Lapping Oz (Adam, Mia, Jett, and Skye) continues on their Follow the Sun Relay. A stop in Canberra was more exciting than you might think!
With only two nights and one full day in Canberra, our visit needed to fit so much in! After arriving at the Capital Country Holiday Park on the fringe of the city and testing out the swimming pool, we jumped back into the Winnebago to top up our groceries at the nearest shopping centre. The Lapping Oz crew was now ready to explore Canberra the next day.
It was an early start and our first stop was the NASA Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex, located 55 minutes from the holiday park. It was really exciting to turn onto Discovery Drive and see the “antennas” for the first time. The antennas are known as Deep Space Stations and can receive data and transmit information to many types of space craft.
The first antenna you see was the original one used to receive and relay to the world the first pictures of Astronaut Neil Armstrong setting foot on the surface of the moon in 1969. This antenna has been decommissioned but it has not been dismantled as it is a recognised historical monument. There are four active Deep Space Stations on the site, and you can learn a lot about these along with past, current and future space missions. The visitors centre is free and is designed to be self-guided.
Next stop was the Australian War Memorial. Lunch was eaten in the Winnebago in the Memorial car park and we were all looking forward to our visit here. It was voted the number one landmark in Australia by travellers in the 2016 Trip Advisor awards and it’s easy to understand why. The building itself is quite remarkable and the displays inside give an incredible insight to the wartime experiences to the men and women who have served in Australia’s military forces. Nothing can prepare you for the emotions you experience inside the War memorial.
Entry is by voluntary donation, which contributes towards new projects to educate visitors on the Australian experience of war, past and present. If you’re wondering if you should take your children, there is an interactive kids discovery centre and they’ll begin to learn the sacrifices made by our men and women to keep our country safe and peaceful. Kids are never too young to understand compassion and empathy.
To end our visit, Lapping Oz cruised around Canberra in the motorhome, pointing out landmarks along the way. We stopped in front of Old Parliament House, which the kids thought was the “White House”, so they received a quick lesson from mum and dad about Australian government buildings! Next, we looped around the iconic Parliament House twice, with Mum exclaiming “look kids there’s Parliament House!”. It was very reminiscent of Chevy Chase in National Lampoons European Vacation in the round about scene (Hey, look kids, there’s Big Ben and Parliament House!”) and we all had a good laugh! And that was it for Lapping Oz in Canberra.
Sydney greeted us with torrential rain, and it made us appreciate the Winnebago even more. Roadside rest stops were so easy, with everything on hand, coffee time was fast and simple. We handed back the keys at the Apollo Motorhome Holidays Taren Point depot and can totally understand why some people love to travel this way. The Winnebago had an exceptional build quality and was far easier to manoeuvre and drive than towing a caravan.
It has been a road trippers dream, cruising up the coast from Melbourne to Sydney. The Lapping Oz crew is sad to be ending our leg of the Relay!
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