ACT (Canberra) (January 14,  - January 16 2002)


New Zealand

Victoria (Melbourne)
ACT (Canberra)
NSW (Sydney)
Queensland (Brisbane)
Northern Territory


We stayed two nights at the Carotel Motel, a holiday park to the north of the city. 

Canberra is a 'planned city' with large buildings and wide tree lined avenues that you would expect to see in a nation's capital. We visited many of the buildings:

  • RMC Duntroon (with tour courtesy of Richard and Sandy McDonagh  - Richard is the son of another friend of my parents)
  • Parliament House, where we saw one of the 4 remaining originals of the Magna Carta (!).
  • The Australian Mint - where for $2, the kids could stamp out a brand new $1 coin. i.e. they had fun making money, while I was losing money. 
  • The Australian War memorial - an excellent museum about Australia's military history

We were very lucky to be able to visit the "Treasures from the World's Great Libraries" exhibit in the National Library. I hope the kids realize the significance of what they have seen as these were all originals: the Dead Sea Scrolls, Homer's 'The Iliad", Darwin's notes from his trip on the Beagle; Cook's log, Captain Bligh's manuscript where he described the perpetrators of the mutiny, a Gutenberg Bible, Bell's experimental notebook, Shelley's first draft of Ozymandias, letters from Ghandhi, the 'Free at last' speech from Martin Luther King, Einstein, Freud, Jules Verne, Beethoven, Chaucer, Ptolemy, a first quarto of Shakespeare... I could go on. It was pretty amazing and not what we were expecting to see in Canberra. 

We also had a very nice supper with Philip and Kate and their two kids, Nicola and Brandt. Kate's family are distant cousins of Sarah's, although we could not figure how distant.  Bill (Sarah's dad) will have to help us with the relationship out some day.  We really enjoyed our all too short evening with them.

On to Sydney