Blogs from Australian Capital Territory, Australia, Oceania


It was another chilly start to the day but, once again, we were lucky with the sky blue and the sun shining. We are staying at the Hotel Kurrajong which is very well-located in Barton for most of the things we have planned to visit/re-visit while we are in Canberra. After a self-catered breakfast in our room we set out on foot for Old Parliament House which houses the Museum of Australian Democracy. We approached from the side and walked through the Parliamentary Rose Gardens and then beside the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage Commemorative Fountain. Once inside we participated in a brief orientation tour and then continued exploring on our own. Although we have visited before and done the guided tour previously, on our own we managed to explore parts of Old Parliament House that we ... read more
Old Parliament House
I can still remember when I had hair
Senate Chamber

This morning we set off to visit the Jenolan Caves. Only 27 Kilometres away from Katoomba, as the crow flies, but 74 kilometres by road! On our way we made a quick stop at Govetts Leap Lookout near Blackheath. The falls here are known as the Bridal Veil Falls or simply, Govetts Leap. One more stupendous view of a rugged Blue Mountains valley, this time the Grose Valley. Back on the road we made it to Jenolan Caves nearly an hour before our scheduled cave tour at 11.30am. The weather associated with the polar vortex dumped snow on this part of the world last weekend closing the road to Jenolan Caves. Knowing that there could still be a bit of snow and ice by the road we decided to allow plenty of time for the trip. ... read more
Bridal Veil Falls
Snow on the way to Jenolan Caves
Jenolan Hotel

On Saturday morning, we left our motel about 8-30am and before setting off on the day's, drive we went down to the Macquarrie river which forms the border between Queensland and NSW. This is a large, impressive river, with a variety of bird life. We spotted pelicans, cranes and ducks all looking for their breakfast. Next to the river is a monument to the racehorse, Gunsynd, better known as the Goondiwindi Grey! It won a Melbourne Cup in its long and illustrious career. It was very peaceful and quiet by the banks of the river and we enjoyed our early morning stroll. Then it was off on another long day of driving. We set out on the Newell Highway, our destination for this day, Dubbo. This is a sparsely used road which does not pass through ... read more
Bird on the river bank
Macquarie River
On the banks of the Macquarie

It is high time for another trip, this time up to the Kimberley. We have a new vehicle for this trip and we are looking forward to putting it through its paces on the Gibb River Road. We’ll be away for 7 – 8 weeks and covering around 15,000 km, give or take. The rough itinerary for this trip looks a little something like this: Head up to North toward Mt Isa and onto Katherine in the first seven days (approx. 3,600 km) Hang around Katherine for a few days and onto Kununurra for another few days and then sloooooow right down Three weeks between Kununurra and Broome and then stay in Broome for a couple of days Across through Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek to the Bungle Bungles in the Purnululu National Park Follow the ... read more

Canberra – 3 days of culture, democracy, history, education, orientation, law and order, currency, nature and indulgence. Orientation – Finding a location of significance was easy. Many could either be seen or had signage directing you to them from almost anywhere in the city. Good for tourism. However, if you needed groceries or fuel this was another matter. Culture - The National Art Gallery – Not only was the Building housing the National Gallery of Australia awesome it was great to see some artistic icons such as Blue Poles and some more contemporary pieces such as Pumpkins and Black dots. Democracy - Parliament House – The last time we visited Canberra New Parliament House was still under construction. A truly magnificent piece of architecture with so much thought and planning, giving significance to almost every aspect ... read more
A small peep hole into the cube revealed more mirror tricks
Greg and Blue Poles
A garden of digeridoos

Today we left behind the east coast heading inland to Canberra. This was a day of massive contrasts. No longer beautiful ocean or fresh waterways to drive over or beside. Again our TomTom decided there was no need to head to the main roads, why not the scenic route. Hence, we found ourselves on a couple of very steep, windy back roads before finding our way back to a much more sensible route. This did however take us past a number of dry-stone walls for which this area is famous. Ho hum. Been there seen these before. It also somewhat prepared us for the eventual step climb over the mountain range. Seeing the looming mountains in the distance is a little daunting … actually a lot daunting. Towing a caravan in these situations is not a ... read more
Dry stone wall
We depart the coast
That’s where we’re going?

Here is a map of the next big trip - not the prettiest map going around but you get the idea!... read more

I'm really not in Tasmania yet....but have been challenged by posting on this blog site. Anyway, I am currently in Falls Church, VA and busily packing for my trip to Australia. I'm leaving Wednesday, Jan. 30 and because of crossing the International dateline, I'll be spending the night of Feb. 1 at a Melbourne airport hotel and flying to Hobart, Tasmania on Feb. 2nd. I'm traveling with OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel)) for 3+ weeks and then spending 5 days with friends in the Mornington Peninsula.....I'm looking forward to meeting many of my friend's relatives and getting a real local experience. I'm not looking forward to the long trip from DC to LA and then to Melbourne I'm sure I'll be ready to relax by the hotel pool!... read more

The A.C.T (Australian Capital Territory) After a quick breakfast and settling up with the RSI Club Motel ( by the way a very nice hotel if you venture through Wagga Wagga- Don't forget to bring your lawn bowling equipment!) For most of the trip over to the ACT, I was on a 4 lane divided Highway which was fantastic since I wouldn't have to deal with many Road Trains. The scenery was much different from anything I've seen in Australia thus far. Rolling hills with lots of green - I thought at one point I was back in Scotland on last years trip. Lots of grazing sheep and cattle. Side Bar: Where as the U.S. spends the largest portion of its budget on Defense then I'd say the Aussies spend the largest portion of their budget ... read more
Sheep grazing
rolling hills reminded me of Ireland Scotland
About King O'Malley

Everything is gradually coming together for the start of my pilgrimage walk following the St Olavsleden route to Trondheim. Physical: I might do one more walk with a loaded pack next weekend, but last Sunday's walk was pretty challenging, and everything performed well. Elaine gave me a hand with some fiddly adjustments, and I loaded up with 13kg in the pack on Sunday. Erick had a Meetup walk planned into Mt Rob Roy, on the south-east side of Canberra. The loop was about 12km with 650m of climb. We walked first to Big Monks and then across to the Rob Roy Nature Reserve. Mental: While one might walk alone, there are always people in towns and other places one stays. But this is quite different to walking with a companion. I know that this can be ... read more

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