Was really excited about this trip as it was our first trip outside of Sydney. And secondly because it was our first trip in our new car. Yay!
We planned a 2 night-3 days trip over the long weekend of labor day holiday. We had booked our accomodation with Youth Hostel(YHA), Canberra. I love YHA - awesome location, affordable prices and very good facilities.

Parliament house as seen from
 War memorial
Canberra - the capital city of Australia - a remarkable and very well laid out city, is around 300kms south of sydney. In Oct, spring season of australia, Canberra hosts the spring festival of Floriade. It's a 100% must see event if you are visting the country during the spring season.
War Memorial

Day-1: We started from Sydney early in the morning - it's about 4 hrs drive to Canberra. Spring + holiday = great mood .. :) After a few re-fuelling stops for both the car as well as the passengers, we reached Canberra by 11am mid morning. We visited War memorial in the afternoon and the lake in the evening.

Sculpture at War Memorial
War Memorial: The war memorial is a beautiful monument built as a memorial for all the brave soldiers who have died fighting for their country. It has a museum with stories and pictures about the war - mostly the world war 2 and the gallipoli battle. It also has the ever burning flame and the shrine built as a symbol for the unknown soldier. Every day, in the evening, there is a small service in honor of the soldiers. People can place floral wreaths and pay their respects. There is also the hall of memorial where the names of soldiers who fought in the world war 2 have been engraved. From the main entrance of the war memorial, you get a clear view of the parliament house.
Lake Burley Griffin

Birds on the shore
Lake Burley Griffin: This is the central water body, which is always in the background when you are travelling anywhere through Canberra. It's named after the architect who worked on the design and planning of Canberra city. Apart from the floriade grounds, there are several other parks or open areas along the lake shore where you can have a peaceful time. We stopped by the science museum and spent a leisurely evening at the shores.

Top view of one of the
Floriade Entra
Day-2: Floriade - As it was the main highlight of the trip, we had kept the whole day for visiting floriade and it was definitely worth it. Floriade is a spring event in the commonwealth park of Canberra where large number of flowers are planted and grown in line with some theme. There are exhibits that depict some symbol like a wifi sign for telstra or the semi-sircular parliament house. There is a giant wheel in the grounds, from where you can take a top view and make out the themes. From the ground level, it just looks like an amazing beautiful garden. The flowers are so colorful and beautiful and so many varieties. With photo crazy people, it's impossible to finish this visit in a day .. :)

Parliament House
Day 3 - We visited the paliament house - the power seat of the government. Since it was a holiday, we were actually able to go and visit both the houses and the other offices and rooms. There are exhibits all around the place - like the letters forming the australian commonwealth and the letters identifying aboriginals as the pre-occupants. The kangaroo and emu on the coat of arms and the flag post. From the parliament house you get the clear view of the war memorial on the other side.

Australian coat of arms
One of the houses
Canberra has many more things to offer and we could not really fit in more, may be another trip, another time. We left canberra in the late afternoon to be back in sydney by dinner.

Note on food options - this is as important to me as the trip .. :)
The YHA canberra is located in the heart of the city, as such we had huge number of options for lunch and dinner as well as quite some night spots around to enjoy a drink or 2. The Transit Bar right next to YHA was a nice place, as was the pancake parlour for some super yummy pancakes. The APK - australian pizza kitchen is just a little stroll away and had great pizzas. Wonderful trip, however since it was a weekend, the city seemed a bit empty.Guess everybody had gone to party in sydney .. :)

one of the houses

Flag post on Parliament House


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