Being mobile in Australia – a weekend in Canberra.

Catching up on lost sleep was a pleasure, I slept the sleep of the exhausted 😉


Not a Kookaburra but the first bird I saw in Canberra 🙂

Christina and the girls like IKEA. Before it opened in Canberra a visit to Sydney’s IKEA was a rare treat. So to IKEA we went on Saturday. I wasn’t expecting to like it but I was pleasantly surprised and when I win Lotto I will be paying for them to come to help choose my furniture for my new home (which won’t be in Auckland) at the Auckland IKEA, New Zealand’s only one.



Swedish apple cake.

We also had a brief visit to COSTCO. I had fallen in love with COSTCO in America, especially the free food sampling .



COSTCO, catering for everyone!

On the way home we called in to see Christina’s Mum and Dad. It was good to catch up with them too, it had been a long time.


Leah used to climb this tree when she was very small. Now it is Ella’s turn.

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and in my opinion, the safest for raising children. It would be the place I would live (despite being 2 hours from the coast) if I were to live in Australia.


Parliament House (not my photo)


The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation’s capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city outside of any state and is in it’s own state, ACT (Australian Capital Territory). There was an international contest for the city’s design and construction commenced in 1913. The plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centred on axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory.

suburban layout
The city’s design was influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title of the “bush capital”. The growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, The national capital emerged as a thriving city after World War II.
Canberra consists of  5 distinct residential districts – Civic (the CBD), Belconnen, Woden/Weston Creek, Tuggeranong, and Gungahlin each with its own Town Centre and Shopping district.  There are large area of open land separating suburbs, government owned so can’t be built on.

Lake Burley Griffin

Telstra tower in the background (not my photo).

There are a number of large lakes in Canberra each associated with one of the Town Centres. Lake Burley Griffin is the largest and is near Civic and splits Canberra in half.  The others are Lake Ginninderra, Lake Tuggeranong, Gungahlin Pond and Yerrabi Pond.

Eagle Eye Imagery

Canberra War Memorial

As Canberra is inland and around 600 Metres (2000 feet) above sea level its climate is very wide ranging. Temperatures can be as high as 38C or more (100F) in summer and as low as minus 5C (20F) in winter.  There is no distinct rainy season and rain may fall any time of the year but average rainfall is not high. The area, like a lot of southern and central Australia, has been experiencing a drought for the last 5 years.

L BG.jpg

Lake Burley Griffin

The roading system in Canberra are wonderful, confusing for a Kiwi, who can’t tell north, south, east or west here but well laid out into:
Arterial roads
:These roads serve long distance travellers within or between districts, and support large volumes of traffic. They may be limited access, or controlled-access.
Major collector roads:
These roads serve local area traffic distributing to or from minor collector roads, and also link to the arterial network.
Minor collector roads:
These roads serve neighbourhood traffic, and provide access from the major collector roads into residential areas.
Access streets:
These streets are the lowest road type in the hierarchy, and provide access to the bulk of residential homes.


This is the meeting of many main routes and has traffic lights.



I like this one.

On Sunday we all went to the Belconnen Mall, for the children to spend some time at Skyzone (for trampolining), for Christina and Paul to have coffee and for me to Mall Mooch. Mall mooching is a good way of acquiring some of the 10,000 steps I aim for each day. I had been here on one of my first visits to Canberra in the mid 2000s and it had grown hugely as has Canberra. In 2005 the population was 325,000 and 11 years later had grown by more than 100,000.


We don’t have car park building in Levin



On the way home, a pylon 🙂


 ~~ 4 & 5 March 2017 ~~