Canberra and Snowy Mountains

Trip Start Jan 26, 2007
Trip End Jan 28, 2007

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Australia Day weekend, an extra day off, so what better place is there to go for Australia Day than the Australian capital?! Andreas and I met up in Canberra, got us a rental car and went on a long weekend of discovery tours. To start with we stayed a day in Canberra. Even though many stories go that this is the most boring place in Australia I must say it was good fun. Caused by the Australia Day celebrations the city was buzzing. We went to a huge festival with live bands and there were thousands of people celebrating on the day before the actual holiday. The festival was broad casted live on Australian TV and according to them the performers were very well known within the country. We celebrated along, met some more great people and had a good time.
On the next day we went for sight-seeing within Canberra, visited the parliament and other official sites, went to the war memorial and on the little hill close to get an overview from the top. Canberra was designed to be a capital from the beginning , which can definitely be told by the looks of the city. Everything seems to match perfectly, is parallel and in place. A good feng shui, as San would put it. ;-)
Midday we left Canberra and drove on to the Snowy Mountains. Supposedly there is a very well known story about an Australian horseman called "The man from the Snowy River" that originated there, but I have to admit that story / movie I'm still not familiar with. Obviously the Snowy Mountains were anything but snowy, since our visit was in summer. On the opposite, there were parts that were still bruised by bushfire that swept the place not too long ago. Jokingly we were told the Snowy Mountains were renamed into "Smokey Mountains".
In winter times it is possible to ski in that area and we saw the lifts and all the equipment, but I wasn't fancying to see snow anyway, so everything was fine by me. We stayed in a small town called Jindabyne, very cozy edging a lake with all opportunities of water activities. We decided to spend the next day on a quad tour though in order to explore the mountains rather than the water. This turned out to be extremely fun! We were running around with these quads, seen lots of the wildlife and our guide showed us around the place for half a day. It really was a great experience. We've seen the wild horses, emus, foxes and the great sceneries of the Snowy Mountains. At the end of the day we visited Australia's highest mountain, which is Mt. Kosciuszko with slightly over 2200 m. We spent the night in the small pub of Jindabyne, which also was great fun. We met a Scotsmen in his mid fifties who entertained us all night. I just loved listening to his accent, he was really funny.
The next day we went to the Canberra space dome and observatory which also was very interesting. A trip to the wildlife area and national park showed to be rather disappointing, due to the bush fires unfortunately we did not see any animals at all. But all in all another great trip in that great country Australia.
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