Why I fell in love with Canberra?

Parliament as viewed from the National Museum.

Though I have regularly visited Australia for the past 12 years, it was my first visit to the Australian capital, Canberra. I have to admit that I am totally impressed with the City and it is not unfair to say that I am in love with it.

Among the various reasons why I feel that way is, the greenery and the low density of population. The city is surrounded by forests and natural reserves from all sides.

Though early European settlers in Australia started exploring Canberra in 1820, it was later designed by an American Architect and designer Walter Burley Griffin, who won the Federal Design Competition in 1911.

It has a population of about 380,000 and it is Australia’s largest inland city. It has many interesting sites for tourists. The major among them are –

The National Museum of Australia.  It opened in its current premises in 2001 and now showcases 50,000 years of Indigenous heritage and largest collection of Indigenous bark painting and stone tools. It is not be missed if you are in Canberra.

The entrance.

Another landmark is Australian Parliament which houses the Senate and House of Representatives which makes laws and policies in Australia. It is a massive and beautiful structure under an impressive flagpole.  The foundation document of democracy, The Magna Carta 1297, is also housed here. In the forecourt of the building is a large ceremonial pool and a central island which has mosaic based on an Indigenous painting by Michael Nelson Jagamara.

The Australian Parliament.
House of Representatives.
The Senate and the Legislation.

Next is the Telstra Tower, a steel structure, 195 meters high at the top of the Black Mountain from where you get a 360 degrees view of the beautiful Canberra. There are two viewing platforms. The tower provides communication services for the National Capital. It opened in 1980.

Telstra Tower.
Canberra as seen from the top of the tower.

Among other landmarks are the Australian War Memorial, dedicated to the Australians who lost their lives for the country. Lake Burley Griffin is also a big tourist attraction particularly in the evenings when a lot of people go for walks and cycling here. The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection has some high quality bonsai plants and again is very popular with tourists for view of the city.

The War Memorial
Inside the memorial.
An evening at Lake Burley Griffin.

 

 

 

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Top things to do in Southbank, Melbourne.

Melbourne is a beautiful city and has been rated as the most livable city for six consecutive years. The main business district in heart of town is called the CBD or the Central Business District. South of this suburb, 1 km down, lies the urban suburb called Southbank. On its north runs the Yarra river and to the east is St Kilda.

Before development began here it was an industrial area and now it is home to many high-rise buildings. There are many restaurants, hotels, bars and entertainment places.

If you really want to enjoy & know a city, you need to take a walk. In Melbourne, you can walk right up to the end of Southbank. The path lies next to Yarra,  is tree lined and particularly beautiful at night.

Most prominent landmarks down this route are given below. Check them out at leisure and enjoy Melbourne.

Sandridge Pedestrian Bridge. It is 178 m long and was re-opened in 2006 during Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Artist Nadim Karam has installed his very interesting artwork called The Traveller which welcomes the immigrants who arrived by train.

Polly Woodside Maritime Museum. Polly Woodside is an 1885 tall historic ship which has been rescued by the National Trust. It is originally from Ireland.

Eureka Skydeck 88. has the highest viewing platform in Southern Hemisphere. It is an absolutely must visit.

National Gallery of Victoria, oldest public art gallery and museum in Australia.

River Cruises, start and finish here.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Seafarers Bridge.

Crown Entertainment Complex, housing the largest Casino in Southern Hemisphere with hotels, bars, live shows, movies, shopping and a huge Food Court.

Melbourne Arts Centre is more of an institution with three theatres, State Theatre, Playbox and George Fairfax Studio.

The Southbank Promenade, running from Southgate Shopping Centre to The Crown Entertainment Complex.

 

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If you have never been to Brunetti, you don’t know what you have missed.

 

 

(picture from the internet)

Yes, absolutely, if you have never been to Brunetti you don’t know what you have missed in sweeter things in life. Whenever I am in Melbourne, I have to make at least one visit to this iconic shop on Lygon Street.

History

The history of Brunetti started in 1985 when the family started trading in Faraday Street.  They set up an authentic  Roman Pasticceria. The founder, Giorgio Angele had started really young at the age of 10 and thus had tremendous knowledge of cakes and pastries.

When he was 23 years old, he came to Australia with the Italian Olympic Team as their Pastry Chef in 1956. After working for some time he got an opportunity to permanently migrate to Australia. Since then he has been behind this iconic brand.

Be it Italian coffee from the Bar, or Cakes from Pasticceria or Gelato or tempting savoury, Melbournians have been loving his creations. In 2005 they opened another cafe in City Square and now they have three more in the city at Camberwell, in Myer’s and in the Domestic Terminal at the Melbourne Airport.

This rich Melbourne experience has helped them expand internationally. Tanglin Mall in Singapore opened with a Brunetti in 2011.  Honestly, it is really difficult to choose what to eat here since each of their creations are masterpieces.

Highly recommended for a visit, next time you are in Melbourne. If you live there, what are you waiting for?

 

 

 

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