Walking Tour of Canberra, Australia
Canberra is the capital of the country of Australia and, appropriately, lies virtually midway between Sydney and Melbourne. It was purposefully designed and constructed in the early 20th century. It boasts numerous “green” areas, and the major tourist attractions can be accessed by foot.
My walk begins on Parkes Place, the location of several of the city’s major attractions. To the west is the National Library of Australia. Its design is reminiscent of a Greek temple. Also in the area is the High Court of Australia, as well as two excellent museums, the Questacon, a science and technology center, and the National Gallery of Australia, which, besides its comprehensive collection of Aboriginal and Australian Art, exhibits many European and American artists.
Exit this area by walking east on King Edward Terrace, and turn right on Kings Avenue, and right again on King George Terrace, to see the Old Parliament House and its lovely Rose Gardens. Also, check out the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, across the street.
After your visit, return to Kings Avenue, and turn right, climbing Capitol Hill to Parliament House. The seat of Australia’s government is an ultra-modern structure which, nevertheless, also displays artwork and materials from across the continent.
Leave Capitol Hill by walking north on Commonwealth Avenue, which crosses Lake Burley Griffin, into the city center. While on the bridge, be sure to notice the Captain Cook Memorial Jet, one of the world’s tallest fountains, to the right.
When you reach the opposite shore, turn right on Barrine Drive, into Commonwealth Park, where you will find the National Capitol Exhibition, a pavilion with excellent views toward Capitol Hill, and also interesting displays on the development of this area.
Now, return to Commonwealth Avenue, and turn right, then right again, onto Parkes Way. When you reach Anzac Parade, turn left to approach the dramatic and moving Australian War Memorial. There are numerous additional memorials along the route.
After your visit, return to Parkes Way and turn left. Blundell’s Cottage, a tribute to the early pioneers of this area, is on the right, on Wendouree Drive. Continue on Wendouree Drive to reach the National Carillion, a stately bell tower, erected for the city by the British government, in 1963. Now, continue southeast along the lakefront, and turn right onto Kings Avenue, which leads back toward the Parliamentary Triangle. Turn right on King Edward Terrace to reach Parkes Place, where you began your walk.