Subject: Re: New Zealand vs. Australia

I must admit that I have not been to NZ but I spent 24 wonderful days (Dec 03-Jan 04) in Australia. One city that has not been mentioned is Canberra, the capital city in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory). Someone mentioned that Australian museums aren't there yet, (not Paris or London but excellent representations of Oz) well, they must have missed Canberra. I was really impressed with the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery, the Questacom (Science and Technology Museum), the National Botanic Gardens (where my sister and I had our own private docent to guide us). Canberra is also easy to drive around, and there are bike paths if you prefer. We spent about an hour talking to a guard/guide at the Telstra Tower, and the view of the city from the viewing level is excellent. We spent three days in Canberra and missed the Mint, and the War Memorial, among many others. The High Court was closed for the New Year Day holidays as was Parliament House. The National Library also has free internet, but limited to about 15 minutes if there is a line. They also have some very interesting displays. We could have easily spent another three days. Also in the ACT is a US / Australian NASA type of facility and they were busy with the Mars robot explorers while we were there. Canberra was conceived in 1912, and mostly built in the 1950's so it is a modern city. The night life seems to be related to government workers after work, and students from Australian National University. Also, everywhere we went, parking was free!

If I was lucky enough to move to Australia, I'd pick Canberra as my home base.

Mary, on the California Central Coast