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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Canberra Can

The first stop of our road trip is Canberra. That is if you don’t count the quick lunch break and a drive-bye of the Big Merino in Goulburn.

The Big Merino - Aussie's like big things!

On the road - view from the car

We arrived mid afternoon and headed directly for the Australian War Memorial. I had heard and read some things that it was good. But it is more than good. It is an extraordinary set of displays. Many interactive to entice even the most screen dependant. Fabulous Dioramas. In a 2 story purpose built wing that doubles as what must be an impressive events venue there were aeroplanes, bits of submarines and tanks which either hang from the ceiling or are displayed around the floor area. The exhibits have been made with extraordinary attention to detail (My god mother who works there told us about the search for a particular type of rat that was required to complete a interactive display of the trenches in France - as if any veterans visited they would immediately know if it was that type of rat or not).

The kids were fascinated and it gave them a great insight into some aspects of war - which I am sure for them is still quite abstract. There is a specific Childrens' Discovery Room which includes a submarine, helicopter and trenches to explore. The ideal situation would be to focus on a couple of rooms and visit again at another time. We only had just under 2 hours and finished up with the Last Post Ceremony. Each day they select serviceman/woman and talk about his/her life. It is moving ceremony and well worth staying for or planning your visit to include this. The ceremony is held at 5pm as the museum closes. Highly recommended for all ages. The gardens around the memorial are lovely and peaceful we even saw over 6 rabbits hopping around to the delight of Miss 7.

Rabbits in the War Memorial gardens

View to new and old Parliament Houses from the War Memorial

We then checked into the hotel and quick swim to freshen up before a fun dinner at a local noodle bar. Canberra is only full of tourists at this time. The locals have all jumped ship. So its quiet it does not feel like a capital city.

The next morning we tried to start early but due to walking in the wrong direction our 30-40min walk ended up quite a bit longer but very scenic around Lake Burley Griffen. We met the daughter of my god mother and her 2 boys. The morning was action packed as we emmensly enjoyed several hours at Questracon. A science museum specifically for kids (big and small). It very impressive of hugely interactive displays and wonderful staff taking time to show the kids experiments and explain scientific theory is very special.

Questracon - a must for kids (big and small) Who had more fun?
We then enjoyed a lovely outdoor lunch at the National Library across the road - recommended. 

A lunch basket at the National Library!

So after 1.5 days - we must say that Canberra delivers and is a great destination for families.

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