21/11/2014 Driving into Canberra is not at all as we expected with fairly hilly, dry countryside right to its doorstep. We are staying in the EPIC Park Campgrounds right in the centre of Canberra. It is expensive for showground conditions but worth it for the convenience. We keep waiting for traffic conditions just like Brisbane but it’s so easy to drive around the city that I even feel I could do it. We struck peak hour traffic one afternoon – it went for two blocks and that was regarded as bad.
The highlight for us in Canberra has been spending time with our niece Heather, her husband Andrew and their gorgeous son Nicholas. They have generously fed us and shown us their beautiful home and city. We enjoyed an evening out with them at Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant, followed by delicious chocolates from Koko Black, in the centre of Canberra.
Pete had organised for the Disco to be serviced whilst in town and of course they found two major items that needed repairing – the lower control arms and the steering rods. Big cost unfortunately on top of the service but necessary for safe driving.
We spent a very windy, cold Sunday at the Australian War Memorial – such an incredible display of war artefacts. Placing a poppy on the Roll of Honour was a very moving experience for Pete and I. We had lunch at Poppy’s Restaurant and it was a great place to rest after lots and lots of walking. Pete would love to come again as we didn’t get to see all the displays and a fabulous new WW1 display will be opening in December.
A highlight of the visit to Canberra for Pete was a visit to the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia at the National Arboretum Canberra. He is now all inspired to use native Australian trees in his collection, as we saw bonsai swamp eucalypts, smooth barked apple trees (eucalypts) and bottlebrushes.
We visited the Royal Australian Mint on Tuesday but it is currently undergoing renovations to their viewing area ready for their 50th Anniversary in February. There were no coins being minted at the time of our visit which was rather disappointing. We did get to mint our own coins for Charlotte and Anna which was fun though.
Tomorrow we are going to be heading south towards Sale (East Gippsland) ready for our nephew Alec’s wedding to the beautiful Candice, in her home town of Maffra. We are looking forward to seeing Deb, Stuart, David, Suellen and some of the nieces and nephews again.