$100 front

$100 Day : Canberra

$100 Day


Our stay in Canberra and the ACT was a short one – only 26 hours – but we tried to see and do as much as possible.  We didn’t bother with public transport because we were staying for such a short time, and finding parking was relatively easy in this small city. Prepare yourself for learning a lot about Australia during your visit.



1. Start your day with a coffee at ONA on the Lawns in Manuka. If you feel like you really need to fuel up for the day, grab a FREAKshake from Pâtissez across the way.


2. Now that you’re buzzed up, head to the Royal Australian Mint to learn all about Australia’s currency. Because they make money, they don’t take any of yours – admission is free!


3. Swing past Parliament House – Australia’s political centre.


4. If you love art, you can’t skip the National Gallery of Australia. They have works by famous artists such as Dali, Pollock and Picasso, and they have a great selection of Aussie masterpieces as well.


5. For lunch, head into town and check out the lunch specials at Noodle Cafe. They have an awesome selection of dishes on their lunch menu. Juz got the curry laksa and Dave got the succulent pork chop with rice.


6. Grab a beer from Bent Spoke Brewery. They have tasting paddles of four beers for $18 as well.


7. The Australian War Memorial is probably the best in the country. Make sure you give a donation before entering.


8. For a lovely view of the city, drive up to Mount Ainsley Lookout on the northeast end of the city. There is also a Kokoda Memorial Trail if you feel like breaking a sweat.


9. Bunda Street and the City Walk between Akuna Street and Mort Street have some great places to eat for dinner.  One of the most popular places is Akiba, where we had a lovely tapas dinner with our mates Tom and Bella. Get a serve of the pork belly buns and the kimchi & angasi pancakes.


10. Head to the Telstra Tower just before sunset for a killer view.






As you can see, the main things we spent money on in Canberra were food and drink. Most of the attractions in Canberra are free, so we had no issue spending the money to visit the Telstra Tower at the end of the day.


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Happier Treasure Hunt Slider

BURIED : Our ACT Treasure is ready to be found!

Arrr me hearties – do ye like some adventure?

How about ya go and find our buried treasure!

You must go up and then look out,

Before you know what we’re talking about.


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Remember darker times and begin your decent,

Along the same path that many who are dead have went.

Once you arrive at the doorstep, stray from the trail,

And find one of the fallen and to uncover an odd entrail.


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-35.270065, 149.156927


Happy Hunting!


If you love looking for buried treasure, go on a hunt in the Northern Territory.


Please note that you need to be 18 years old and over to redeem the prize.

Little Creatures


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City Profile : Canberra

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Our time in Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory was a 26 hour whirlwind of activity.  We crossed the border just after breakfast and got stuck straight into the sightseeing stuff, going to the Australian War Museum, National Gallery of Australia, Parliament House and the Telstra Tower.


Once the sun went down, we met up with some old travel buddies, Tom and Bella, who travelled with us over the Nullarbor into Western Australia.  It was great to see them again. The last time we crossed paths was in Broome.  They have since gotten married and have a gorgeous dog named Mishka.  We went out for a lovely tapas dinner at AKIBA before crashing at their beautiful apartment in the city centre.


After watching Canberra wake up from our friends’ balcony, we went out for coffee before checking out the Royal Australian Mint and Mount Ainslie for our final look of Canberra city before heading back to the coast.


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Fast Facts

  • Canberra has a population of just over 380,000 people.
  • Lake Burley-Griffin in the middle of Canberra is an artificial lake.
  • The ACT is Australia’s smallest self-governed territory, with an area of 2,359km2 that includes bushland and one major city – Canberra.



In 1820, a stockman called Joshua John More took over the land that is currently known as Canberra and set up his station, which he called Camberry.  While he was there, a few more people moved in to set up sheep stations, and the population slowly began to grow through the rest of the century. As the European population increased, the aboriginal presence declined as their hunting grounds were being interrupted by homesteads.


During the Federation in the late 19th century, there was much debate on which city should be our capital.  At the time, Melbourne was winning because it was the largest city due to a recent gold rush.  However, Sydney was the oldest city and also had claim to be the capital city.


To settle the argument, Melbourne was made a temporary capital while a new one was to be built between Sydney and Melbourne.  Because New South Wales was the bigger state, a small area became a Commonwealth territory in 1911 and work began to design a new capital city.


Canberra was designed by an American architect, Walter Burley-Griffin, who won the international competition in 1913 with the concept of dividing the city with a lake, with one portion to be inhabited by civilians and the other for the government.  Hexagons and triangles were laced together to incorporate gardens and pockets of natural vegetation and the natural topography of the land as well.


The Commonwealth Parliament moved into the new capital city in May 1927, and while development of the city slowed during the depression of the 1930s and the Great War, it has grown into Australia’s 8th largest city.


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Points of Interest

Parliament House

Australia’s political centre, this building was opened in 1988 and cost more than a million dollars to build.  It contains 4,700 rooms, and the flagpole atop the building stands 81 metres tall, with two big boomerangs holding it up.


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The old Parliament House, which was used for 61 years, was supposed to be demolished when construction was completed but the historic building was turned into a museum instead.


Australian War Memorial

We’ve been to a lot of war memorials around Australia, but this one takes the cake.  It’s beautiful, respectful, and has a wealth of history and information about Australia’s experience with war.


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Royal Australian Mint

Open 22nd February 1965 by Prince Phillip, the Royal Australian Mint is where all of Australia’s coins are made.  In fact, its first task was to produce the new coins for the introduced decimal system that was instated in February 1966!


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The Mint produces an average of 255 million coins a year, and also makes coins for other countries, as well as medals, medallions and tokens.  The Sydney 2000 Olympic medals were made at the mint, with 1c and 2c pieces melted down to make the Bronze medals.


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One interesting fact we learnt at the Mint was that the $1 coin doesn’t have any gold in it.  It’s made of aluminium and bronze.  If it was made of gold, it would be worth around $100.




National Gallery of Australia

We found our visit to the NGA to be a real treat.  We got to see with our own eyes some of the most beautiful and famous artworks in the world, like Dali’s Lobster Telephone and Pollock’s Blue Poles. We saw masterpieces by Monet, Picasso and Andy Warhol, as well as a Ned Kelly series by Sydney Nolan.  Plus, admission is free… Amazing.




Telstra Tower

This telecommunications tower overlooks Canberra and stands 195.2 metres tall atop Black Mountain.  It offers great 360 degree views of town and even has a little exhibition on the history of Australian Telecommunications.


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Mount Ainslie Lookout

This is a great lookout for views of Canberra, Anzac Boulevard and the surrounding area.  The elevation is 843m above sea level and while you can drive up, there is a Kokoda Memorial Trail that travels 2.25km down to the rear of the Australian War Memorial.


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Food & Drink

Noodle Cafe

If you’re wandering around the city at lunchtime, grab a cheap lunch at Noodle Cafe.  Most of the items on the menu are $11 and you get heaps!  Juz got the curry laksa while Dave got a pork chop with rice – both delicious and satisfying.


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Bent Spoke Brewery

While we weren’t thoroughly impressed with the flavour of their beers, they have an excellent selection and each brew has its own unique pull handle. The main serving area has various bike artworks, including an enormous chandelier of dried hops cascading down the staircase.


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ONA on the Lawns

We found out about this place while researching good coffee and we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was good coffee.  ONA on the Lawns is a great little cafe with an impressive menu and fresh, bright decor.  They are also neighbours to Pâtissez, that infamous cafe that makes the crazy milkshakes – aka FREAKshakes!


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A restaurant and bar influenced by southeast Asia, they specialise in tapas style food.  We shared a few plates with our mates Tom and Bella, and our favourites were the pork belly bun with char sui and Asian slaw and kimchi pancakes with kewpie mayo.  YUM!



Information & Accommodation

The Canberra and Region Visitors Centre is located at 330 Northbourne Ave in Dickson.  Because Canberra is fairly small, they only have a public transport network of buses, and information on maps and timetables can be found at the website for Transport for Canberra


Great budget accommodation can be found at the Canberra City YHA.  For information or to make a booking, visit their website.




Merry Christmas – enjoy the holidays!



Hi all,


We’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year… and what a year it’s been!


We started 2015 in Cairns, where we stayed until May, working and biding our time until we had to fly home for two weddings.


Australia Day 2015 Cairns


Once we were on the road again, our task was fairly simple – explore the east coast of Australia.  After a magical visit at Paronella Park, we passed through Townsville and Mackay before heading inland to the beautiful Lake Elphinstone.


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We cruised through the Central Highlands before returning to the coast. We ate beef in Rockhampton, drank rum in Bundaberg, then caught a ferry to Fraser Island. We gave the Troopy a 4WD workout at Landcruiser Mountain Park and watched the rain clouds come in on the Sunshine Coast.


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We spent about three weeks in Brisbane because Dave needed some medical attention, but it was great to spend time with friends in that beautiful city.  As we approached the Gold Coast, the dark clouds returned and by the time we got to the Best Of All Lookouts, we couldn’t see a thing!




We crossed the border into New South Wales and bee-lined straight to Byron Bay for a few days in the easternmost town of Australia. We were lucky to get a few days of sun but the drizzle returned as we made our way to Coffs Harbour.  Finally, with some sun, we got to enjoy the beautiful coastline from Port Macquarie to Newcastle.



We enjoyed a tipple in the Hunter Valley before spending a week on the Central Coast, helping out a family with their household duties while Juz scored some work with a school holiday program in Gosford.


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Arriving in Sydney was a little surreal. It’s the biggest city in Australia and we spent a lot of time walking around the city getting exhausted. We also have a few friends in Sydney so it was great to catch up and spend time with them.


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We headed inland to the Blue Mountains and Central West just in time for a freakish cold front to sweep through the area. We had the pleasure of experiencing subzero temperatures and snow, as well as seeing the Dish in Parkes and exotic animals at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.



With a few more friendly visits in Kiama and Milton, and a stop at the Big Merino in Goulburn, we finally visited our country’s capital. We called in at the War Memorial and National Mint and even saw our old travel buddies Tom and Bella.



Once we returned to the coast, the wet weather reappeared and we reached the Victorian border within a day or two. From then on, there was no point stuffing around – we were 4 hours from home.  On Sunday the 2nd of August, we rolled in unannounced and enjoyed a hot shower and warm bed.


Since our return to Melbourne, we’ve been busy.  We got jobs, reconnected with friends, and started making plans for the future.


We’re going to take a few weeks off to enjoy the silly season and spend time with our family and friends. We’ll see you all in the new year with more posts about the last leg of our lap around Australia, as well as our run down of Tassie later in the year.


Thanks for all your support,


Dave & Juz