Friday, July 13, 2012

Canberra off the beaten track - just a little

Hubby and I had a lovely couple of days in the nation's capital.
Late departure from home timed to get us to Canberra when Calthorpe's House was open.
Calthorpe's House is wonderful and very well worth the short time it takes to do the guided tour of the house and garden. Anyone with an interest in retro style would enjoy it very much. No less than three vintage stoves to inspect, wood and electric. One of which was a most attractive Kooka!
We followed up with a tour of Mugga Mugga cottage. What a special property that is! I had previously picked up the memoirs of Sylvia Curley so that gave an added level of interest. None the less, I believe anyone with an interest in how people lived in times past would get a lot out of a visit to Mugga Mugga. It is definitely the most impressive dwelling of it's type I have ever visited because it has the family's contents all still in place.
Visiting these two small museums has underlined for me that Canberra is about much more than just the wealth of large institutions it is so well known for.
I should also say that our guides were great. Particularly the guide at Mugga Mugga who had a personality perfect for her job. Very vivacious and friendly and enthusiastic about the subject matter.
With the day fading, Mugga Mugga closing at 4:30, we made our way into the Canberra Centre and a visit to Koko Black. Mmmmm.... koko black. We bought choccies for our daughters and some for us too and headed to grab some accommodation.

We opted to stay at Aria, which we had seen advertised in movie theatres a lot in recent times. Last minute deal on their website got us a 4.5 star room for $105. Wotif showed $115 for the same room, so it paid to go direct.
Aria was very comfortable indeed we were thrilled with it. We had had a very late night visiting my sister the night before and not got home until 3 am so by this stage we were fairly well had it. Room service is called for. I opted for a very nice margherita pizza with fresh tomato and boconcini. Hubby opted for a seafood pasta that he also enjoyed. Add a drink of coke for hubby and we were pretty happy with $37 as the bill.
Very comfortable bed and a lovely restful night. We took our time getting out of the room.
Another stop at koko black for a celebratory box of choccies.. yeah.. another one...bigger this time.. mmmm koko black...paused briefly to program koko black into the trusty tomtom as a favourite for next time... mmmmm koko black...

Today we decided we needed some exercise so we headed out towards Namadgi National Park and the walk to Yankee Hat. Lots of roos around. We walked past about 6 separate groups. One by the parking area was cosily nestled in the lee of the slight slope and must have had about 40 individuals. A couple of smaller ruddy coloured wallabies once we got across to the cover of the trees too.

Yankee Hat is a very pleasant walk with beautiful high country grassland views to the rock art site. Lots of birds around also. Well worth the time. We were done in an hour and 45 minutes, but we were keen for the exercise. They recommend 2.5 hrs return for the 6 kms and that would be a very pleasant stroll.
We decided to save the settlers track and old homesteads for next time and made our way home for dinner with the family to celebrate our anniversary.
Canberra's a fantastic place to visit at any time of year. So much to do both indoors and out.
We will be keeping our eyes open for more great accommodation deals .. I did notice a great deal next sunday night for $99 at one of the heritage hotels that looked great. Sigh. Shame we have to turn up at work at least occassionally!