Stop at Canberra – ACT

8 September 2019
parliament Canberra

After my little getaway at Jervis bay,I spent a few days in Canberra before heading to Melbourne. I took the Greyhound bus from Sydney to the capital!

  • Accomodation and transport

Canberra is more a city for workers and students. There is only a little tourism but for me it was still important to visit the capital of this beautiful country. The accomodation offer is therefore quite reduced, I took a bed in the hostel YHA (it’s rather the top of the range) which is in the city center. The hostel and rooms are quite big, there was even a big balcony in mine. The hyper center is 100% pedestrian and very quiet (maybe because of student holidays). Personally it was good for me to be in a quiet place after more than three months of mops.

To move to the points of interest (mainly museums) it is necessary to use the bus. As in other Australian cities you will need to buy a transport card and recharge it in advance in partner merchants. You should know that the museums are quite far apart and that outside the center, the city of Canberra is not really made for pedestrians (large arteries prohibited pedestrians in several places).

  • The Australian parliament

A free guided tour is organized several times a day. To register you just go directly to the parliament and register on the list of the next visit. In the meantime you can walk there and access the terrace which allows to have a beautiful view of the city. You will also be at the foot of the flagpole. Know that in Australia each state can have different laws (historically there was no regrouping between the different states before 1901).

I could only visit the House of Representatives, the Senate was closed for work. Through the guide you can have information on how a session is going. On the one hand there is the majority and on the other the opposition. This is the lower house that is to say the first to propose and vote laws. These laws must also be passed by the Senate before their application. All texts must be signed by putting your hand on the Bible or other religious book. For atheists, there is a book too. I must say that it is quite surprising for me to put religion in this position.

That the old parliament was preserved (although it was planned to destroy it) and now serves as a museum. It is also possible to visit the high court which can interpret a law eg. But I did not visit it.

Also note that voting is mandatory in Australia!

  • Canberra’s museums

  • National Art Gallery of Australia

I really liked the exhibition on Aboriginal art in this gallery. It’s the biggest collection in the world, it’s really impressive. And I think this part of the museum is very well organized.

I have a little less liked the rest of the museum however, the aisles are not so well ordered and it is not easy to know in what order to visit. For information this museum is free.

  • National Museum of Australia

I tried walking access to this museum. Not easy, I had to make detours to avoid the fast lanes prohibited pedestrians … I opted for the bus back ;). This museum is free as well. You’ll find here many pieces tracing the history of Australia. Through the Holden, Australian tennis, but also the wool found on the wooliest sheep in the world.

  • War memorial

I decided to walk but there are very few pedestrians in Canberra. I loved this place, it is here that we find the tomb of the unknown soldier, beautiful place of meditation. The rest of the building houses the War Museum, free (free tour as well).

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