Australia: Canberra, a hoppy skippy place between Sydney & Melbourne

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There are few nations’ capital cities where you might see a wallaby hopping between the Italian embassy and the Prime Minister’s house on the way to work. Just to be clear, wallabies don’t hop to work in Canberra, nor do they take buses – their pouches are not for mobile phones or Macbook Airs – they just eat grass all day and collect welfare payments. But humans do live and work in Canberra, and they do see wallabies and kangaroos in such situations.  It is often difficult to tell the two apart, kangaroos and wallabies I mean as opposed to humans and hoppy skippy things, but kangaroos are bigger and more inclined to punch you in the face if you look at them for too long.

There’s thousands upon thousands of birds too in Canberra, not sheila birds but feathery things like galahs and cockatoos. I saw a group of cockatoos on the way to work one day (n.b cockatoos also don’t work in Canberra, just poor sentence construction). They were gathered around a stray shopping trolley by the side of the bike path and one of them was playing with the coin return chain that was dangling from the trolley’s bar.

I should mention there are many lovely sheila birds in Canberra, but they prefer to be called such things as senior executive, departmental Secretary or just ‘boss’. They do however, sometimes use trolleys, or, if they are inclined to do so, float magically on a pond.

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Canberra is a very sexually liberated place. The ‘Parliamentary Triangle’ was designed around a Swedish fertility ritual carried out in mid-summer. The triangle is an obvious reference to that lovely part of a female’s anatomy (despite rarely being seen in men’s magazines nowadays), and, just as they do in Sweden, where the women folk gather on a grassy patch by the forest and sing and form the shape of a vagina, which is then entered by men folk singing and playing guitars as well as carrying a giant pole decorated in all sorts of nice things gathered in the forest, like mushrooms, although now I’ve forgotten what the start of the sentence was about as it’s getting rather long, oh yes, just as in Sweden, the Parliamentary Triangle has a giant pole erected right in the middle, with the added imagery of the legs spreading welcomely underneath. This is a rather hetro interpretation I acknowledge, so one might also interpret it as a hilly mound preparing to be patriotically parted in the middle with a flag pole.

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March is the best time to visit Canberra. Some even say March is just a nice month all around, full stop.

Why? Well it’s just a very nice that time of year in Canberra, and of late they’ve been putting light projections onto buildings making everything seem so much less boring than it usually is. And, to top it all off, I’ve heard legends that there are certain herbaceous plants that may be grown in the region which may enhance the light spectacular. Don’t quote me on it, but if the stories are true, growing a quarter of an acre will get you no more that a slap on the wrist.

If the legends are hard to grasp, or if you barely have time on your travels to grow an alfalfa sprout, there’s always beer. Including famous Australian brands like Carona, Peroni and Kirin. 

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The temperature in March is at its maximum niceness and when you tire of the lights and kangaroos, and you haven’t been arrested for following advice on the internet that has in no way been verified by anyone you should trust, you may wish to take a drive into the countryside, known here lovingly and reminiscently as ‘the bush’, and see some red-bellied black snakes and emus, or take a dip in a refreshing stream such as the one pictured below.

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So, next time there are no specials on flights between Sydney and Canberra, and you’ve driven for hours and hours along the Hume Highway and you can’t keep your eyes open and want somewhere to stop in between – though it’s actually much closer to Sydney recognising that this city thinks itself more important and haughty-taughty than Melbourne – you might want to try Australia’s capital city in autumn, or fall if you prefer, if indeed you are travelling that time of year, unless of course you wish to plan your holiday especially around a visit to Canberra, and there’s no law against that.

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