Canberra = Ghost Town

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Awoke nice and refreshed from another night of sleeping in the car and after a disgustingly unhealthy breakfast of barbecued sausages, bacon and eggs we headed into the city to see what it had to offer. Seeing as we only had a few hours to kill in town we thought the LP walking tour (does anyone actually follow them?) looked quite good and took in all the "sights".

Drove around and eventually figured out the strangely complex road system and found a free place to park, right outside the old government building. Seemed like a good place to start and we spent about an hour walking through the parks and power walking the 10km's of the walking tour. There are a lot of nice parks in Canberra but not really anything else of interest.

So we walked round lake Burley Griffin and heard some bells being played very badly at the National Carillon. Decided we couldn't be bothered to walk up Anzac Parade and back again so skipped it out and went back towards the car. The whole town was empty. Quite where the 300,000 people had disappeared to I have no idea but it was probably out of town to see something more interesting.

The only place that I thought was worth visiting was Parliament House. We got to go inside the building and visit the Senate and House of Representatives which was pretty cool and free to boot which is always appreciated. Its a funny building as well as it's built into the hill and has a huge flag mast on top. Well worth visiting if you happen to be in Canberra and the chocolate eclair in the cafe was delicious, if stupidly overpriced.

It was now 2:30pm and we had a long drive ahead of us. Rather than spend another night in Canberra we got the map out and looked for a campsite near the coast. Settled on Cape Conran which was pretty much straight down all the way to the sea. Sounded like a nice location in the LP so seeing as it was over 400km's away we better get a move on.

I thoroughly enjoyed this drive. Dave drove the first 150km's to the large town of Cooma before we switched and I got to drive the rest of the way to the coast. It was the first time I've really had a chance to push the car and I'm happy to say it has more than enough power to overtake anything and flying around the country lanes around the "Snowies" mountains at up to 180km/hour was great fun. Hardly any cars around and the drive was a breeze. It was boiling in Canberra but noticeably cooler up in the mountains.

After rally driving down the track to Cape Conran for the first 5km's I decided it was best to slow down a bit after flying past a kangaroo at 120km/hour but didn't see any more. Cape Conran was a pretty good campsite. We were right next to the beach again and in a really nice woodland area with divebombing kookaburras and wombats walking round your feet in the dark. Fully refreshed after pasta again I retired to the tent for a good nights sleep before another long drive tomorrow.
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