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Chasing Slow – Part 19: Canberra

Canberra National War Memorial

Right up in the northern part of the mountains that we’ve been exploring for the last few weeks, just where you’d never expect it, we found Canberra, Australia’s capital city.

Capital Hill, Canberra

Designed by the same bloke that was town planner for Daylesford, where we’d recently spent a few days, Canberra is a beautiful place with a very interesting and almost bizarre layout. There are hundreds of round abouts and looping highways where you have to circle around to left in order to go right, but after a few days, we were used to it and enjoyed heading on drives and seeing where we’d end up. ..often that’d be back at the same.

Our goal was nothing more than to see some of the main sites, including Parliament House on Capital Hill, the National War Memorial and National Gallery of Australia, but first things first, we went and checked into the caravan park, which happened to be home to some of the finest permanent residents of the nations capital.

Welcome to Southside Village, a place that anyone can call home.

Caravan park in Canberra

Read more about Southside Village Caravan Park.

We found a spot to park the caravan right down the back on a patch of grass and then headed into town.

It was only a 10 minute drive to get to Parliament House. We found a car park right out the front and wandered around the place.

Parliament House on Capital Hill

With a loud protest in action, we didn’t stick around at Capital Hill for too long and instead took a long stroll aimlessly through the surrounding area.

A short walk from Capital Hill is the National Gallery of Australia, Eva’s main point of interest, so we went and took a look.

Aboriginal Art Display at National Gallery Australia

I found this Aboriginal art display the most interesting, it was incredible. Each hollow bit of wood was painted to represent a tribe with the height being the tribe’s size and their placement was where their tribe was along the river, the path through the centre symbolised the river.

Eva’s a bit more into here classics and was excited to see a painting from her favourite artist.

Eva delighted at the National Gallery of Australia

The gallery was great, but the place I looked forward to the most was the war museum at the National War Memorial, & as we were so close, we went straight there.

I used to live in Canberra when I was super young and have memories of loving visiting the museum and looking at the old planes. The place is a hell of a lot bigger now!

War plane at War Memorial Museum

The museum went on for ever and we could have spent days in there checking everything out, but the time rolled around when they were closing the doors and asked us to leave. So, we came back the next morning spent most of our time outside, at the war memorial.

Our site seeing agenda in Canberra was complete, but we still wanted to explore a bit more. We went and found some nice little areas to have a walk around, visited the main shopping area and then went up hill to get a view over town.

Right in the middle of Canberra is Black Mountain, best known for housing Telstra Tower. We had a look at the old derelict eye-sore that’s no longer open and found a short hiking trail called the Black Mountain Loop that circled around the small mountain, which was a good way to stretch the legs and get a bunch of views across different parts of Canberra.

View of Canberra from Black Mountain

Read more about the Black Mountain Loop.

Our time in Canberra was up and we had a desire to head out to the bush somewhere that was still inside the Australian Capital Territory. Eva found a stunning place in the Namadgi National Park called Honeysuckle Campground that was surrounded by forest, just to the south of the city. We headed down there for a couple of days to relax by the campfire and do a bit of hiking.

Read more about Honeysuckle Campground.

There was a hiking trail that started at the campground and went up to Booroomba Rocks, which were right on a cliff edge that looked out over the Brindabella Ranges to Canberra. We followed the trail and found that we still couldn’t escape the scathing sight of Telstra Tower, it stood out in the distance.

Guy on top of Booroomba Rocks

(Although I’m built like a tower, that’s me at the top)

Read more about hiking from Honeysuckle Campground to Booroomba Rocks.

Camping at Honeysuckle and completing the hike was a decent way to finish up our time in the ACT!

If you’ve spent some time in Canberra and explored around the ACT, let us know some of the places that we missed in the comments section below, so that we can head there next time!

Up next: we’re heading to the coast!

About Guy

Hey guys, I'm Guy - one of the founders of WAY&FARER and the main one posting on the blog. I've written about hundreds of places to visit, campgrounds and hiking trails both on the WAY&FARER blog and in the "EXPLORE" section on this website. If you've got any questions about anything that I've written or you've noticed that one of the places we've covered has changed & needs an update, please get in touch with me via guy@wayandfarer.com. Otherwise, I'll leave you to enjoy the blog and while you're at it, take a look at the WAY&FARER Camping Shop! Cheers, Guy

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