Canberra bashing as tired as New Zealand sheep jokes

We are approaching the time for our national election and I thought it was a good time to revisit this post I wrote in 2012.I lived and worked in Canberra for about thirty five years.  I met my husband there, married there and raised a family there.  It is a beautiful city and one I am immensely proud of. When we were newly married I can remember having to defend my home town to my mother-in-law! She was a bit of a Canberra basher, because of her political views I think.

This article is well worth the read.

Canberra bashing as tired as New Zealand sheep jokes.

A renewal of an acquaintance

We visited Canberra last weekend as a surprise for our younger daughter’s birthday.  While we were there we had a family day out at one of the historical properties in the Australian Capital Territory. There are not many historical properties as the ACT has a very short history in the scheme of things as Canberra was built as a planned city for the capital of the country.

The place we visited was Lanyon Homestead.

The homestead is now on the edge of the outer suburbs of Canberra.  You are literally one minute in the suburbs then round the corner in the countryside.  When we used to live in Canberra it was a fairly long trip from our suburb out to Lanyon and we were in one of the outer suburbs.  That was many years ago and Canberra has grown considerably since then.

It was lovely to revisit Lanyon as we used to take our children there.  Now there is a cafe in one of the outbuildings

and the homestead is manned by staff who will give guided tours if asked.  We had gone to have a birthday lunch at the cafe as well as doing a tour of the estate.

One aspect that we remembered that is no longer there was the Sidney Nolan Gallery.  The gallery had been there for 27 years but in 2007 it was decided that the gallery was no longer suitable for such a valuable collection. This is rather sad as the collection was housed in a rural setting at the request of the artist.  Now the collection is housed in the Canberra Museum and Gallery.

You can read about what prompted this move at Yolande Norris.

Money makes the world go round. . . . .

We were recently in Canberra for a day and we paid a visit to the Royal Australian Mint. The picture above is the entry that we used when we visited with our children many years ago.  We were now visiting with our granddaughter and we were surprised to find that this is no longer the entry to the Mint.

There is now a fancy, ,much more touristy entry to the Mint and it is wheelchair accessible.

The entry is around the corner from these photos.

The gallery for viewing the Mint is a huge improvement on our experience back in the 1980s.  They have excellent displays and interactive exhibits.  There is a discovery booklet for children and plenty for children to see and do.

There is a robot on the work floor but unfortunately we were there during holiday time so the robot was only doing a set pattern to let people see that it actually worked.  We will need to go back when the Mint in producing money to see the robot in full action.One of the exhibits that caught my eye was the Melbourne Cup trophy from 1888.

It is such a beautiful trophy compared to the trophy the winner receives these days.

The Royal Australian Mint is certainly somewhere you should visit if you are ever in Canberra.  I will be returning when the Mint is in operation as I want to see the robot in full working mode.


Tuesday Travels. . . A Canberra attraction that is often missed by tourists

Canberra, as our nation’s capital, has many attractions for the tourists but one which is perhaps not as well known as the others is the National Archives. . . . “We are the nation’s memory – a living collection of government records illuminating our history and identity.”

It is an unprepossessing building which in its former life housed government offices and was a post office. You can read its history on the red sign shown in the photo.

The Archives building is hidden away to the back and left of old Parliament House.  It is in the Parliamentary triangle so is within easy access of the Parliament buildings, the Art Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the High Court and Questacon – Science and Technology Centre. . . . . . .all worth a visit.

It had been a while since we had last been there so decided to pay a visit.  There was an excellent exhibition on the life of Gough Whitlam, one of our previous prime ministers.  The archives has much to commend it and I suggest you take a quick look at the National Archives of Australia website to get some idea of what to expect if you decide to visit.

I have used the online facility to research my family’s arrival in Australia.  You can get copies of documents and can make use of the reading room.  My younger daughter was able to get copies of the Defence service record of her grandpa who served on the Kokoda Track in World War 2.



Tuesday Travels. . . .National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

“Look into the eyes of over 400 people who’ve shaped the nation at the National Portrait Gallery, on the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin.”

On a recent visit to Canberra that is exactly what we did.  There was a particular part of the gallery devoted to an exhibition of Women in Focus.

This Gallery requires you to really take your time as the accompanying captions to the portraits provide so much information which furthers understanding of the particular portrait.  John Brack is one of my favourite artists so I was pleased to find portraits by him, one being in the Women in Focus exhibition.

The Portrait Gallery displays portraits in a variety of mediums and photography has become more prevalent in recent times.

After viewing Women in Focus the remainder of our time was spent in the rest of the gallery.

Various sporting identities were included with one prominent rugby union player displayed.

It has been a few years since I last visited the Portrait Gallery and it was an enjoyable visit.  Like all galleries only a fraction of the collection is on display at any time and it was with this thought that I bought this book.Now I can dip into the book and imagine I am at the Gallery. Each portrait is accompanied by the information relating to both the artist and the sitter. A potted look at Australia’s history and culture.

The National Arboretum

While I was in Canberra I paid a visit to the National Arboretum.  My daughter and I were going there for lunch, which I might say was delicious.

There is a wonderful play area for children at the Arboretum.

There is also a wonderful gift shop with many unusual items to give as gifts.

I gifted myself a beautiful hanging pot so I could transfer some of my Chain of Hearts from the pot I have outside.

The picture is a bit blurred but the pot has lovely magnolia flowers on it.