Archive for ‘visitcanberra’

May 21, 2017

Visit to Lanyon Homestead

Yesterday I decided to head off and visit a place that had been recommended to me by my auntie and my grandparents so I thought it must be good! I looked up the address-pretty easy really, Tharwa Road, Tharwa and off I went! I’d passed this place on my way to Namadji National Park a few weeks ago so had a pretty good idea of where to go. A sign tells you “Lanyon in 250 metres” and I turned into the dirt road driveway which was in excellent condition.

Cattle and sheep were grazing on fields around as I drove towards the homestead which I couldn’t actually see at that point as it is a fairly long driveway with trees shading it in places bathed in autumn colours of red, gold and orange. Soon I reached the parking area, noticed a few cars were parked there and found a spot very easily. A couple who were in the car behind me asked if I was there for the wedding. I was not, but understood all the cars.

I read an information sign about Lanyon Homestead and set off up a path under more autumn trees to get there. I passed a lamp post, saw a stone saying when Lanyon Homestead was opened to the public, in 1975, read another information sign and saw the wedding party posing for photos. I can understand why people would want to have a wedding here-it is absolutely beautiful.

I saw a grand-looking two storey building with glass windows looking out to the surrounding rural landscape (although it is just 30 minutes away from Canberra, back in the day it would have been quite remote.) I walked up some steps and crossed the great veranda which had overhanging shrubs and pulled open a heavy wooden door. I walked over the threshold. As soon as I had done this I found myself in a grand entrance with fancy tiles on the floor and a detailed ceiling which was very high up with a grand light hanging down. On the walls, were paintings in ornate portraits and there was a vase of flowers. I smelt them and they smelt like spring time.

A lady called Sally asked if she could help me. I walked down the entrance and into the reception room. Around the walls were textiles and information about the two styles in this house-one Victorian when it was built in an English style in the 1800s and the other more modern as it had an extension built on in the 1900s. I paid my $7 adult admission and was given a map and brochure of the homestead. I asked Sally if there were any tours happening and she said she would take me on one.

Sally lead the way through a number of rooms and told me great detail about each of them. My favourite was the parlour-a cosy little room with an open fireplace with a grate in front of it. Before it were two dark red velvet chairs and even a little doll in a little rocking chair with straw. A table and chairs were in the corner, as was a volcano. Apparently this was not a fancy room where they would bring guests, but more of a family room to relax in. The curtains were large and heavy to keep out the cold. Apparently the homestead has heavy stone walls and no central heating which means it is always cool in summer. Also, a fireplace is in nearly every room although they only maintain the one in the parlour at present. This would ensure they were always warm in winter.

I also saw a drawing room with a fancy tea set and fruit cake laid out. This was more of a feminine kind of style with floral fabrics. It was a lot bigger than the parlour and also had a fireplace and a table and chairs. Then there was a kind of business room where the man of the homestead would pay workers’ wages. It had a gun rack on the wall which held whips on teeth-like racks. The chair was square and masculine, as was the pipe and pipe rack. Even the wooden desk looked masculine and it had many compartments all of which locked.

Then Sally led me through to the extension (added in the 1900s in a very different style) but we paused down the corridor. Sally showed me a portrait which is three in one-dogs, a bowl of fruit and a sail boat on a turbulent ocean. It changes depending on where you are standing which I thought was pretty amazing. Then Sally showed me a feminine room added for a man’s wife when she moved in. It was huge compared to another master bedroom I had seen in the Victorian style with a little four poster bed with wooden beams and a wash basin and chamber pot. This larger room was very pink and had a great view out on to the expansive veranda. The upstairs bedrooms were closed and the staircase which led to them actually got moved when they built in the extension but markings on the wall say where it used to be. I thanked Sally for the tour and wandered through the rooms alone one more time before heading to the various outbuildings.

I looked at stables, an old kitchen which the kitchen maid slept in in a little bed in a separate room with very basic furniture. They used fire to cook so the kitchen was kept separate from the homestead because of risk of fire and cooking smells. Then I looked at a dairy and an old race track and tractor shed. Then I ended my day with Prince of Wales tea and scones with jam and cream under some leafy autumn trees outside in the sun. I walked back to my car via the gardens which were expansive. I found a large vegie patch which is still maintained, roses and the pretty white flowers I had found in various vases inside the homestead. Then I drove home.

 

 

 

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May 8, 2017

Cruise on Lake Burley Griffin

This weekend I had pre-booked a ticket to a cruise on Lake Burley Griffin so on Saturday morning, just before 10am, I headed off to the lake (as I live on the north side, this is about a 30 minute drive away.) I parked the car (free parking on weekends yay!) and headed off to the boat ramp. The boat was already there and most people were already on board. I told the driver my name, hopped on board and grabbed a seat by the window. Soon we were off. The boat is non-pollutive so had a really gentle, smooth and quiet movement.

We glided around the lake with the driver at the wheel in his hat telling us all about this history of the area, revealing secrets of the lake and pointing out various landmarks as we passed them like a memorial to the police force, a navy memorial, the National Gallery, National Museum of Australia and so on. I enjoyed the autumn colours of red, orange and gold as we passed by. After the cruise I thanked the driver and headed off to Canberra Yacht Club for a delicious hot cappuccino by the stone fire. It was extremely cosy looking outside the windows and being seated on a large leather chair with a silk-like cushion. That night I headed to Piallago Estate for a friend’s birthday dinner which was amazing!

The next day I headed to my favourite markets in Canberra-Hall Markets before going to my regular Sunday ballet class. What a weekend!

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April 29, 2017

Epic Farmers’ Markets and Canberra Heritage Festival

Today I set my alarm early so I could not miss out on the Epic (Exhibition Park in Canberra) Farmers’ or Capital Region Farmers’ Markets which run from about 7.30AM-11.30AM on Saturdays. I got there at about 9ish and managed to find a car park not too far from the entrance (or one of many entrances.) I walked underneath golden hued trees with leaves crunching under my feet to one of these entrances. I came in at a back corner of the markets which had lots of delicious apples on display, including Golden Delicious apples-my favourite! I promptly bought some of these apples and mulled around the markets, drinking in all the sights and scents around me.

I bought an organic chocolate which was also vegan and milk free-it was delicious! I also bought a bees wax candle, a plum, persimmon, an Italian bread, a tin of Chai tea and a cappuccino and chocolate croissant which I sat down to enjoy at a table. The markets were quite busy. I passed flowers, preserves, fruit, vegies, tea, coffee, dog treats and so on. Finally done with my purchases, I headed back to my car and drove to a little village called Hall.

I had been to Hall since I was little as our doctor had a surgery there at the time and there used to be an old two person seated swing which has since disappeared. I parked at the Hall School Museum and Heritage Centre which I knew was doing special exhibitions for the Heritage Festival weekend. I headed inside (entry is free but donations are welcomed as it is run by volunteers.) I was directed to the Heritage Festival exhibition which was a collection of Aboriginal artifacts from a collector from the 1970s before they were protected and left where they were found. The collection was very large. I looked at lots of different stone tools from blades, to anvils and others.

A very knowledgeable historian guide told me about all of the objects on display, including a number from Black Mountain Peninsula which is where the National Museum of Australia sits today. There were some Aboriginal artefacts found there which were more associated with tribes from South Australia which is quite interesting. I imagined the Aboriginal society which would have existed back then without the need for money. I imagined tribes which lived in the desert, in forests or by the water, their many different dialects and customs. I was told that tribes married outside their tribes so traditions and customs could transcend different tribes. After this I paid my donation and poured myself a cup of tea and helped myself to a couple of biscuits.

Then I meandered around the museum, which I had visited previously but enjoy coming back to. I passed the history of the local area, including a story about a local blacksmith and stories of education here. I passed the section commemorating and telling stories of the Anzacs and bought a home made quince tart. Then I was on my way.

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April 17, 2017

Corin Forest Adventure

Today I drove past the southside of Canberra (a side I rarely visit as I am a proud northsider-once you’ve lived in Canberra a little while you will understand the north/south divide.) I passed Gibraltar Falls which I had visited previously (it is gorgeous and has stunning views) and continued my climb (in my car) upwards. In not much time at all I reached the carpark for Corin Forest which was somewhat hidden on the right-hand side of the road. I parked my car and strolled inside where I picked up a brochure of the place. I walked around the outside grassy area which was near Gibraltar Creek and was dotted with picnic tables and shady trees. I settled myself down at one of the tables and delved into a chapter of the book I was reading.

After being lost in a hilarious chapter I snapped my book shut and walked around the area. I saw a number of steps leading upwards and saw a sign saying to purchase a ticket at reception before ascending. I did just that and bought a ticket to the Alpine Slide-something I have not ridden on since I was about 9 years old (a whole 17 years ago!) There was a bit of a line and I was waiting 30 minutes but after you go to the Palace of Versailles in European summer where you wait 3 hours to go in well a 30 minute wait doesn’t seem so bad! Soon it was my turn and I climbed into the cart, pushed down the lever to go and ascended up a couple of steep hills. Once at the top we queued up in our carts and then went one at a time, leaving a good safety distance between us.

Then I was off! I pushed my lever down to the go position and slid along the tube-like slide-it was fun! There were a few loops and I got a good view of my surroundings. Then I was back at the bottom. I exited the cart and headed back on the path underneath the trees, looking at the pine forest in the distance with its dark green leafy needles.

April 17, 2017

Nostalgic stroll around Mount Rogers Reserve

Ever since I was little, back when we were living in Fraser and I went to the local primary school there and dad rode his bike sometimes to his job in the city, we sometimes grabbed our kelpie cross blue heeler dog, one of us was in the pram or in the baby seat at the back of mum’s bike and we would go for a walk around Mount Rogers. This walk has always and will always be absolutely beautiful. We used to munch on peeled apples and toddle along next to mum or ride our bikes around the circular trail. We would stop at the playgrounds on both sides of the walk-one near Fraser and one nearer Flynn and play on them too. We would scramble up great grey rocks and survey the bushland around us complete with flowering wattle and gumnuts on the gumtrees. You were always sure to see some kind of native wildlife, whether it be a kookaburra, magpie, great Red or Eastern Grey kangaroo peering out at you from behind some trees or quickly hopping across the path. On my walk I saw birds and butterflies-a beautiful Golden Wanderer butterfly included. So I did this beautiful walk and heard the birdsong, saw the little lamp posts among the European types of trees near little paths winding to houses in the surrounding suburbs and drank in the views of the distant blue Brindabella Ranges. It was absolutely beautiful.

April 17, 2017

Raiders vs Warriors Game

On Saturday evening I headed off to watch the Raiders vs Warriors game at GIO Stadium. The Uber dropped me off just outside the stadium. I scanned the ticket I had on my phone on the electronic scanner and the turnstile let me in. I also got my bag checked by security.

Once inside the stadium, I headed around to my bay and seat which was in the silver inner bowl and had a good view of the players. I sat down and watched the game. I thought the game was very exciting. At first it seemed like the Raiders were going to lose as the Warriors seemed very strong and had a good offence. At half time I grabbed a beer and some hot chips with tomato sauce. The sky darkened and I put on my coat, scarf and gloves as a chill crept into the air. The Raiders really picked up their pace and had a stunning victory against the Warriors-20-8! We all filed out of the stadium and I did find the free shuttle bus back to Belconnen-yay!