A quick jaunt to the Nation's Capital, Canberra
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
After a night in Moss Vale we got up to one of the coldest mornings I've encountered in Australia. It was so cold that doing that washing up in cold water gave me chilblains, which I never thought would happen to me here. Wishful thinking evidently. Anyway once we'd sufficiently thawed out we drive into Canberra, a capital created mainly to stop Sydney and Melbourne arguing over who got the honour. As a result there isn't a huge amount there save the National Parliament House. Now each state in Australia has its own Parliament as well as its own Premier so it all gets a little confusing. Despite this the 'main' parliament building in the country is quite impressive. You could go and have a nosy round for free so we dutifully trooped in to get our tourist on, firstly admiring a portrait of good old Queenie which no Parliament is complete without! The building itself was very nice, a lot of white marble and open spaces, although it did remind me somewhat of a University building which I'm not sure is the effect they were going for. We had a quick nosy into the Senate Chambers (red) and Representatives Chambers, which are green in homage to the British parliament as Australian Government is based on our style of Government. It is apparently a different green though, one which emulates the green of the eucalyptus to make it more Australian.
The most interesting part of Parliament House was the fact that you could go up onto the roof, which offered a great view down to the Anzac Memorial at the end of the Federation Mall, and also a panorama of the entire cityscape. Canberra doesn't have many big buildings though, most of it is concentrated around the Parliament, including the library and all the museums so we didn't spend too much longer in the rest of possibly the world's dullest capital city. A quick dash to the Anzac war memorial, again much more impressive than anything at home and with an Anzac museum as well, and we were on our way. An overnight in a park in Yass, with a few drinks in a local pub which, joy of joys, had some free food on because it was the State of Origin final, and we were ready for another night sleeping in DARPA, the novelty of which was wearing off.