too expensive for a taxi so hiring a car is a good idea.  If your planning a trip to Canberra with children check out the 3infun website.  Here you can purchase a family pass to the Australian Institute of Sport, Questacon and the Cockington Green Garden.  Great value for money if you ask me and a time saver.

Canberra grocery stores have already ditched the plastic bags so be prepared to pay for a more biodegradable bag or pack your own tote shopping bags.

As always, we used AirBnb  and we scored a perfect little cottage behind the owners house.  It had everything we needed and heating for the cool nights, YES there were still cool nights in December.

Pack for both cold weather and hot.  The evenings and mornings were cool (for us Queenslanders) but the middle of the day was HOT.

Note: I will get $25 credit if you sign up, book & stay using our AirBnB link. And we always read reviews before booking.

 

♡Mrs Bleakley

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