This past week end Dave and I went on a little road trip. I am a big fan of the road trip, I like the fact that it takes time, I like the security of having your own car and I like that you can pick an choose destinations and stops on a whim… Originally we were heading up to Sydney for the whole weekend, but for something different we decided to have a day and night in Canberra too.
For most of my life I had I had been lead to believe that Canberra was important but not that important. It was important because it is the capital, but as far as a holiday destination goes… there were better places I could visit. I am not really sure how I came to have this opinion, I am not sure if that’s what I was told, or if I just never heard anything about Canberra so it just flew under the radar, either way, until now, it was never somewhere I had thought about visiting. What I have discovered though is quite the opposite… in fact I am pretty sure Canberra is the most underrated city in Australia and here is 5 reasons why:
1. It’s really pretty.
I know that sounds kind of vain, but it is… there are lakes, mountains, beautiful national parks and some pretty awesome buildings… even the ramp leading up to Parliament House is breath taking at night. And while the roundabouts and poor road signage are annoying… it means that you get to see some really beautiful parts of our country. My favorite “pretty” feature though is the fact that the war memorial, the road and Parliament House all line up perfectly… not to mention that both of those building are pretty awesome in their own right.
2. It was custom made.
There aren’t too many cities that I can think of in the world that were hand picked for a very specific purpose and then custom planned and designed. There was a competition and everything… and while we all know that Melbourne should have been the capital, I have to say that I am pretty happy with Canberra.
3. It’s quiet.
For some people this might be a bad thing, but Dave and I loved it… no traffic, no lines, no waiting… wonderful…
4. It has great car parking.
Seriously… let me explain… we only paid $2 for parking for the whole time we were there… most of it was free and there were lots of parks… to do the same activities in Melbourne would have cost easily $50 maybe even more… so to the man who complained about the 4hr free parking limit… you have no idea!
5. It is the holder of some amazing things.
Being the capital of a country has a few perks it would appear not only is it the engine room of Australia in that all the major decisions of past, present and future are made there, it also holds all our history and future at the same time. There is lots of looking back at places like the Australian War Memorial, the old Parliament House building, and numerous other museums and galleries, but there is just as many places looking forward like the Australian Institute of Sport, the CSRIO and Parliament House. It’s all there… waiting… with no lines and lots of car parks because of number 3 and 4.
I think I have been mislead… I actually love Canberra and which we had have had more time there. It is something special about standing in parliament house reflecting on times gone by and things to come. There is something special about the detail and the extravagance with which the building has been made and designed. There is something special about standing on the gardened roof and looking straight down to the past that is held so sacred within the Australian War Memorial. There is something moving about walking through rooms and rooms of history and sacrifice at the war memorial, there is something very moving about walls of poppies and there is something moving about looking from sacrifice for freedom to democracy and power.
Canberra is definitely underrated…