Inner City Chic : I’m Loving Canberra


Yesterday I showed you the amazing architecture of New Acton (see it here) But today I’m going for a walk through the lane ways and past the sculptures and gardens. I hope you enjoy the ramble.

(Jo of “Restless Jo” has formed a cyber walking group and each Monday bloggers from all around the world walk you around a small part of their patch. Maybe you would like to join them.) 

Guarding the entrance to the precinct, "Modern Man"

Guarding the entrance to the precinct, “Modern Man”

He looks rather formidable, but sneak by and into the lane.


It is too early for me to grab a coffee but I love the oriental look of this coffee hole in the wall.

Careful he may swoop and carry you away

Careful he may swoop and carry you away

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I will also pass by the beauty parlour.

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Here’s the mate of the other bird busily building the nest and “capturing time”

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Around the corner along another lane way and passed another interesting style of building.

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Here is another coffee shop. I think Canberra business people are fuelled by caffeine. But wait a minute I think some one really needs a boost.

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Yes! I think he is having a “power nap” or maybe just soaking in the warming rays of the spring sunshine.

This bench look inviting and the sculpture invites you to sit and contemplate for a while. The poem is engraved in the granite, but hard to read so I found it on Google.

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When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy -
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.

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Time to move on and past another rather strange sculpture, a place to put notices about coming events.

But I notice a different shaped building across the road. This needs looking at. Careful as you cross the road it is quite busy.

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This is very interesting I think we will take a quick look inside.

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Well it was interesting on the outside. Back across the road.

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“The Nishi building is a 6 star rated building and represents a significant advance in environmental sustainable design. Every aspect of Nishi’s originally Japanese-inspired design has been reconsidered so that tenants can benefit from its innovative solar heat retention principles. Where the average accommodation energy rating in Canberra is only 2.5 star, Nishi delivers an average 8 star NaTHERS rating” 

Every where you can see these interesting and different sculptures mostly environmental statements.

Time to take a look inside.

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What an intriguing staircase, it resembles a wood yard, but I love it. But just a moment, what is happening?

Maybe I will wait a while to see what happens…

Up stairs is the foyer to the “Hotel Hotel” and it is also the Monster Restaurant. Through a door to the side I found a smaller dining room with interesting tiled wall and art work.



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The main lounge area was dimly lit and I was unable to take photos, I tried but they were all blurred. (Maybe I need a better camera!) but it was a very inviting space.

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Jack caught me as I wandered around taking photos. We will be back on a weekend for lunch as they have live music and poetry readings on a Sunday.

It was an interesting view through the portholes in the ceiling.

It was an interesting view through the portholes in the ceiling.

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Back down the stairs the photographers had finished and disappeared but we are now going to take a break and go to the Palace Electric cinema that is also part of the complex.

We saw “100 foot journey” starring Helen Mirren. It is an excellent story, well acted and the scenery is beautiful.

Well are you still with me?

Let’s take a quick peep into this office space before we go out, I can see a very interesting wall treatment. Is it real?

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Yes they are real plants and they look very healthy. It is the foyer to the offices of the Australian Government Department of Industry.

Outside again and I noticed unusual looking planter boxes.

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Can you see what they are made of? Look closer…

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 This precinct is very serious about making environmental statements. Every where I look I can see more of interest.

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Another Modern Man sits contemplating the gardens. I spot the gallery behind him, but it is closed. Another reason to come back again. But then I notice the raised garden beds.

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A community garden in inner Canberra, I like this. I wonder who actually looks after it. Are people allowed to help themselves? There was no one around to ask, but the idea intrigues me

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This tree has been left where it fell as a sculpture, a monument to nature.

There is so much more to see in this area but we will come back another time. I hope you enjoyed visiting this precinct with me. To find out more about the Nishi building click here.


BTW, I must mention the Canberra weather. We were warned about how cold it is in Canberra, our Queensland friends thought we were crazy coming here in the winter. BUT… have you noticed the sky in most of my posts? The weather is lovely. OK so maybe a bit cold at night, but we are tucked up warm in a heated house. By about 10am the sun has warmed the day and it is crisp and clear and perfect walking and exploring weather.

I’m loving this Australian capital City a real hidden gem.


Categories: Australia, Canberra, Jo's Monday walks, New Acton, photos | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Travel Theme : Edgy Architecture


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This week we discovered the exciting new inner city precinct of New Acton. After parking the car we rounded the corner and as we walked toward the building it looked like an industrial construction site. Slabs of timber piled high but that timber is for a purpose, it helps keep the inner areas cool.  The whole building is environmentally designed and has the highest rating for sustainability.

NewActon continues to be Canberra’s most awarded private development.

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The Precinct

NewActon is a mixed use precinct incorporating landscaped gardens, art, retail, residential and commercial spaces all linked by an inspired vision. NewActon is more than just a place to live, work and play–it’s a living art and design precinct that has won more awards (local and national) across architecture, property development and urban design than any other in Canberra’s history.


I thought this architecture was perfect for this weeks edge challenge, “Travel Theme” from Ailsa at “Where’s my backpack”.

But wait there is so much more to see in New Acton and tomorrow I will join Jo’s walking group to take  you through the lane ways looking at the gardens and art work then the inside is just as amazing. See you tomorrow….

Categories: Australia, Canberra, edge, New Acton, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Dialogue

“Dialogue is an engaging conversational exchange.

When it comes to photography, dialogue can be perceived as a consensual interaction between two images.

Placed next to each other, each photograph opens up to meanings that weren’t there when viewed alone.

Each composition reveals the photographer’s specific sensitivity to certain content or visual elements.”


This is certainly a new concept in photography for me. I’m finding it rather difficult to comprehend the meaning of photographs “talking” to each other.

I thought about it as I made breakfast. I continued to mull over it as I washed the dishes and did some house work.

Then I thought of the interesting and modern architecture I had seen in New Acton, an inner city suburb we explored this week (another post about this place coming soon).

This is my interpretation of this weeks WP photo challenge.


As I walked past the towering buildings I noticed the sunlight filtering through the last of the Autumn leaves. Then I noticed the sculpture of the tree trunk supporting the weight of the building. The real tree seemed to be bending and sympathising with the entrapment of the sculpture.

Around the corner another sculpture, carved from wood, hovers between the living tree and the metal sculpture.

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Do you hear what they are saying?


Then there is the more conventional interpretation of dialogue.

These two are clearly in love...

These two are clearly in love…

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Sharing a bottle of wine on a sunny day

Sharing a bottle of wine on a sunny day

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Of course it is also a great place for people watching...

Of course it is also a great place for people watching…

Categories: Australia, Canberra, dialogue, photos, post-a-week, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

Signs of Spring

A walk in the park

A walk in the park

One of my dog walking tracks takes me through a park behind the houses. The trees are still in winter mode but look can you see small white dots among the branches? Take a closer look…

The buds are swelling

The buds are swelling

At the shopping centre I tie Millie up and go in to do some shopping.

Millie waits patiently

Millie waits patiently

More of the same trees

More of the same trees

Some of these trees have the flowers open. I try to find out what they are but no one seems to know. Can any one identify them for me?

What beautiful delicate flowers

What beautiful delicate flowers

Last week the weather turned warmer, the evening temperatures are no longer below zero and the days are sunny. Over the weekend, unlike Sydney that had torrential rain and storms, we had a gentle steady rain, the first for about 4 weeks. Suddenly spring has sprung and it is still 2 weeks before the official start of spring.







Even a lonely iris has appeared

Even a lonely iris has appeared

Six weeks have flown past since we arrived in Canberra. Half way through this house sit. Only six more weeks and we will be heading home to the Goldcoast and there is still so much to see around the region.


Categories: Australia, Canberra, house sitting, photos, spring | Tags: , , , , | 31 Comments

A Hundred Forests from the Flames

In January 2003 Canberra  was consumed by a “fire tornado”

(Google images of 2003 bushfires)                                                      

Within 10 hours 4 people died, 490 were injured and over 500 homes destroyed.

A large number of suburbs lost power due to the fires and high winds, many suburbs were also without communications and water.

The following day, on the 19th of January, the Mt Stromlo Observatory was destroyed. The observatory was not only a highly active observatory, it was also historically significant on a national level.

In total the fires burnt 164,000 hectares, which was close to 70% of the Territories total area. (information “Canberra bushfire web page)

These bushfires that ravaged Canberra in 2003 have been the catalyst for the creation of the National Arboretum Canberra envisaged by Walter Burley Griffin so many years ago. It provides an opportunity to conserve threatened species, a place for community recreation and a valuable resource for ongoing education and research.

The goal is to create a place of outstanding beauty, of international standard and interest, that is a destination and recreational resource in its own right. The Arboretum and Gardens is being developed on a 250-hectare site in the Greenhills Forest and boasts spectacular views across Lake Burley Griffin.

Looking toward Lake Burley Griffin

Looking toward Lake Burley Griffin

290ha site originally pine forest

290ha site originally pine forest

This is all that is left of the original 290ha pine forest plantation. The fire was stopped and contained along that line.

The concept was developed to plant 100 forests each forest containing one species of tree. The trees were selected on strict criteria, including rarity, degree of environmental threat to the species, country of origin, temperate sources, whether they are suitable for Canberra’s climate, distinctiveness and diversity. Each forest being approximately 2ha.

Eventually, as the trees grow, it will give a total emersion experience as you will be able to walk along the trails through the forests.

Two large stands of tree were spared when the fire raged through. A Cork Oak plantation from 1917 and a grove of Himalayan Cedars from approximately the same time. to walk through these plantations gives a feeling for what this Arboretum will eventually be like.

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Trees showing the marks of were the cork has been harvested.

Entering the Visitors centre

Entering the Visitors centre

But to go back to our visit. It was a glorious day with the feeling of spring in the air. The visitors centre is large and impressive and inside many display cabinets explain the concept and history of the Arboretum.

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Banksia cones create hide away places for the children

Banksia cones create hide away places for the children

The Pod is a unique children’s playground and the children were loving it.

Oh what is this...?

Oh what is this…?

Acorns to explore

Acorns to explore

In a building next to the village centre is the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia it is a unique collection of the finest miniature trees and forests.

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The village centre sits on a hill surrounded by celebrity terraces. These will eventually be used to plant individual trees by celebrities.

The village centre sits on a hill surrounded by celebrity terraces. These will eventually be used to plant trees by celebrities.

The village centre

The village centre, the building in front houses the Bonsai collection.

From the top of Dairy Farmers Hill the size of the building is impressive. Also on the Dairy Farmers Hill is this sculpture.

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Look closely and you can see the nest is made of tools and machinery parts. It dominates the horizon.

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In the opposite direction is Black Mountain dominated by Telstra Tower. We visited that iconic feature a short while ago. (Check it out here)

The building on the right is “The Margaret Whitlam Pavilion”  that is used for weddings, concerts and conferences.

It has been a very interesting and enjoyable day, 4 hours have flown by and it is time to head home, but one last point of interest to look at is the Cedar forest.

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Some of the trees have been given a warm, woolly knitted scarf to protect them from the winter blasts.

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The sun filters through the trees and spreads fingers of silver. Another decade and this Arboretum will be all a forest of maturing trees. Will we get back to see it I wonder?

Jack has done a post about the amazing sculptures, especially the “Wide Brown Land” sculpture that is in my heading. To find out more about it click here.


Categories: Arboretum, Australia, Canberra, photos | Tags: , , , | 28 Comments

Sculptures in the National Art Gallery Garden.


Another impressive building of the architectural Brutalist style is the National Gallery.

The National Gallery building is in the late 20th-century Brutalist style. It is characterised by angular masses and raw concrete surfaces and is surrounded by a series of sculpture gardens planted with Australian native plants and trees.

The geometry of the building is based on a triangle, most obviously manifested for visitors in the coffered ceiling grids and tiles of the principal floor. Madigan said of this device that it was “the intention of the architectural concept to implant into the grammar of the design a sense of freedom so that the building could be submitted to change and variety but would always express its true purpose”. This geometry flows throughout the building, and is reflected in the triangular stair towers, columns and building elements.” (Wikipedia)

National Gallery

National Gallery

The front is softened by a row of gum trees

The front is softened by a row of gum trees


An oblong pond with bubbling fountains  sparkles and glistens in the sun

An oblong pond with bubbling fountains sparkles and glistens in the sun

Another sparkling Canberra day so before going inside we go round to explore the sculpture garden.

The Mountain created by Aristide Maillol, purchased 1978

The Mountain created by Aristide Maillol, purchased 1978

It is a magnificent display of sculptures in a setting of beautiful Australian natives on the edge of Lake Burley Griffen. A perfect photo opportunity and we spend a pleasurable hour trying to capture the feeling of tranquillity.

There are signs of spring every where. Nature moves on from winter.

There are signs of spring every where. Nature moves on from winter.

An office worker sits in the sun to have her lunch

An office worker sits in the sun to have her lunch

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A very unusual sculpture, that fascinated me, was the “Fog Sculpture” jets of mist swirling around the Casuarina trees and across a small pond. It was cold, damp and eerie. Then I noticed the heads in the pond.

Fog sculpture

Fog sculpture

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This sent shivers down my spine.

Time to find the restaurant for lunch.

That looks like people sitting in a restaurant.

That looks like people sitting in a restaurant.

This looks like the way

This looks like the way

Sitting in the sun with the view of the sculpture garden through the windows was a good place to enjoy lunch.

Now to see what is on offer in the gallery.

Unfortunately photographs are not allowed in the gallery, which is a shame as I would love to take photos of the interior of this huge, impressive building. I struggle to find words to describe it. In some ways it feels like an industrial building, the walls soar up to the ceiling and banks of lights, beams and geometric designs dominate the space above your head. It is spacious, the art work is not crowded and can be savoured and appreciated piece by piece. The gallery staff, all smartly dressed in dark suites and ties, stroll round unobtrusively, but when approached with a question are knowledgeable and friendly.

I did see “Blue Poles” the controversial centrepiece of the gallery painted by Jackson Pollock.

“Never had such a picture moved and disturbed the Australian public,” said renowned art historian Patrick McCaughey, one of the experts invited to address the symposium.

At the time Blue Poles was acquired for the Australian National Gallery (now the NGA) the gallery did not even have a building.

Then director James Mollison was determined to build a collection worthy of a national institution.

The gallery did not have the authority to sign off on purchases of over $1 million, so the purchase was referred to the Federal Government, and approved by then prime minister Gough Whitlam.

Going against political advice, he decided that the price paid for the artwork should be made public.

And so, a political ruckus was ignited.

‘$1.3m for dribs and drabs,’ raged one newspaper headline.

‘Barefoot drunks painted our $1 million masterpiece’, read another.” (Stroke of genius : The Blue Poles)

Bought for $1.3 million estimates of its current value range from $20 million to $100 million

I stood in front of it for quite a while and couldn’t really make my mind up about it, especially how much it is worth. I did like the colours, but would I put it on my wall? I don’t think so…

Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles still has the capacity to divide opinion.

In 2 hours we had only seen 2 of the 4 levels but time to head home and take Millie for her walk. We will be back again to see the other levels. 

Categories: Australia, Canberra, National Gallery, photos, Sculpture Garden | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

Canberra Lakeside Walk : Joining Jo’s Monday Walk Group

 The night had been -6 degrees but the day dawned sunny and by 10-30 the temperature had climbed to 12 degrees with a crisp, fresh zing in the air . Perfect walking weather.

Lake Burley Griffin beckoned. This large, artificial lake is 11 kilometres long, but we only planned to do a short section from the Exhibition Centre to Blundell’s Cottage.

Exhibition Centre

Exhibition Centre

The Exhibition Centre is perched on a small hill overlooking the Lake and this is where we started our walk. Inside the story and history of this area and the creation of Canberra as the capital city of Australia unfolds in a fascinating display of photos, maps and detailed information going back 20000 years when the Aboriginals roamed this area.

Click on this link to take a virtual tour of the Exhibition Centre.

Australia's High Court Building.

Australia’s High Court Building on the opposite bank.

National Library Building

National Library Building reflected on the opposite bank

Lake Burley Griffin is Canberra’s centrepiece, it was completed in 1963 after the Molonglo River—which ran between the city centre and Parliamentary Triangle—was dammed. It is named after Walter Burley Griffin, the American architect who won the competition to design the city of Canberra.[2]  and a significant number of national institutions and national public places are located on or near its shores. (Wikipedia)

The bare branches of Winter

The bare branches of Winter

Look closer...

Look closer…

The trees have lost all their foliage in the grip of winter, but take a closer look and the sweet young buds of spring are starting to swell. Waiting for these frosty days to pass and when the sun warms the air they will burst into blossom and we will have to come again in a few weeks to see them.

We have not gone very far yet, but now we are onto the path that follows the Lake.

The frost has gone by now, but earlier it would 've been treacherous.

The frost has gone by now, but earlier it would ‘ve been treacherous.

Black swans sail majestically by

Black swans sail majestically by

This one came over to see if we had any thing to give it.

This one came over to see if we had any thing to give it.

Biking, walking and running.

Biking, walking and running.

This is a very popular track for all sorts of exercise. We are just sauntering but the keen cyclists and runners whoosh by us.

Prime Minister Robert Menzies.

Prime Minister Robert Menzies.

Griffin designed the lake with many geometric motifs, so that the axes of his design lined up with natural geographical landmarks in the area. However, government authorities changed his original plans and no substantial work was completed before he left Australia in 1920. His scheme remained unfulfilled as the Great Depression and World War II intervened, and it was not until the 1950s that planning resumed. After much political dispute over several proposed variations, excavation work began in 1960 with the energetic backing of Prime Minister Robert Menzies. After the completion of the bridges and dams, the dams were locked in September 1963. However, a drought meant that the target water level was not reached until April 1964. It was formally inaugurated on 17 October 1964. (Wikipedia)

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Blundell's Cottage

Blundell’s Cottage

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Unfortunately the cottage was closed on Mondays. It is open Thursday to Sunday. So we will have to come again on one of those days.

The circular walk right round the lake is 5 kilometres and can take approximately 50 minutes to all day. Well we have been almost 90 minutes on just this short section and lunch is calling, so we will turn round and come back another day to finish the circuit.

We spotted this fellow drying his wings as we walked back

We spotted this fellow drying his wings as we walked back

I hope you have enjoyed this very short walk. Join me again when the spring blossoms are out.


I have joined Jo’s Monday walkers. They take us for walks all over the world. Join them in a cyberspace ramble.

Categories: Australia, Canberra, Jo's Monday walks, Lake Burley Griffin, photos | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

Travel Theme : Simplify

To travel is to simplify your life. Depending on how you travel, the necessities of life have to be carried in a case or backpack so it is essential to think carefully about each item that is chosen to be carried. Is it really necessary, can you survive without a hairdryer or a bag full of cosmetics. You can only wear one set of clothes at a time. So how many changes do you need?

Travelling in a small Toyota Hi-ace camper van, our beloved Matilda, for a year made me realize how little is needed, and still be comfortable and happy.

Yesterday we visited the  National Museum of Australia. A large imposing building. I learnt another architectural term this building is a style called “Deconstructivism”

“Deconstructivism in architecture was born in the late 80s of the twentieth century.

Its characteristic feature is the idea of fragmentation. It also manipulates the surface and the cover of the construction. It is dominated by curvilinear shapes, which are supposed to disturb and dislocate the skeleton of the object. The structure of the building has a feeling of controlled chaos and stimulating unpredictability.”

National Museum of Australia

National Museum of Australia

The form of the windows is a work of art

The form of the windows is a work of art

The foyer dwarfs the people.

The foyer dwarfs the people.

But this post is not about the Museum but what I found inside.

We have been twice to the Museum so far and I’m sure we will be visiting it again. There is so much to see and absorb that a quick visit cannot do it justice.

This is what really fascinated me.

Beautifully restored Daimler

Beautifully restored Citroen

Now it wasn’t just that this is a beautifully restored old vehicle but it was the history and story that came with it. The ultimate in simplified travel. This vehicle was the first to travel right round Australia in 1925. Can you even start to imagine that journey. No roads, no regular petrol stations. Not many towns and not to mention the Australian climate. And look how small that car is, certainly not much room for more than the bare essentials. I am in awe of  Nevill Westwood and his achievement

This is the map of his journey

This is the map of his journey

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This Museum is all about stories, it is a fascinating place to visit. Here is another adventure travel story.

Historical Malvern Star.

Historical Malvern Star.

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What really amazed me was Ernie’s age when he did the epic journeys. After walking, travelling on a bike is the simplest form of travel.

Ernie Young

Ernie Old

What an achievement at any age. Now there are sealed roads to bike on, back in 1947 many of the roads would be dirt tracks.

I salute these two intrepid pioneers of travel.


Ailsa of “Where’s my backpack” tells us that “The first week of August is Simplify Your Life week, and it’s always good to be reminded that life doesn’t have to be so complicated.”

I love this idea and Jack and I have simplified our life style over the past few years. Take a look at how other bloggers have interpreted this week’s theme.

Categories: Australia, Canberra, National Museum of Australia, photos, simplify, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

Brutalist Architecture : Australia High Court

The High Court of Australia is a monumental, fortress-like building. Love it or hate it, this style of architecture cannot be ignored.

High Court of Australia

High Court of Australia

I had not heard the term “brutalist architecture” before and found this huge building intimidating but, with the high wall of glass windows and glimpses of art work inside, strangely appealing and made me want to take a look inside. I wondered could the public just wander around?

So hesitantly I pushed through the revolving doors.

Entering the foyer

Entering the foyer

Being Sunday no courts were in session but a very helpful Court Guide welcomed us in and told us of the points of interest, and yes we could take photos. The first thing to see was the 10 minute video explaining the history of the building and this is when I found out about “brutalist architecture”

“The High Court building is an outstanding example of late modern Brutalist architecture. It has light-filled, bold geometric shapes and spaces, raw massed concrete, dynamic internal movement, and strong links with neighbouring buildings and landscape. It is monumental and asymmetrical, but also functional.
A national design competition for the building announced in May 1972 was won by the architectural firm of Edwards Madigan Torzillo and Briggs (EMTB).

                      It was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 26 May 1980″  (information from high court website)

Looking down on the foyer from the 3rd floor

Looking down on the foyer from the 3rd floor

Looking up at the bold, geometric shapes

Looking up at the bold, geometric shapes

I thought it was an imposing interior space, huge and majestic, yet inviting.

Comfortable leather lounges invite you to sit and enjoy the view

Comfortable leather lounges invite you to sit and enjoy the view

Ramps and lifts take you up to the next levels

Ramps and lifts take you up to the next levels

Did you notice the art work on the wall as you went up the ramp?

Did you notice the art work on the wall as you went up the ramp?

Information about the art work

Information about the art work

This is a painting by an Aboriginal woman. Reading the caption you can hear her talking and it is a very significant statement about the change from Aboriginal cultural laws to todays justice system.

All the art work through out the building, from the portraits of Chief Justices to State emblems are significant and symbolic.

“The High Court will be a powerful and dominating structure, and must be considered one of the most important buildings in Canberra from all points of view. It is equally important that the art works which contribute towards the visual realisation of what this building means to the people of Australia, should also be of the highest calibre.”
As intended, many of the artworks in the High Court’s collection represent aspects of the economic, social and cultural development of the nation. Some engage with the history, workings and aspirations of the Court.

Images showing regional economic activities

Images showing regional economic activities

Tapestry of the emblems of the States on the wall in the main court room

Tapestry of the emblems of the States on the wall in the main court room

The main court room were the final decisions of points of law are made

The main court room were the final decisions of points of law are made

The public are allowed to sit in and observe the court in action, but, of course, no photos could be taken then.

The Australian coat of arms is prominent on the front glass windows

The Australian coat of arms is prominent on the front glass windows

Sunday was a good day to look through the building but I now want to go back during the week when the courts are in session to see law being enacted. Also on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month a free concert is performed in the foyer and with the towering ceilings I imagine the acoustics will be spectacular.

This is the next concert on August 3rd.  

Canberra Recorder & Early Music Society (CREMS), founded in 1974 is a friendly, non-auditioned group of recorder players from Canberra and the surrounding region. Enjoying playing early and modern music in ensembles and recorder orchestra,

CREMS is led by Barbara Jerjen. In this concert you will hear music of the Renaissance as well as contemporary music arranged for recorder orchestra and played on seven different-sized recorders from the tiny sopranino to the very large contra-bass.

Now that sounds interesting…


Categories: aboriginal history, Australia, Australian High Court, Canberra, photos | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

Over View of Canberra…

Telstra Tower

Telstra Tower. (you need to click on this photo to open it)

panorama telstra tower

The best place to see the layout of Canberra is from the viewing platform at the top of the Telstra Tower.

Rearing 195.2 meters on the summit of Black Mountain which is a small mountain of 812 metres. It is not only a landmark and one of Canberra’s most visited tourist destinations but also offers 360 degree panoramic views of Canberra and its surrounding countryside from an indoor observation deck, two outdoor  viewing platforms and the Tower’s revolving restaurant.

Impressive sight

Impressive sight

From below the structure “towers” above us. Thank goodness there is a very fast lift to whisk us to the top. So for the princely sum of $3, concession price, we could see Canberra spread out below.

Open Sesame

Open Sesame

In actual fact, because of the wide-spread bush not a lot of the older suburbs could be seen.

Canberra Panorama

Canberra Panorama with Lake Burley Griffin dominating the landscape.


From this elevated view it is very obvious why Canberra is called “the Bush City”.

The site for Canberra was chosen and the nation’s capital was a purpose-built city because no decision could be made whether to choose Sydney or Melbourne as the Capital.

“Following the Federation of Australia on 1 January 1901 and the eventual selection of the Australian Capital Territory to accommodate a capital city in 1908, Surveyor Charles Scrivener was responsible for finding the city’s specific site.[13] Scrivener’s selection was guided by instructions to assess sites from “a scenic standpoint, with a view to securing the picturesque, and with the object of beautification”.[14] Hence from the outset, in accordance with Renaissance English fashion, emphasis was placed on the picturesque, that is utilising the intrinsic beauty of the natural world, and affirmed that the future capital’s landscaping and aesthetics would be just as important as its functionality

“Canberra growth over the first few decades was slow, and Canberra was indeed far more a small country town than a capital before World War II. It was noted for being more trees and fields than houses. Cattle grazing near Parliament House was a common occurrence, something which amazed General Macarthur when he visited Canberra during World War II.” (information from Wikipedia)

Canberra CBD

Canberra CBD the hi-rise buildings rising from a sea of bush.

Parliament House right hand side of photo

Parliament House right hand side of photo

Over to the west the mountain range encircles the Capital

Over to the west the mountain range encircles the Capital

The pink tint of sunset clouds the mountains in mist.

The pink tint of sunset clouds the mountains in mist.

As I look down on Canberra I can imagine all the bureaucrats and pen pushers busily scheming and planning Australia’s future.

There are many places to visit in Canberra, but the beauty of house sitting takes the urgency of seeing every thing as quickly as possible. We can pace ourselves and enjoy and absorb the detail of this fascinating place.  


Categories: Australia, Black Mountain, Canberra, photos, Telstra Tower | Tags: , , , , | 39 Comments

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