West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton (Part 7)

The Former Largest Mall in the World – West Edmonton Mall

Chromatic Outlook : Canberra’s Parliament House

Chromatic Outlook (Post#33) : Canberra’s Parliament House

The first stop we did after we reached Canberra was the current Parliament House located at the south apex of Capital Hill in Australian Capital Territory. The building was opened last May 1988 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  This photo is part of Canberra Day Tour June 2013 Collection.

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Discovery : Canberra’s Parliament House – Flag Mast

Discovery (Post#14) : Canberra’s Parliament House – Flag Mast

During the Parliament House Tour in Canberra, we had a chance to see its huge flag mast stand at the roof top of the building. It’s 81-metre high flag mast, one of the world’s largest stainless steel structures. This photo is part of Canberra Day Tour June 2013 Collection.

The flag flown from the 81 meters (266 feet) flagpole is 12.8 by 6.4 m (42 by 21 ft), about the size of half a tennis court. The flagpole weighs 250 tonnes and is made of polished stainless steel from Wollongong. It was designed to be the pinnacle of Parliament House and is an easily recognizable symbol of national government. It is visible by day from outside and inside Parliament House and floodlit at night. The flag itself weighs approximately 15 kg (33 lb). – Wikipedia

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It’s not Sydney, It’s not Melbourne, It’s Canberra !!!

Before I had been assigned to a project work in Australia, I thought that Sydney was the capital city of Australia. My colleague at work actually asked me, “Do you know what’s the capital city of Australia?” And I replied to him “It’s Sydney right?” and then he responded me “No”, then I answered him again, “Don’t tell me it’s Melbourne”, then he responded to me again with “No”. And I paused in a while to think, but honestly I was surprised because I was wrong all a long. Then my colleague smiled at me and he said “It’s Canberra”. Well, I never heard the name of the city. I am not familiar with the name. With that conversation with him, I learned something, I was wrong in thinking that Sydney is the capital of Australia.

I lived in Melbourne for quite a long time that gave me a chance to see not only the city but major cities or almost the whole country. With a 4-years temporary permanent residence visa which eligible to work in Australia, in that 4 years I came back to Australia for 5 times and live there for more than 1.5 years, gave me a lot of opportunities to see the huge continent country like Australia.

Like other cities that not so popular to tourists, Canberra receives perception that it’s not like Sydney and Melbourne. I met few people who shares with same sentiments when I asked them about the city. I always received a comment that there is nothing to see there.

But because I planned to see Australia as a whole, Canberra was already in my list. Why? Its’ where the White House of Australia can be found. I was also intrigue how the city was created. It’s one of the city that I learned to be a planned city. Canberra has been created to resolve the conflict between two major cities of Australia, the rivals between Sydney and Melbourne for being the capital city of the country. Unlike Canberra, the two cities has been discovered and settlement arose where huge city has been born. Canberra is the same, but because it is located at the inland, unlike most cities in Australia that has been born at edges of the country, its location is somewhat not strategic to become a big city. And Australia decided to place in that city the national government offices of the country.

Looking back with the reason how the city was developed, Australia decided a very expensive decision just to address the competition between Sydney and Melbourne. I got a chance to see and visit the two cities and even myself will not immediately favor one city over the other and say which specific city deserved to be the Capital City of Australia.

Another reason why I decided to join a tour in Canberra is to find out why most people say there is nothing to see in Canberra. I wanted to defy that perception and see it for myself.

If you had read some of my posts, you know that I used weekend as opportunity to travel. This is one of my quick travel to Sydney wherein I just passed the airport and stayed in the hostel in the city. I booked my flight from Melbourne to Sydney via Virgin Australia and when I returned to Melbourne I booked my flight via Jetstar. The flight is customized to leave Melbourne late Friday night and leave Sydney early Sunday morning. I had my hostel accommodation in Sydney Central YHA for 2 nights and booked a day tour from Sydney to Canberra through colourfultrips.com. The tour was 13 hours, it was long due to travel time needed between two cities. The tour happened last Saturday of June 2013.

I woke-up early in the morning and prepared early for the tour. The tour picked me up in the hostel. That day, the weather was quite gloomy and it had pouring rain before we left Sydney. We traveled to Canberra for around 3 hours. Before reaching the center of Canberra City, I had a chance to see it from a distance. The city is in inner land which technically in New South Wales but became a territory.

Canberra is located in a pretty flat place which partially surrounded by nature reserves in the south. Well if you are adventurous, flat place can be a disadvantage. In my personal preference, it’s interesting if a place can offer us a lot of things to do right? But for me, seeing another place is already an interesting to do. It’s not just to show that I’d been in that place but the feeling or experience to be in that place. I am always like this in every places that I had a chance to visit.

Canberra is a quiet city. During the tour I learned that because national governments offices has been placed in the city, most people live around the city are employees who work in government. The city is also the location of national embassies of different countries including mine. The impression the city left on me was, it’s a refreshing city and a balance one.

So you are wondering what’s so special with Canberra? For me like mountains, where every mountain has its own identity, each city has its own as well. Canberra is called a Bush Capital of Australia. And it’s has reason for it. This is a city that is surrounded by forests, farmlands and nature reserves. The city may not have Opera House of Sydney and it may not have Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) of Melbourne but Canberra has something to offer on its own too.

Some places to enjoy in this so-called Australian Capital Territory are:

1. Parliament House

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2. National Museum of Australia

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3. Australian War Memorial

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4. Mount Ainslie

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5. Captain Cook Memorial Jet

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6. National Embassies

The list above is not the only places to see in the city, but these were the places that I had a chance to see while I was in Canberra.

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Mount Ainslie

Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#25) : Mount Ainslie

We reached Mount Ainslie Lookout which gave us the birds view of the capital city of Australia. And from the lookout itself, even though Canberra is a flat cit, the center of the city is situated between two mountains, namely Black Mountain and Mount Ainslie. This photo is part of Canberra Day Tour June 2013 Collection.

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Beyond Our Reach : Telstra Tower at Black Mountain

Beyond Our Reach (Post#3) : Telstra Tower at Black Mountain

When visiting Canberra, Telstra Tower is one of the immediate and noticeable landmark to see within the city. It also offers a lookout to see a different kind of view of Canberra aside from Mount Ainslie Lookout where I took this snapshot. At the time I took this one, the tower seems to be near yet so far. This photo is part of Canberra Day Tour June 2013 Collection.

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View At My Window : Lake Burley Griffin

View At My Window (Post#24) : Lake Burley Griffin

The lake location is almost at the center of the City of Canberra. The lake is artificial lake and named after Walter Burley Griffin, the architect who won the competition to design the city. Knowing the lake and how Canberra became a city, I just remembered another city that exactly has the similar concept with artificial lake at the center of it and that is Putrajaya in Malaysia. I took this photo while I was in Mount Ainslie Lookout. This photo is part of Canberra Day Tour June 2013 Collection.

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Structure : Australian War Memorial

Structure (Post#11) : Australian War Memorial

During my visit in Canberra, one of the significant structure to enjoy in this planned city is the Australian War Memorial. For me, I can say that is the center of all shrine of remembrance or war memorial across the country. A magnificent structure made to honor who died for the peace that the country enjoys. This photo is part of Canberra Day Tour June 2013 Collection.

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Sydney on its Darkness

Though I had seen Sydney Harbour before, it still refreshing to witness it from dusk to nighttime. My first night in my last trip in Sydney was spent to walk around Opera House, Circular Quay and The Rocks after doing the Queen Victoria Building tour.

I came from Circular Quay Station and walked towards Sydney Opera House. As expected, the vicinity area has its regular visitors from different parts of the world since the place is a top destination to see while in Sydney and while in Australia.

I reached surroundings of Opera House at sunset, so the settings of the building is different from the last time I saw it last 2013. Sunset was actually a great time as it gave me a chance to have two different and consecutive time of the day to be able to take pictures of the area, one was with fading sunlight and one was at nighttime. Because of this, I got a chance to see Opera House and its location in two different outlook. The walk also gave me a chance to experiment night photography (and to be honest I’m not really good at it, just a rookie).

While I was in Sydney Opera House area, I captured photos of Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. When I  walked towards “The Rocks” area, I was able to see Sydney Opera House from a far.

Here are the photos that I produced during that walk.

During Sunset

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Sydney Opera House

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Up Close and Personal with Sydney Opera House

During Nighttime

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Sydney Opera House

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Circular Quay

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The Rocks

Next day, after my walking tour from Bondi to Coogee, the next plan was to see Manly Beach. I knew I’m running out of time and I hoped that I still able to see the famous beach but its getting dark. Though I have limited time to spare, I still grab my chance to visit Manly Beach.

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Sydney Opera House

And that being said, the second night was spent a bit in the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Beach and vice versa. I hopped-on in a regular ferry that goes between Circular Quay and Manly Wharf. When I reached Manly, I crossed a road and walked straight to “The Corso” – a street of outdoor markets and mall street before reaching the beach itself. But since it’s night, some stores are already closed. I move forward towards the beach, since its already dark, I haven’t seen much of Manly Beach. I had seen some portion of the shore, the ocean and the nearby buildings in surrounding areas.

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Manly Beach

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The Corso

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Manly Wharf

After sometime in Manly, I decided to go back since the next schedule of the ferry to Circular Quay was approaching. While in the ferry, the same night gave me a chance to see Sydney CBD at nighttime from a distance and I had been able to witness how Sydney is magnificent at dark hours.

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Sydney CBD and Sydney Opera House

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Sydney Opera House

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Circular Quay

People : Music and Sunglasses

People (Post#2) : Music and Sunglasses

While walking towards Sydney Opera House, I saw other people enjoying the scenery in the area, while the others are just chilling with great music. Here is the snapshot of the band that was performing while I was roaming around the place. The photo is part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection.

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Picture Frame : Sydney Opera House

Picture Frame (Post#3) : Sydney Opera House

Here are night photography experimentation of famous Sydney Opera House and I don’t have anything else to say. The photos are part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection.

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In The Middle Of Somewhere : The Corso

In The Middle Of Somewhere (Post#8) : The Corso

After getting off Manly Wharf, I walked along The Corso, the main street of markets or street mall not far from wharf and looks to be a busy street when its day time. It’s like a lane ways of outdoor markets too where most people passed before reaching Manly Beach. The photo is part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection.

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Panoramic View : Sydney

Panoramic View (Post#26) : Sydney

On my way back to Circular Quay from Manly Beach, it gave me a chance to see Sydney skyline and even its Opera House to see how beautiful the city at night. While practicing night photography, I had capture a shot of the city. The photo is part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection

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Name of the Place : Manly Wharf

Name of the Place (Post#26) : Manly Wharf

It was dark when I reached Manly Beach and because of it, I became sensitive in the time as its dark in Sydney. I don’t wanted to miss my boat going back to Circular Quay, in effect, I haven’t stayed longer in famous Manly Beach. My gateway to Manly Beach is through Manly Wharf. The photo is part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection.

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Twilight : Luna Park Sydney

Twilight (Post#8) : Luna Park Sydney

While exploring night photography during my walk around Circular Quay and The Rocks, I tried to capture from a distance the one of the popular theme park available in Australia which is Luna Park Sydney which operational since 1935. The theme park has also a branch in Melbourne which recently celebrated its Centennial last 2012. The photo is part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection.

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Interior : QVB’s Stained-Glass Windows

Interior (Post#9) : QVB’s Stained Glass Windows

I love interior specially, interiors of historical building. When Queen Victoria Building (QVB) has been restored to its original glory, one of the things that are noticeable is its stained-glass window at the entrance of the building at George Street. At the time of my visit, as the sun is clear outside, its display are more visible inside the building. The photo is part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection.

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Sydney Beaches … A Scenic Walk From Bondi To Coogee (in “We’re the Travelers”)

Hey guys, my post for Bondi and Coogee Walk has been published in “We’re the Travelers” site. This is my second post. I hope you enjoy the virtual walk. Please visit the link below.

Sydney Beaches … A Scenic Walk From Bondi To Coogee

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Arts and Craft : Guardian Genius of the City

Arts and Craft (Post#5) : Guardian Genius of the City

One of the photo that I took outside the Queen Victoria Building is the exterior design of it. And it happened that I also captured the sculpture entitled “Guardian Genius of the City” in the middle of the building at the top of the entrance in George Street. Marble sculpture by William Priestly MacIntosh. The photo is part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection.

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Standing upon a raised pedestal in the centre is a female figure lightly draped in flowing robes, representing the “Guardian Genius of the City”, with the symbol of Wisdom in one hand and Justice in the other. She is crowned with the civic crown and waratah wreath. At her feet is a shield bearing the city crest. On her right is seated a semi-nude, muscular, male figure, representing Labor and Industry, with the appropriate symbols, viz., wheat, a ram, fruit, and a beehive, grouped round him. On her left is a corresponding male figure representing Commerce and Exchange. A ship in full sail is shown on his left. A bag of money its in one of his hands, and the ledger book in the other. Both figures are wreathed with olive, the symbol of Peace

excerpt from Wikipedia