Australia is known as the land of vast spaces. In many cases it’s necessary to travel huge distances before the landscape changes. Not so in the Canberra and Snowy Mountain region. It may be small, but there are three distinctly different holidays here: The Snowy Mountains in summer, the Snowy Mountains in winter, and the National Capital.
Spring and summer in the mountains are the perfect seasons to push physical envelopes, gawk at amazing vistas and wander through wildflowers. Winter in the mountains is about snowmen, steaming hot chocolate and hurtling down a slope at break-neck speed.“Why don’t you take lessons with me?” Amber said recently. What resulted was a discovery of a passion for snowboarding and a true mother and daughter bonding experience. (It’s hard not to bond when you dig each other’s face out of the snow.)
Canberra, on the other hand, is about stretching your minds, not your limbs. This planned city offers a wealth of Australia’s own brand of culture. It’s a brew of ancient Aboriginal dreamtime, modern Westminster-style government and imported cultures from almost every land on earth. Ah, Canberra. Say to a native Australia that you haven’t been to the national capital and they look at you as if you came from another planet. Well, in a way, I did. It was called England. And being an immigrant means I didn’t get the obligatory school excursion to Canberra in my youth. Imagine my excitement, then, when Amber’s cub troop planned a driving holiday to this centre of Australian power.
The nation’s capital didn’t let us down and this age group (8-10) was the perfect range to explore here. Visiting Parliament was a highlight, but The Royal Mint, War Memorial, Questacon and the embassy drive were not far behind. I venture to say there are two travel pilgrimages that are a must in Australia… one focuses on a very large rock in the centre and the other, the centre of power. Taking kids merely heightens the experience.