Canberra, Capital, Australia
August 11, 2023
Arriving in Canberra
We only visited Canberra for a day in between our travels from Sydney to Melbourne. Originally, we had planned to stay overnight but found the prices a little extreme. Being the capital of Australia, Canberra has plenty of government buildings, but is otherwise pretty sleepy and uneventful. It is considered its own territory instead of falling into the New South Wales or Victoria states in Australia. Compared to Washington D.C. in the U.S., which always feels like it’s buzzing and active, with countless memorials and museums, Canberra only really offered 3 main attractions.
Canberra War Memorial
The first attraction worth visiting is the War Memorial building. At least we heard it’s worth seeing. It was under construction when we were there. Instead we walked around the surrounding gardens and exhibits on the outside of the building.
There were some interesting tanks on display featured from different wars Australia had been involved in. Lawrence new more than I about the inner workings of all of them. They were certainly something to see.
The gardens surrounding the War Memorial give nice views of the structure itself, which is impressive. It features smaller individual memorials symbolizing different wars through history.
Canberra Parliament House
The Parliament House is another structure we simply walked by and kind of went “and there it is.” It was interesting to see just for the sake of it. Similar to seeing the White House from the outside in D.C.
National Museum of Australia
We spent most of our time at the National Museum of Australia. The free museum gave an in depth of Australian history, agricultural, wildlife, culture, and lifestyles. The details of this place were outstanding. Even more information was given than in the Perth museum.
We had several hours to kill so at first I was determined to read every bit of information provided. I overloaded probably 2-hours in and instead had to be choosier with my topics.
The National Museum went into greater detail when it came to the aboriginal history. They thoroughly explained the devastation that came with the Stolen Generation. The collection of aboriginal children re-homed into European families and ripped away from their own people and culture was a truly devastating part of recent Australian history.
The aboriginal exhibits would continue to show massacres, relocations, and police brutalities throughout the the decades. To this day there is a racial stigma against those from aboriginal tribes. Their culture and lifestyle is atypical to the standard western norms. This creates a rift that Australia is trying to rectify to this day.
The exhibit I found most interesting told the story of how the Australian camel population grew exponentially. When Middle Eastern camels were imported to Australia only the best of the best were allowed to be transported. They were used to move through the harsher terrains in the middle of Australia. Once they had served their purpose they were released into the wild. Camels are completely non-native to Australia, but since the ones they introduced were genetically the best of the species they thrived in the desert environment. Today the wild camel population has grown to be in the millions.
FIFA Women’s World Cup
After gathering our belongings and showering at a hostel we found a local bar to sit and watch the latest World Cup game.
This game was Japan vs. Sweden for a spot in the semifinals. Sweden won 2 to 1 and continued their domination. While I was still a little salty they had beat America, I especially wanted them to lose to avoid Australia going up against them later. Sweden was admittedly the better team and deserved the win in this case.
We finished our drinks and took off towards the bus stop. Next we had an overnight trip from Canberra to Melbourne. This was to be our 4th city and 4th state in Australia.