Monday, the day of departure saw us packing the last few bits and cleaning the flat ready in time for our inspection from the agent. After waiting 15 mins and still she hadn't turned up we phoned the agency only to be told she was off sick and there was no one else to complete our final inspection. Basically my advice would be don't use Ray White Estate agents in Manly, they are shit!
After taking one last trip to the mall for final goodies and to pick up our new debit cards from the bank (our original cards got cloned over Christmas resulting in $3k being taken out of our bank...worry not, we're getting it al back!) we were off, Canbera here we come....
The drive down was extremely hot, around 39 degrees, the hotest either of us have ever experienced! Betsy didn't let us down with her air conditioning though and we had it cranked up to a setting of high to drive the long straight roads in comfort. We arrived in Canberra at around 6ish and headed straight for Parliment house for a quick look around the grounds and as well as a brief orientation of the city.
Canberra is a strange city, the road in from Sydney is a two lane road with fields either side and it seems as if you're driving to a small country town - not a continents capital city! The city itself is all man made, kind of like Milton Keynes but without endless roundabouts and concrete cows. It doesn't have the wow factor of Sydney or Brisbane in terms of skyscrapers and a bustling city centre but it's nicely laid out with multiple parks and open spaces all based around a central lake.
After a quick dinner in central Canberra it was time to decide on our first nights stop. We hadn't got any where booked and there aren't any known rest stops in Canberra itself so the options were limited to finding a park which looked like we could get away with staying overnight. We opted for Commonweatlth park mainly because there was another set of backpackers settled in for the night and pulled up alongside them.
Our first venture into freebie camping was uneventful if not slightly unrestful with both us waking frequently as a car pulled in in the hope that it wasn't the rozzers coming to move us along. Next morning following a quick brekkie over looking the lake we headed back to Parliment House for a full look round before heading over to The War Memorial at the other end of the city which was fantastic and well worth the visit.
Next stop the Snowy Mountains and the Alpine Way.