Earlier this year I had a fleeting trip through Canberra. It feels a bit cheeky to suggest that Canberra could be summed up in five photos as there is so much to see and do, but my time there was limited.
As I was finding my way around Canberra, I stumbled upon a couple of places that surprised me. One was Haig Park. This neatly planted stretch of parkland was initially designed as a wind break to protect the newly established capital from wind and dust storms. It is a popular place for people to exercise and there were lots of people walking their dogs and enjoying the greenery. The stretch of land was initially planted with about 7,000 trees in parallel lines. There was something about this orderly space that caught my attention. The park itself has had a mixed history over time and there is a renewal program underway to improve its reputation.
Another surprise was the All Saints Anglican Church at Ainslie. The church was originally designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet as the Mortuary railway station for Rookwood Cemetery. The station was in use from 1868 to 1948. In subsequent years, the disused railway station had been in a state of disrepair and consideration had been given to demolishing it and crushing the stone for road fill. Fortunately, the stonework was bought by the Ainslie parish and moved to Canberra in 1957. The bell tower was moved from the left to the right side of the building during reconstruction. There is a history of the original Mortuary Station in Rookwood Cemetery here. A brief history of the building and the work required to relocate and rebuild can be found here.
There is so much public art to enjoy in Canberra, and the Sculpture Garden surrounding the National Gallery of Australia is a good place to start. One of my favourite sculptures to visit is Diamonds by Neil Dawson, a New Zealand sculptor. This globe is made of mesh and aluminium, and is suspended above the roadway beside the National Gallery.
The National Carillon was silent as I was walking along the path beside Lake Burley Griffin, but with 57 bronze bells it must be quite something when the music rings out.
Just as the light faded, the flags were fluttering in the International Flag Display. There are 110 flags in all, representing the 108 missions with a diplomatic presence along with the United Nations and European Union.
When was the last time you had a wander around Canberra?
Photo: The Other Side of Midnight by Anne Ross