Australia Travelog Archive

Below is a list of all my postings that I have completed from the various locations in Australia I visited during the years I spent living there.  I actually have pictures of many other locations in the country that I have not had the time to type up postings on and will eventually do so.  In the mean time there is plenty of postings here in the archives for people to read about the great places I visited while living Down Under.

Australia

Australian Capitol Territory

Melbourne

New South Wales

Northern Territory

South Australia

Sydney

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

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Picture of the Day: The NASA Deep Space Communication Complex

This important NASA site is located in the Australian Capitol Territory (ACT).  You can read more about my visit to the site here.

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On Walkabout in: Canberra at Night

As I mentioned in my prior posting I was recently in Canberra for work related reasons once again which is why I have an extensive photo archive of pictures from Canberra on this website.  However, since I have taken so many pictures of Canberra during the day; I decided that this time in Canberra I was going to take some photographs of the city at night since I had never tried to do that before.

My Fujifilm Finepix S5700 is not the best camera in the world for taking night pictures, especially since I don’t have a tripod, but the camera is good enough for what I need it to do which take decent pictures to share with friends and family and put on this blog.

I decide to start my walk around Canberra at night at the Parliament House which is the seat of government in Australia:

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From the front of the Parliament House I then walked down to the front of the Old Parliament House that was the first seat of government in Australia until the newer Parliament House was built:

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From the Old Parliament House and I then walked across the Kings Bridge northeast of the Parliament House and walked over to the National Carillon:

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The National Carillon was present by Great Britain to Canberra in commemoration of the Gold Jubilee of the founding of the national capitol of Australia on 26 April, 1970 that was presided over by Queen Elizabeth II.

The National Carillon is actually quite photogenic at night:

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The National Carillon sits on Aspen Island out on Lake Burley-Griffin and is only accessed by this foot bridge:

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From the island you have a nice view of all the sites on the south side of Canberra to include the Telstra Tower:

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The National Gallery of Australia is the most prominent government building seen from the island:

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Commonwealth Place is also right across from the island as well:

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From the National Carillon I then walked up ANZAC Parade where the Australian War Memorial is located.   Here is the plaque located in the front of the War Memorial that overlooks ANZAC Parade and the Parliament House in the far distance:

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Then of course in front of the plaque is the Australian War Memorial which should be a must see for anyone visiting Australia’s national capitol:

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From the War Memorial I then called my wife who picked me up and we then drove to the top of Mt. Ainsle which provides an excellent view of Canberra looking over the Australian War Memorial and the ANZAC Parade towards Parliament House:

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Just a beautiful view that if you are visiting Canberra you should take a few minutes to drive to the top of Mt. Ainsle to check out.  Besides Mt. Ainsle make sure to take a walk at least around the Lake Burley-Griffin area at night because that is where you get the best ground level views of Canberra at night.   It was a great time walking around taking pictures of this great city but I’m glad I brought a jacket because Canberra sure can be cold in June.

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On-walkabout in: The Civic Neighborhood of Canberra

I often find myself traveling to Canberra for work related reasons and this month I found myself back in Canberra.  Most Australians don’t like the city because they think it is boring and too far out in the bush; maybe that is why I like it so much? I have posted many times before about Canberra so make sure to read my prior postings about this great city and draw your own conclusions.

Anyway this time in town I was staying in the Civic neighborhood on the northside of town.  This neighborhood is now considered the hippest area of town because of all the new construction here that is supposed to bring a more cosmopolitan feel and night life to Canberra.  This area town is quite nice with all its new buildings but as can be seen during the day, it sure can be lacking in people:

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Something I liked about this newer area of Civic was that it was a pedestrian only area.  Maybe it is just me, but I don’t mind having to park my car outside the shopping area and walking around.  Considering that Australia is not the world’s fattest country maybe more downtown shopping areas need to become pedestrian only?

From the newer pedestrian area I went over to the older shopping area of Civic where you can really tell the difference between the newer and older parts of downtown:

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One of the biggest differences is that you have to start dodging cars again to get to the older shopping area.  There wasn’t a whole lot to see in this area of Civic so I walked back to the newer area and had lunch at a pretty good Japanese restaurant that was located on the second floor of a building in the pedestrian only area.  This restaurant is well labeled and easy to find.  The restaurant actually has Japanese people working in it which is always a good sign that the restaurant is probably pretty good.  However, like outside there was next to nobody in this restaurant which is a shame because it is quite good.

To be fair though, the night before this area of Civic was packed with mostly college students.  That night my colleagues in Canberra took me to the same bar these guys take me to every time we go to Canberra, King O’Malley’s:

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King O’Malley’s is like an institution in Canberra the way locals are dedicated to it.  The place is an Irish style pub and it was actually quite a fun place, but keep in mind I’m pretty easy person to entertain; the place had Guinness so I was good to go the whole night.

After lunch I then decided to walk over to the massive new shopping mall in Civic.  I think the reason there was no one outside was because they were all inside this massive shopping mall:

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This mall was actually quite nice and has every store you can think of.  It is three stories big and extremely long.  I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around this massive place.  When it was dinner time I decided to stop at the steak restaurant on the first floor of the shopping center.  My colleagues had told me this place had the best steaks in Canberra so definitely wanted to check it out while I was in town.

The place was quite pricey but for a good steak I’m willing to pay good money.  Here is what $45 bought me, a small steak, potatoes, break, and a salad:

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To say I was disappointed by this meal would be an understatement.  The bread they served me at first was extremely hard and nearly uneatable.  Then for whatever reason they served my salad with my steak.  The salad should come before the steak.  The potatoes were good, and the steak though small, was actually above average but not great.

For $45 I definitely felt like I didn’t get my money’s worth.   My favorite Australian steak restaurant continues to remains the Red Heifer in Newcastle and this restaurant didn’t even come close to matching it.   In fact the rest of the time in Canberra I played it safe and kept going to the Japanese restaurant for dinner where I got more and better food for half the price.

Overall though Civic is actually a pretty nice area to stay while visiting Canberra.  It is pedestrian friendly, clean, plus has plenty of shops & restaurants.  I really can’t complain even if I got ripped off on my steak.

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Canberra & The ACT Archive

I have now posted all my pictures of my multiple trips to Canberra and have listed all my prior postings into a simple archive below. I will update the list with any other postings I make related to Canberra and if I visit the ACT again in the future. In the mean time feel free to read all of my prior postings, but make sure to read my overview about Canberra first. Hopefully these postings inspire some of you out there to visit the Australian national capitol. It is definitely worth a visit.

Must Sees in ACT
The Australian War Memorial
The Canberra Parliament House
The National Museum of Australia
The Old Parliament House
The Japanese Gardens
Scenes from Lake Burley-Griffin

Worth A Visit If You Have the Time
The Telstra Tower
The National Archives
The National Zoo and Aquarium
The Australian Coat of Arms
NASA Deep Space Communications Complex

Australian-American Memorial

Canberra Nights
The Civic Neighborhood
Spring Time in Canberra
Namadgi National Park: Honeysuckle Creek

Namadgi National Park: Orroral Valley

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On Walkabout In: The National Museum of Australia

One of the must see locations in Canberra is definitely the National Museum of Australia:

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However, I don’t call a must see for its exterior which is one of the ugliest for a museum I have ever seen.  The museum is a must see for what it has inside:

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The museum is huge and covers every aspect of Australian history; everything from its prehistoric history, to when the Aborigines landed here 50,000 years ago, to when the first fleet of colonists arrive, all the way up to modern times today. You could easily spend a whole day here going through the museum because it is that huge.

The museum has the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal artifacts to include some excellent educational displays such as this map of the various Aboriginal tribes in Australia:

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As you can see there is an amazing amount of Aboriginal tribes in Australia with most of them speaking completely different languages and dialects. Something interesting I had a chance to see is that there was a certain time during the day when they open their entire archive of Aboriginal artifacts for the public to see. A guide will take you into the storage area for the Aboriginal artifacts and give quite an informative brief about the Aborigines and the artifacts. I highly recommend checking with the museum staff and finding out what time they do this tour. Very, very enlightening tour if you have any interest in Aboriginal culture.

In the center of the museum is this very large and odd park:

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Like I said before you need to enjoy this museum from the inside, not the outside. Here is a good summary of everything you can see inside of the museum from their website:

At the core of the Museum and its exhibitions is the National Historical Collection, nearly 200,000 objects representing Australia’s history and cultural heritage.

When the Museum was established in 1980, it inherited a disparate collection mainly featuring horse-drawn vehicles and a few cars. Since then, Museum curators have actively gathered objects for the collection. Some have been donated, some purchased, and some inherited from former collecting bodies such as the Australian Institute of Anatomy (the preserved wet specimens collection, including the heart of racehorse Phar Lap) and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (Aboriginal art collection).

At different times, special emphasis has been given to acquiring particular objects. The Museum now has the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings, with more than 1,600 works by numerous artists from throughout Australia. There are also 95,000 Aboriginal stone artefacts from surface sites found all over Australia.

Other diverse features include journals, photographs and equipment of Australian women scientists; convict clothing, leg irons and tickets of leave; a large technology collection, including historical vehicles; protective clothing and equipment used in the 1994 Sydney bushfires; and a growing assortment of Australian political cartoons. There are also thousands of objects relating to early settlement and later migration, including the Museum’s largest object, the boat Hong Hai, in which 38 Vietnamese ‘boat people’ arrived on Australia’s northern shores in 1978.

Here is something I could really appreciate inside the museum, classic cars:

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There are plenty of cars on display inside and not all of them are beautiful classics:

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Anyway like I said before this museum is a must see for anyone with any interest in the history of Australia and if you are visiting Canberra I would assume you would have some kind of interest in Australian history to begin with.

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On Walkabout In: The Japanese Gardens of Canberra

My favorite park in all of Canberra that is worth spending lunch at are the Japanese Gardens snuggled against Lake Burley-Griffin near the Yarralumla foreign embassy sector of the city:

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The history of the Japanese Gardens is inscribed on a stone plaque in the front of the gardens that reads:

The people of Nara City, Japan present these Kasuga Stone Lanterns to the people of Canberra as a symbol of the friendship that exists between our two cities and between the peoples of Australia and Japan this gift was donated by the citizens of Nara City in the name of world peace.

April 1997
Yasunori Ohkawa
Mayor of Nara, Japan

For those that have never been to Japan, Nara is a beautiful city that once served as an ancient capitol of feudal Japan. The city is filled with many historic temples and palaces. However, the city is most famous in Japan for its friendly deer that are considered holy and wander around the city. The deer are all tame and some even know how to bow to tourists when feeding them special deer biscuits.

Even though there are no deer in Canberra, spring is the perfect time to visit the city and its Japanese Gardens because of the colorful cherry blossoms that fill the city and this park:

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In the very center of the park is a large stone lantern that overshadows Lake Burley-Griffin in the background:

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A walking path circles around the garden welcoming people for a scenic stroll:

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In the middle of the gardens is a wooden gazebo you can eat your lunch in and ponder the stone garden and cherry blossoms that surround the park:

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Here is a final look at the beautiful stone pagoda of the Japanese Gardens:

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Like I said before the Japanese Gardens are definitely worth stopping at and eating a picnic lunch, especially if you have never been to Japan before to appreciate Japanese gardens. This garden is no where near as meticulously maintained as the gardens in Japan but it is easily the most beautiful garden in Canberra by Australian standards.

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On Walkabout At: Canberra’s Telstra Tower

As much as I love Canberra the one thing I do not like about it, is the tacky Telstra Tower that looms over the city no matter where you go:

No matter how many times I look at it, the Telstra Tower just does not blend in with the rest of the city. Anyway the Telstra Tower sits on top of Black Mountain and rises from the mountain for a heigth of 195 meters, so it is a fairly large tower:

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Despite its heigth, I can’t even recommend it for its views because it is expensive and you can get similar views from the lookouts on other mountains around the city. For example here is a view of the city from Black Mountain just below the tower:

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Forgive the grayness of the picture but it was raining when I drove up to the top of Black Mountain the day I took these pictures. Anyway there a few trees in the picture, but overall not a bad view of the city. You can see the National Museum on the peninsula at the bottom of the picture and the Captain Cook Fountain shooting up water in Lake Burley-Griffin. The mountains of Namadgi National Park can be made out in the distant horizon.

Here is a close up look of the Parliament House:

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If you got the money go for it and take a trip up the tower but as you can see, similar views are available on the mountain without paying the cost.

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On Walkabout In: Canberra’s Old Parliament House

A place worth checking out following a visit to the Parliament House in Canberra is a walk down to the Old Parliament House located right in front of the new one:

The Old Parliament House served as the seat of the Australian government from 1927-1988. As you can see in the picture below the building was one of the first structures built in Canberra:

The British queen did not visit the building until 1954 where she opened up parliament. Judging by the above picture it is no wonder why the British queen did not visit Canberra until 1954. The city was literally constructed in the middle of no where. Some today would still say it is in the middle of no where.

From the back of the Old Parliament House you get a picture perfect view of the current Parliament House:

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When walking down to the Old Parliament House it is worth walking around and seeing its adjacent gardens:

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When the Old Parliament House served as the seat of the government these gardens were open only to the parliament members to serve as a place to relax along with being a place to hold private conversations. Walking around the building it is easy to recognize the classical colonial British architecture of the building:

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From the front entrance you have a view across Lake Burley-Griffin towards the Australian War Memorial:

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Once you walk into the Old Parliament House you first enter a large lobby that has a number of statues of British royalty along with a head sculpture of each Australian Prime Minister. Here is the sculpture for one of Australia’s most infamous Prime Ministers, Harold Holt:

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Holt is famous because he was Prime Minister for only about a year before he either mysteriously drowned or was eaten by a shark just at a beach not to far from Melbourne. Rumors persist to this day with Australians that he was actually picked up by a Chinese or Russian submarine and other suggests aliens. Like I said the guy is infamous here. Anyway the people of Melbourne did what any mourning city would do when there national leader drowns at a beach near their city, they named a swimming pool after him.

From the front lobby you can then take a self guided tour to where ever you want to go in the building. The building is huge and you can pretty much walk in and view every room in the building. Each room has a display in the room explaining its significance and history. It will take you quite some time to see every room, at least half a day. If you don’t have that kind of time at least check out the parliament chambers:

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Then check out some of the key offices such as the office of the Prime Minister:

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Imagine being able to walk around the oval office and sit in chairs that world leaders sat in. That is what it is like visiting this office. It is pretty cool to say the least.  I wouldn’t quite call visiting the Old Parliament House a must see during a visit to Canberra but it is close and worth checking out if you have the time.

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On Walkabout In: The Australian National Archives

If you are into history or would just like to learn a little bit more about Australia an interesting place to visit in Canberra is the National Archives building:

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The National Archives holds a number of important documents from the founding of the nation along with documents and diagrams that proclaimed various laws and proclamations passed during the country’s history.

An example of this is this diagram below of the sketch that won the competition to design the nation’s capitol:

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During my visit to the National Archives they had a special display of war time propaganda posters used in Australia:

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Most of them were pretty interesting to look at but the funniest one I saw was this poster:

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The display said that the Australian government during World War II had to display these propaganda posters because the American soldiers stationed in Australia were constantly getting in fights with the Australian soldiers over women.

The archives also had this propaganda poster from the aftermath of 9/11:

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These posters were supposedly put up around America after 9/11 but this is the first time I have seen one. I wouldn’t call The National Archives a must see location in Canberra but it is an interesting place to check out if you have a deep interest in history and some time to waste in Canberra.

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