Picture of the Day: Inside the Australian Parliament

You can read more about my visit to the Australian Parliament House here.

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Picture of the Day: Spring In Japan?

No this is not Japan, this picture is actually from Australia.

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Picture of the Day: The Australian War Memorial

You can read and view more pictures of this outstanding memorial and museum here.

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Picture of the Day: The Australian-American Memorial

You can read more about this memorial located in Canberra, Australia here.

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Canberra Woman Arrested for Being 10x Over the Legal Alcohol Limit

This is one of the most extreme DUI cases I have ever seen, this woman is lucky to be alive:

A CANBERRA woman will front court after being caught allegedly driving with 10 times the legal blood-alcohol limit.

The 20-year-old woman, with a probationary driver’s licence, was found to have reading of 0.199 after police stopped her vehicle in the suburb of Griffith early today.

The woman attracted the attention of police shortly after midnight because her vehicle had two punctured tyres and was travelling on its wheel rims, causing noise and sparks, ACT police said.

 Sergeant Erin Pobar, officer in charge of ACT Policing traffic operations, said some members of the Canberra community still thought they could drink and drive with no consequences.

“I hope for their sake, their family’s sake, and the sake of the wider community that we catch these people before they lose more than just their licence,” she said.

 The woman will be summonsed to appear in the ACT Magistrate’s Court.

The maximum permitted blood-alcohol concentration for probationary licence holders in the ACT is below 0.02.  [AAP]

I learn something new every day, I didn’t know that the ACT had such a low blood alcohol level for P-platers. 

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Picture of the Day: Eye Over Canberra

This picture is from the Australian Traveler reader submitted picture gallery.  Canberra gets a lot of flak from Australians but being someone that has traveled to Canberra many times since moving to Australia, Canberra’s reputation within Australia is not deserved.  As this picture shows it is actually quite a beautiful area and since it is the nation’s capitol, the city has a vibe unlike any other in the country.

You can read more about my travels to Canberra 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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