Canberra, our national Capital, the only large scale inland city in Australia.
When it come to planning an end of year short getaway for my sister, brother-in-law and myself this year I wasn’t sure where to start. I thought Hobart, but it was far too expensive. Then I thought, where better than Canberra. It’s only a few short hours drive from Sydney and best of all, my sister has never been.
The drive to Canberra was uneventful, arriving mid afternoon to cross over the border into the ACT. As lots of people do when they arrive in Canberra, we headed down Northbourne Avenue into the CBD then straight on through, over Lake Burley Griffin and up to Parliament House.
After a quick drive around Parliament House we drove a little further up to Red Hill lookout where we took some photos and admired the city below us.
After this we headed back towards the CBD and our hotel, stopping along the way to see what a large white tower was. It turned out to be the National Carillon which is a large bell tower. See here for more info. We waited around for 15 minutes to hear the bells chime then headed on our way.
We drove to our hotel, the QT Canberra and checked in. You can read all about the QT Canberra at my review post here. After an hour or so of settling into our hotel rooms we headed out for dinner at The Burns Club in Kambah which was quite nice for a buffet.
On the way back into the CBD we drove up Black Mountain to the Telstra Tower to look out over Canberra at night. Unfortunately it was raining and the view wasn’t so great. Still the tower looks awesome lit up at night.
After waking up and having breakfast alone I roused the others and we jumped in the car. First stop, Queanbeyan which is just across the border back in NSW. After doing a little shopping for necessities, some lunch and a quick look around the area we headed back to Canberra.
We stopped off briefly at the Australian War Memorial but it was really busy so we didn’t end up going inside.
Followed by The Royal Australian Mint in Deakin.
And finally a drive around the Parliamentary district which includes Old Parliament House.
And a stop over to take a look at the Captain James Cook Memorial Water Jet on Lake Burley Griffin
There’s some photos from Day 3 up at Telstra Tower of the Water Jet if you’d like to see more of it.
After a short rest back at the hotel we headed into the Canberra CBD for dinner, finally settling on Outback Jacks which was well worth it with some great food to be had.
Our last full day, we spent the day on the road driving around Canberra’s suburbs taking in the sights.
By mid afternoon we arrived back on Black Mountain for a day time take of the Telstra Tower.
I even got to see a plane landing from the Telstra Tower off in the distance at the airport. Although heavily zoomed this is my final plane spotting for 2016.
FYI it was a Qantas Boeing 717 from Melbourne, registration VH-NXI
As darkness was settling in we returned to The Burns Club for dinner again, it was too good to pass on another night.
Heading back to the hotel the city was bustling with people everywhere. Some were leaving after the 9pm fireworks and others were settling in for the midnight fireworks.
Only a few hours later we were huddled up on a small balcony on the QT Canberra to watch the fireworks.
Happy New Year Everyone!!! Welcome to 2017!!!
The final day and the day we were to drive back to Sydney.
After a quick breakfast and some time spent getting organised to check out of the hotel we headed off. But not for Sydney.
We had heard about people going to the Mint to collect the first coins of 2017 so we decided to drive there and see what that was all about.
By 11:30am most of the early starters were gone but there was still long lines of people waiting for these coins. I opted to stand and wait for close to an hour just to be one of the lucky early adopters.
With coins in hand and memories in our hearts we all jumped back into the car and drove back to Sydney.
Until next New Years Eve.