Robyn's Travelling Adventures travel blog

I got the Greyhound bus to Canberra at 9am on Monday morning. Only 3 and a half hours, which for Australia is nothing. Nice scenery on the way, but you could see how dry some places are, and some of the damage done by the bushfires and storms. There were signs warning of wombats crossing the road, I have decided these are my new favourite animal crossing signs!

Getting into the bus station I had to find my way to the YHA hostel, which was pretty easy but as it was again a lovely summer's day I got really hot and tired with the walk. The hostel is really nice, staying in a 10 bed mixed dorm. Had a shower, then decided to go to the botanic gardens. Probably a bad idea as I didn't realise how far away they were and got really hot again. Still, when I got there they were really nice, did the rainforest walk, saw the Tasmanian Garden and the Eucalyptus lawn and the rock garden. There were signs around warning about a brown snake which was in the area - the sign said not to chase it if you saw it, who would do that? (well, Steve Irwin probably would have done, but not anyone else). Then I had to walk back.

At the hostel I met a guy in my dorm room, John who is going to Melbourne on the same bus as me tomorrow so I'll have some company for the 8 hours which is nice. We also had both decided to do a special Explorer bus tour of Canberra today, which takes you round the main sites and picks you up and drops you off where you're staying.

So at 11am this morning we caught the bus, first stop, the Australian War Memorial. Apparently the most visited site in Australia! It was pretty impressive, and you had a view down Anzac Parade to the Old Parliament House. Apparently looks like Washington, but I've never been there so can't tell you myself.

After that we drove down Anzac parade which is lined with monuments to soldiers and people who have served in different wars. Then we drove to Lake Burley Griffin where we could take a photo of Captain Cook's fountain, which goes really high into the air. We drove past several other buildings - the national library, old parliament house and questacon. Then we stopped at New Parliament House, where a graduation was happening! But we looked around, realised the fact that we have never actually visited the houses of Parliament in our own country but had now gone to the Australian one.

Our last stop was the National Museum, only 5 years old, focusing a lot on the history of the Aborigines. All very interesting. Then it was back on the bus for a drive through where all the embassy's are, most of them looked really nice. Then we were back at the hostel for 5pm.

It was definately a good way to see Canberra in a day. I don't think you could spend longer than a couple of days here, there's not much to do. The only reason that it's here is because they decided to build a capital city between Sydney and Melbourne which were competing to be the Capital city of Australia. It's closer to Sydney though, and the current Prime Minister decided not to live in Canberra but in Sydney. As an aside, Canberra means 'meeting place' in the Aboriginal language.

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