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