Skip to main content

Around Canberra - A tale of two lookouts!

Over Christmas, my Mum came to visit! One of the reasons I like having visitors is that (apart from suddenly having a clean house in preparation) you get to "play tourist" in your home town. Which is now Canberra! So let's go on a little tour, shall we? And maybe learn a bit about Australia's capital too :-)

Canberra is a planned city. Unlike Sydney or Melbourne which sprawled from humble beginnings, Canberra was always destined to be great! Once Federation occurred in 1901, Australia needed a capital city and so a location was decided upon and a competition announced in 1911 to design it and Walter Burley Griffin of Chicago, Illinois, USA was declared the winner. To be fair, the paintings of his wife, Marion Mahoney Griffin, helped a fair bit.


It is from the top of Mt Ainslie, that you can get a sense of their vision and how it played out on the Canberra landscape.

IMG_8092 (Medium)

Kind of amazing how all that planning transformed into real life!!!

For those unfamiliar with Canberra you are looking out over (from the foreground to the background) the Remembrance Nature Park, the Australian War Memorial, Anzac Parade (the big avenue), Lake Burley Griffin (named after you know who), Reconciliation Place, Old Parliament House (now Museum of Australian Democracy), New Parliament House and the southern part of Canberra. The hills in the background are the Brindabella Ranges.

IMG_8106 (Medium)

IMG_8104 (Medium)

Now apparently, we were always taught that  the word "Canberra" meant "meeting place" (derived from Kambera or Canberry, in Ngunnawal language of the indigenous owners of the land). That would make sense, to have our nation's capital in a place that meant "meeting place". But no! According to Ngunnawal elder, Don Bell, the correct interpretation is "woman's breasts" as a result of it being nestled between Mount Ainslie and Black Mountain, "nganbra" or the hollow between a woman's breasts. Makes sense too.

And so to Black Mountain (the other breast!). It is now an iconic part of Canberra, which even locals use to orientate ourselves, because perched on top is the commercially named Telstra Tower. It is a telecommunications tower (owned by Telstra, duh) which rises 195.2 metres (640 feet) above the summit of Black Mountain. You can see it from everywhere in Canberra (except my house, because it's hidden by another hill, but nearly the whole of Canberra).

IMG_8108 (Medium) IMG_8109 (Medium) IMG_8113 (Medium)

Needless to say, the view from the top is nothing short of spectacular (if a little windy, up on the open observation deck!)

IMG_8116 (Medium)

Now cast your minds back to the mid-eighties (if, indeed, you were around back then!) and a young Ingi on a trip to Canberra with her family. We may have taken a similar photo!!!

Canberra from Black Mountain

There is a little more development (most notably Australian National University, Civic the city centre, New Acton and the completed Parliament House), but basically the same.

There you are! A bit of Canberra's geography and history for you! I have uncovered a treasure trove of those mid-eighties photos, so stay tuned for some "before and after" pics of Canberra (and if you're good, me!).

What's your capital city?

Do you have a favourite lookout (share a pic!)?



  1. I have always liked Canberra ... except for that bloody roundabout that I spent ages on going around and around cause I kept missing the turn off!

    Must plan a trip there for the whanau.

    Happy New Year to you and the family Ingi. xxx


Post a Comment

Bloggers LOVE comments! We are pretty needy that way, so go on, leave some love :-)

Popular posts from this blog

Pssst...wanna be a fly on the wall?

My Students + Curriculum + Learning Spaces + Real Life = A Day In the Life

This Day is from last week when I thought it was A Day In The Life but it was Learning Spaces instead...probably just as well, because the last few days have not been worth blogging about (or maybe there's a big blog post in there lurking away, but I just can't deal with it right now)...anyway...

This week is the last of our Aussie NBTS posts and a's a long post!! So if you stay to the end, you have done well and earn bonus points.

I think a lot of people who don't homeschool are curious as to what our days look like. Those 6 panel Facebook memes have been doing the rounds, and of course there was a Homeschool one:

He he he!

The night before the Day in the Life: I should preface this Day with the fact that we had a late Night watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was on TV, but we got out the DVD to skip the ads. I feel that some movies are just a compulsory part of any child&#…

I see...

We've had a couple of interesting weeks here. Video Boy has inherited his mother's shocking vision - he has myopia (commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness). It occurs when the eyes focus light in front of the retina, leading to unfocussed vision.

Close up is usually OK, but distance vision is pretty fuzzy:

For me, even the couple would have been blurry! I was "medically blind" which meant I got my optometrist fees covered by Medicare (yay!).

So, Video Boy has had glasses for a couple of years now - he has broken one pair and then lost the replacement pair (grrr) and so for a couple of months, his world has looked like the picture on the right...and he was squinting to watch TV, read signs, pretty much all the time.
So, we went off to the optometrist last week to get us some new glasses!
The optometrist is up on all the latest research - with Wombat Girl, we bought a software program with special "lenses" and she had to do a practice session…

52 Ancestors - So Far Away

This week's #52ancestorsin52weeks is Father's Day - but of course, it's not Father's Day in Australia, so I'm going to do the theme we had a couple of weeks ago when I was away - So Far Away.

When you first start doing your family tree, it's exciting to see how "far back" you can go with your branches. Until last weekend, the furthest back on my direct line was Benjamin Broome, my 9th great-grandfather born in 1646 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England (grandfather of John Broom in my carpet story), which I thought was a long way back!

Last weekend, I was searching back to see if I could see a link between the Freemans on my Dad's side and the Freemans on my Mum's side (spoiler alert - not yet). Anyway, I was having a search on Joseph Freeman (my 5th great-grandfather born in Gloucestershire, England in 1765) and his wife - Sarah Arkell (my 5th great-grandmother also from Gloucestershire, England, born in 1767). Well, I had her father John…