Aus - Day 163 - 167- Canberra
Oct 18, 2011
|Unfortunately, we didn't get to spot the water dragon or platypus. We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning, enjoyed our surroundings, and made our way to the city of Canberra in the ACT province (Australia Capital Territory).
Canberra was built about 100 years ago as the Capital city for Australia, after a long search for the perfect location. It's a nice city of 300,000, with wide streets and is very clean, with lots of parks and recreational areas.
Some of the attractions we saw during our 3 days in Canberra included the following:
Australian War Memorial - A place that commemorates the 102,000 Australians who have died in War, beginning with World War 1. This place was certainly more than we had expected. It's not only a memorial, but also a quite large museum, with relics, works of art by artists who were sent to war for the purpose of painting the scenes. It also houses quite a few war vehicles, battle planes, and even an actual Japanese submarine that the first Australian Naval victory off the Sydney harbor in WWI. We had first visited the Memorial at 4:00pm with only 1hr to visit, however we quickly realized we would not be able to see even a fraction of what was to be seen. We therefore returned the following morning, when we enjoyed a 2 hour tour, which was very informative.
Deep Space Communication Complex - This is part of NASA's deep space network and was the location used to send the first televised signals to the world during the moon landing. We saw a collection of replicas of Mars rovers, spacecraft, spacesuits, rockets and more. One of the highlights was a 3.8 Billion year old Moon rock.
Canberra Glassworks - We watched as a glass worker created a vase, a unicorn, and an Octopus.
CSIRO Discovery - This was sort of a science center, and unfortunately was a bit outdated and overpriced. Mostly a disappointment.
Floriade - Over 1 million blooms create a stunning backdrop to a month long vibrant festival of flowers. A truly wonderful, beautiful, colorful experience.
National Film and Sound Archive - Australia's audio-visual archive. We spend just over an hour here, learning of some of Australia's accomplishments in the Audio Visual space.
National Museum of Australia - This museum has everything Australia in it. From aboriginal beginnings, to every town's creation, wildlife, gold rush, mining, etc, etc. A huge museum full of interesting things. We especially enjoyed seeing a stuffed Tasmanian tiger (now extinct for 100 years because of over hunting), a stuffed platypus, as well as preserved baby platypus at different stages in the egg.
Royal Australian Mint - The place that literally makes money! There are very informational displays of Australia's currency history, starting with the original trading that was done in the very first years with the aboriginals. Viewing glass also allowed us to watch as the workers below went about their workday, creating coins for public use as well as collector coins.
Australia's Parliament - This is the second Parliament in Canberra for Australians. The first was temporary and only designed for a 50 year use cycle. The cost to the Australians was $1.1 Billion and while it's build very richly, it's design seems to be "interesting". We enjoyed a 1.5hr tour which included the House of representatives and the Senate. Also on display was one of only four surviving issues of Magna Carta, from 1297. This 700 year old document was the first to state that no one person of government was above the law.