Monday, 14 January 2008

Road Trip!

After our great time on the Central Coast, we decided to head down to Canberra for a few days. I still hadn't seen The Nation's Capital after almost 5 years in Australia and decided it was about time.

So with a suitcase full of clean clothes and the camera battery charged up we headed south on the M7. On the way we had to see the Big Merino of course but the boys were more impressed with the view from behind than anything else. The Big Merino is a ram and not a ewe, let's leave it at that.....

Little Possum found this funky little caravan - has Apple decided to diversify with iTravel?

Arriving in Canberra we wasted no time, but headed straight for Questacon - the science centre. This proved to be a good choice. The Questacon is filled top to bottom with amazing interactive displays and activities for children (and inquisitive adults) and we didn't hear a single "I'm bored, when are we leaving" all afternoon. There were levers, buttons, wheels, puzzles, water, a roller coaster simulator, an earthquake house and much much more.

Turtle and MOTH braved the Free Fall - a 6 mtr vertical slide.

From the safety of my post at floor level it appeared very daunting. In order to go down the slide, you first have to climb out to hang from a bar before letting yourself drop. Several people got to that stage and changed their minds, climbing back into the tower.

At the end of the day we went up Black Mountain to the Telstra Tower to see Canberra from up high. The views were spectacular. We were lucky it was a clear evening.

The following day we visited the War Memorial.

I didn't feel that I was able to do the Memorial justice. There were so many parts of it that I wanted to spend more time on, The Roll of Honour for example, reading about the Australians who earned the Victoria Cross. Also I wanted to spend more time at the wall containing the names of all those who have fallen to give us freedom. I found it mindblowing to see the thousands and thousands of names that represent real individuals. This part of the War Memorial did not capture the children's imaginations as much as the displays of aircraft and other memorabilia from WWI and WWII.

The Discovery Zone was impressive. This was the part of the Memorial set up especially for children. The kids could sit in a helicopter,

experience a submarine, a WWI trench and a peacekeeping HQ. All with authentic sounds and uniforms to try on.

Later we headed out of town to the Space centre. The drive took us through one of the areas badly affected by the bushfires a few years ago, and we saw areas filled with black stumps, but I am amazed at how the vegetation is regenerating itself. The Space centre itself was fascinating. It lacked the interactive displays, but had some interesting displays e.g. a piece of moon rock, a life size replica of the Mars Rover, Astronaut suits, space food etc. There was a speaker through which we could hear sounds of deep space - a lot of crackly, whooshing noises.

Last of all in the afternoon we found an adventure playground where we could spend the last of our energy. The boys spent a portion of the time watching with awe as a man practised the gentle art of parkour/freerunning. They thought he must be some kind of superhero with the stunts he performed. I am now wondering how long it'll be before the boys ask for gymnastics lessons.

On the way back the following day we drove out to the coast through several lovely little towns, all which met with my requirements of having a bookshop and a quilt shop... Driving up the South Coast to Sydney we stopped at Dolphin's point for a break and a little paddle in the sea. This area must have been volcanic in previous time if the rock formations were anything to go by.

Our last stop was in Kiama where we tried out the surfpool(great!) and hung around to see if the Kiama Blowhole would blow (it didn't). We were driven away by the most terrific electrical storm and rainfall. We sought refuge in the local ice-creamery where we indulged in some lavish creations of ice cream, sauce and fruits....
Great time had by all.


  1. Questacon would have been like Disneyland to some of your family members! Let's you and I spend a whole weekend at the war memorial by ourselves so we can spend hours reading and pondering.

  2. I love Questacon! I think I must have been .. oooh.. eleven years old when I went last - eek.


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