Canberra, Pt. 1

On the three day weekend commemorating the Queen’s birthday, we went for an outing to Canberra, the capital of Australia. Canberra, like Brasilia, was built to be the capital, and as such is not particularly organic. It is an example of a planned city, and while not perfect, seemed quite pleasant, conveniently appointed, and liveable. From Sydney, it was a beautiful drive through farmland and eucalyptus forests, a little over three hours. We stayed at Dickson Central, an inexpensive backpacker’s hostel like the one in Katoomba, but not as charming. For dinner each night we ate at the Duck’s Nuts, kind of a sports bar which mercifully did not have its title on the menu. On Sunday, we went to Questacon, the National Portrait Museum, the National Gallery of Australia, and the War Memorial. On Monday, we went back to the National Gallery before driving back to Sydney. However, I’m not going to put them in that order.

First, here are some pix of the Old and New Parliament Houses (the former is now the Museum of Australian Democracy), the High Court of Australia, and some views of the center of the city…

The War Memorial in Canberra is considered one of the best and most important sites in the city. In addition to a memorial, it is a large museum featuring many displays related to all the wars in which Australia has been involved. We had the opportunity to witness a ceremony at sunset honoring Australian war dead, and featuring a story about a young man who died in World War II. These pix are of the memorial…

This set of pix focuses on just some of the displays in the War Memorial Museum. In addition to collections of memorabilia, paintings, sculptures, and dioramas, there were several full sized aircraft and war related vehicles. These pix show displays from the first World War to the present…

Actually, Questacon was our first stop, and here’s a set of pix from the first two or three galleries. Gallery 1 was all about spiders and we got to see one wrap up a cricket and just about everything else you didn’t want to know about spiders (and some other stuff including emus, natural turbulence, earthquakes, and several displays similar to the Exploratorium in SF)…

More from Questacon, a Science and Technology Museum in Canberra. These pix are of displays about the Periodic Table of Elements, robotics, natural history, Rube Goldberg contraptions, and a fun slide featuring a vertical drop…


Study Questions:

  1. Research Canberra. Discuss its history and role in Australian government.
  2. Research the War Memorial. Discuss the role of Australia in various wars.
  3. Research Questacon and Science & Technology Museums in general. What are the most important things to know about science? What should kids know about science? What do you like most about science?

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