Australia's Capital City and the Blue Mountains

Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
Trip End Aug 20, 2007

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Flag of Australia  ,
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Our round-Australia trip would not have been complete without a visit to 'the most boring capital city' as Canberra is often called. An acclaimed war memorial and an ultra-modern Parliment building followed by a great dinner was all that we needed. The name 'Canberra' means 'Meeting Place' in Aboriginal language and the parliment building design represents a meeting of all the different aspects of Australian culture and lanscape. The Australian Parliment building opened in 1988 and we did a fascinating tour of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.


The Australian War Memorial serves as a memorial, museum, art gallery and keeper of memories of Australian armed conflict involvement. The collection includes everything from military aircraft and tanks to the poignant personal possessions of POWs and love letters home. It tells all the stories big and small, political and personal. The 3 hours spent here was simply not enough. There is no glorification of war here, but an honest and painful narrative of it's reality. The centre piece is the Pool of Reflection, flanked by a bronzed Roll of Honour naming more than 100,000 fallen. Listening to the lone bag-piper as the sunset on another day for us brought home the sacrafice that so many have made. 


We then took a few days to explore the beautiful Blue Mountains on our way back to Sydney.  The blue haze created by the transpiration from the Eucalyptus trees coupled with fantastic rocky escarpments create the most stunning scenery. We hiked to waterfalls, took scary ex-mine train rides down 40 degree inclines along the rock face and took a cable car ride across to the Three Sisters. We could have easily stayed here for a few days longer - thankfully we have New Zealand as our next stop!
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