After 11 nights in Melbourne and Phillip Island we headed to the bus station and the first Greyhound journey of many! Because of the vastness of Australia and the distance between major towns and cities there’s 3 choices when it comes to transport.
- Hire a car/campervan and drive.
- Fly between destinations.
- Hop-on the Greyhound Bus and let someone else do the hard work!
We, like most backpackers in Australia, went with option 3. The Greyhound bus offers several passes that run the length and breadth of Australia – we opted for the Melbourne to Cairns mini-traveller pass that lets you hop up the East coast over a period of 90 days.
Our first trip was from Melbourne to Canberra and took us just over 9 hours… which in Australian terms is a relatively “short” bus trip!
It’s not the time I found difficult it’s the complete and utter boredom! There’s only so much reading, listening to music and soaking up the scenery a person can take… and when I say scenery I mean hours and hours of straight dusty roads, barren fields and no other traffic!
Despite the horrendous coach trip we arrived in Canberra ready and eager to explore the city. Canberra is the capital of Australia – at least from a political stand-point – even though most of the world considers Sydney to be the true capital.
Canberra’s sole function is the centre of parliament for Australia and was specifically designed and built with that in mind. The city is split into 2 major areas, 1 the home of parliament and it’s supporting offices, libraries and administration buildings and 2 the Central Business District (CBD) and home to accomodation, shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment.
Canberra is a small city with a small feel and is very much a practical city built for it’s residents and workers. Although there’s a splash of entertainment, shopping, restaurants and bars it’s clearly geared towards the office workers and politicians of the region.
Parliament is a modern, contemporary building with a strong, dominant, place on the landscape and the 360 degree views from the roof are worth a visit! The museums are informative, fun and most importantly… free! and a great way to escape the soaring heat of the day.
The weather during our stay was ridiculously hot topping 44°C and the surrounding landscape reflects the arid, dry climate with brown, dry, dusty patches of grass and very little greenery.
In total we spent 4 nights in Canberra and although there wasn’t a lot to do we enjoyed our time in the capitol… would we visit again… probably not but I’m glad to say that we made it to the capital of Australia unlike many travellers!