Flashback Friday - Canberra Australia and Avalanche Homestead
In October/November of 1995, Margaret and I traveled to Australia and New Zealand for a month. It was the most exciting trip of our travel days! One of the highlights was a stop in Canberra, the capital of Australia, and the nearby Avalanche Homestead.
Avalanche Homestead is in the Tinderry Mountains about 45 minutes from Canberra. Frank and Fay Biddle were our hosts. I'm not sure if they're still there but it was a wonderful place to stay. Whether you are visiting Australia or New Zealand or both, I highly recommend staying at a homestead or farmstay. We did one in each country and it was unforgettable.
On a Friday morning in October, Fay Biddle picked us up around 10:00 in the morning. She took us on a tour of Canberra and there were 3 stops. The first was the Captain James Cook Memorial where we learned the story of how Canberra was conceived and built. We stopped at the Parliament House and saw the Senate room (red) and the House of Representatives (green). The Old Parliament House was the meeting place from 1927-1980. The New Parliament House was opened in 1988, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Australia is a representative democracy and a constitutional monarchy. A representative democracy means the people vote for delegates. A constitutional monarchy means a king or queen is head of state but must act according to the constitution. The powers of the Queen are delegated to the Governor-General.
Parliament of Australia - http://www.aph.gov.au/
Parliamentary Education Office - http://www.peo.gov.au/
Parliament House of Australia - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMizdwnVyvs
The History of Immigration to Australia - http://panique.com.au/trishansoz/people/peoplehi.html
Next we toured the Embassies of Australia.
Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Australia - http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/pages/foreign-embassies-and-consulates-in-australia.aspx
And, finally, we stopped at the War Memorial. It houses a large, amazing museum with clothes, airplanes, galleries, displays, stories, artifacts, from all of the conflicts Australia fought in.
Australian War Memorial - https://www.awm.gov.au/
Australian War Memorial - https://www.youtube.com/user/AustWarMemorial
Australian War Memorial - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJTXOqT6n-o
After touring the city, we made a brief stop at the train station, then went to the Avalanche Homestead, which is about a half an hour from there. We met their dog, Fred, who always has sore paws from chasing the Roos and the jack rabbits. Very cute.
Fay gave us lunch, which was a nice salad of lettuce, sugar snap peas, pear tomatoes, poached chicken, bread, and vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries for dessert.
Then it was on to sheep shearing with Frank. The sheep we sheared was pregnant, Frank thought the nervousness about being sheared might trigger labor. After each of us took a turn shearing under Frank's guiding hand, he told us about different types of wool, and the industry, and how many sheep stations are closing down because inflation is going up, but the price of wool going down.
Afterward, we were looking for kangaroos and saw lots of sheep. On the walk back to the main house, we saw cows, horses, roosters. We stayed in a separate guest house, which is a bit of a distance so they dropped us off there to unpack and freshen up. It's so quiet there away from the city and it's pitch dark. It's wonderful.
Their son, Stuart, picked us up later and took us back to the main house for dinner. We spent some time in the living room watching videos about wombats and chatting with the other guests. Dinner was asparagus with chives and green beans and sour cream and chive sauce, roast beef and broccoli, potatoes, carrots, and a cookie with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Then we went out with Frank to look for wombats and saw one. They are marsupials like koalas and kangaroos and are nocturnal. They can weigh 40-50 kilos. We also saw many kangaroos.
Common Wombat - National Geographic - http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/wombat/
Kangaroo Facts Live Science - http://www.livescience.com/27400-kangaroos.html
On Saturday morning, we got up at 5:00 and put our shoes on and went outside to look for kangaroos, we saw one, lol, and bushy tailed possum.
Common brush tail possum - Australia Zoo - https://www.australiazoo.com.au/our-animals/mammals/possums-and-gliders/common-brushtail-possum
We went back to sleep and woke up at 7:30. Frank came down and picked us up to go to breakfast. We had scrambled eggs and chives, bacon, ham, sausage, orange juice, cereals including Sultana Bran, Weet Bix.
After breakfast, we rode horses. Becky rode a white horse, Charlie, who wanted to do nothing but eat. Margaret rode Patches. We wore helmets and rode around the pasture, then Frank left us with Stuart, their 16-year-old son, while the other guests went to shear sheep. We rode from about 10:00-11:20 or so.
Then Frank picked us up and we went into the bush for billy tea and damper bread. After the has fire died down, and is nothing but ashes, you put dough on top and let it cook.
Damper cooked in the ashes of the campfire - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVWUKM3PRys
Michael drove us to the guest house, which was funny, guests drive the guests, lol. We collected our luggage and headed back to the main house. We had a wonderful lunch of steak and rice and peas and bread, then Fay drove us back to the airport to catch our Ansett flight. The airport was only about 45 minutes away. We left about 3:15 and saw many kangaroos and birds, including cockatoos, and trees in bloom on the way.
We had a wonderful time!
Avalanche Homestead - http://www.avalanchehomestead.com.au/
Avalanche Homestead - http://www.onhotels.com/World/Oceania/Australia/Canberra_-_ACT/Avalanche_Homestead
Avalanche Homestead - http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/06/14/1055815319821.html
Visit Canberra - http://visitcanberra.com.au/
Canberra, Australia - http://www.australia.com/en/places/canberra.html
Canberra Tourism - http://www.canberratourism.com.au/
Canberra Australia's capital city - http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/canberra-australias-capital-city
Canberra Vacation Travel Guide Expedia - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj-VzFlJ14o