Canberra really is a handsome, imposing place and a most suitable home for a federal government. However, I was operating at a distinct disadvantage while I was there. I had just the day before arriving in Canberra finished a camping tour around Tasmania, and before that, I’d spent a week crossing the mountains in Victoria on horseback. I was decidedly in “nature” mode. As a result, the stunningly modern and totally artificial capital required a considerable amount of readjusting—and that wasn’t easy, as I was also weary and quite sick. However, that didn’t slow me down much, and I charged about, seeing Canberra with dazed and slightly disoriented diligence.
That’s not to say I didn’t have a good time. I did. There were wonderful things to see. I just didn’t connect with it on the same level I’d connected with most other places in Australia.
I got a bus pass and spent a day cruising around town, checking out important buildings. Two of these impressive structures are shown below. On the left is the High Court of Australia. On the right is the National Gallery. I admired the first from the outside, but spent several hours appreciating the second from the inside, as it is home to an impressive international art collection.