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: , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “Inner City Chic : I’m Loving Canberra

  1. Pingback: Photography 101 : Architecture | Memories are made of this

  2. Is there a particular reason for the giant bird statues? They are so grand!


  3. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Ilha da Culatra | restlessjo

  4. Good job I had all that caffeine, Pauline! I was struggling to keep up 🙂 Those sculpture birds looked very fierce so I tiptoed past. Many thanks for joining me with another fascinating peek at Canberra.


  5. What an interesting city, Pauline. Thanks for the tour. 😊


  6. As always your photographs and descriptions are terrific. It is great to catch up with you!!


  7. I have always thought that Canberra doesn’t get the attention it deserves. You are certainly giving it a boost with your lovely photos and interesting posts. I love the sculpture in this one, and your nosiness or should I say, your curiousity? You find us the best bits around 🙂 Thank you PP!


  8. Wonderful walk today – thank you! Have seen teensy wall gardens on various shows on telly, but nothing to compare with your piccie. Fascinating what they’re doing. Most impressive! Are they doing just as good a job moving people around the city without cars? xx


  9. thank you for taking me along… very fascinating and i love the idea of making planter pots out of newspapers.. that gave me an idea. i also love the foyer walls covered with plants.. they are amazing.


  10. What a fascinating place. Thanks for taking us on your walk.


  11. Never a dull moment when we go walk-about.
    Seldom dull weather when we travel.
    I would have given Hobart and Canberra a miss.
    If it had not been for my pommepal wanting a gypsy life.
    Then I would have missed some great experiences.
    Thank you Pauline for your enthusiasm you are an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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