VGG Virtual Vacation #2- Australia!
☄️ LJ ☄️
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The Second VGG Virtual Vacation is to:

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Please join us on our virtual vacation by:

whitetrain Expressing your desire to join as a tour guide or traveler in this geeklist
redtrain Posting comments to this geeklist
greentrain Chatting with other travelers on the forums
purpletrain Adding a Destination City or Location as a geeklist item below (Please use format DESTINATION: xxxxxxx)
yellowtrain Adding an Event or Festival as a geeklist item below (Please use format EVENT: xxxxx)
bluetrain Adding game items of all kinds relating to Australia played to the geeklist
blacktrain Having fun!

If you wish to join us it is suggested you purchase and display for the month one of the microbadges below.

Microbadge: Traveller
Microbadge: World Traveller
Microbadge: I love Australia!
Microbadge: I love Australia

Destinations
Share with us information, pictures, videos, and other media of an interesting city, museum, historical site, natural landmark, beautiful area, park, or other destination of interest. Help us experience this destination from a far.

Events
Share with us videos, information, pictures and other media of an artistic performance, festival, holidays, or other events of interest. Help us experience this event as if we were there.

Please feel free to cross post here and in the thread as people will "experience" this vacation in different ways to their own preference.

Thank you, MABBY, for your suggestions and help and Renwmn, for running the first VGG Virtual Vacation to Belgium and the format/overseeing the rest of the virtual vacations!
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1. Board Game: Australia [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2538]
Board Game: Australia
☄️ LJ ☄️
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OVERVIEW

"Australia is world famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, its beaches, deserts, "the bush", and "the Outback".

Australia is one of the world's most highly urbanised countries; it is well known for the attractions of its large cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Australia has 6 States and 2 Territories:

d10-1 New South Wales is Australia's most populous state. The Harbour City of Sydney is Australia's largest city. The coast of New South Wales is lined with beach side communities, each one offering experiences for the traveller. A little inland are the mountain ranges of the Blue Mountains and Snowy Mountains, as well as the purpose built capital city of Canberra, excised from New South Wales. Further inland still expect sweeping plains, turning from agriculture to desert the further inland you venture.

d10-2 Queensland- Famous for its sunny warm weather, Queensland offers coastal exploration from the vibe of the Gold Coast to the tropics of the Great Barrier Reef to the bustling city of Brisbane. It is also home to tropical rainforests of the Daintree National Park, and the island resorts of the Whitsundays. Inland lies the ranges of the hinterland, and further on the vast expanses and beauty of outback Australia.

d10-3 South Australia- Renowned for the fine wines of the Barossa Valley, the beauty of the Flinders Ranges and the outback, the wildlife and nature on Kangaroo Island and the beaches and events and culture of the City of Churches, Adelaide.

d10-4 Tasmania- Separated from the mainland by Bass Strait, Tasmania has rugged beauty of Cradle Mountain and the west, the beaches of the east, and the complete wilderness of the south. Hobart was the site of the second European settlement in Australia, and many historic sites are well preserved. The island has well developed facilities for travellers.

d10-5 Victoria- Small, vibrant and with something for everyone, Victoria has dramatic surf beaches along the southwest and central coast, green rolling farmland and photogenic national parks. The diversity of rural Victoria is very easy to access due in part to its size and well maintained roads. Australia and Victoria's sporting, shopping, fashion and food capital is Melbourne.

d10-6 Western Australia- A vast state. The south-west contains the state capital and major city of Perth closely surrounded by the wildflower, wine growing and scenic destinations of Margaret River and Albany. In the far north are the tropics and the beach side destination of Broome. Small townships, roadhouses, mining communities and national parks scattered around the long distances between."



d10-1 Northern Territory- From the red deserts surrounding Uluru and Alice Springs up to the tropics of Darwin and Kakadu National Park, the Northern Territory is stunningly beautiful, and easier to access than you might think.

d10-2 Australian Capital Territory- The Australian Capital Territory houses Canberra, Australia’s capital, built between Sydney and Melbourne in the early 20th century. The federal district’s forest, farmland and nature reserves earn Canberra its nickname, the "Bush Capital.” The city's focal point is Lake Burley Griffin, filled with sailboats and kayaks. On opposite shores are the grand Australian War Memorial and the massive, strikingly modern Parliament House.

Taken from Wikitravel.
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2. Board Game: Go: The International Travel Game [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:16745]
Board Game: Go: The International Travel Game
☄️ LJ ☄️
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TOUR GUIDES AND HOSTS

Do you live in Australia, have lived in Australia, have traveled to Australia or are passionate and knowledgeable about Australia? Volunteer to be a tour guide or host below and spend some time this month sharing why Australia is a great country and what every traveler should experience there.

What is your experience with Australia?
What do you love about the country?
What do you suggest people do when visiting Australia?
What do you like doing on vacations?

Clive Cleland
Australia
Baulkham Hills
NSW
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3. Board Game: Let's Take a Trip [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Let's Take a Trip
☄️ LJ ☄️
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TRAVELERS

If you want to join this virtual vacation in any way please post your desire below and tell us what you like to do on vacations.

Have you been to Australia before?
What do you like doing on vacations?
What do you hope to get out of this experience?

Amy O'Neal
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Mechanicsville
Virginia
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Owen Sound
Ontario
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4. Board Game: Down Under [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:14898]
Board Game: Down Under
☄️ LJ ☄️
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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VACATION SPOTS

What are some of the best places to visit?
Where do native Australians go on vacation in Australia?
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5. Board Game: Surfie Joe and the Weirdo Board Riders [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Surfie Joe and the Weirdo Board Riders
☄️ LJ ☄️
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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ACTIVITIES

What do the people of Australia like doing?

Select an activity common to or relating to the people of Australia, try it out, and share your experience!
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6. Board Game: You've Been Sentenced! Add-On Deck: Pop Culture [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
Board Game: You've Been Sentenced! Add-On Deck: Pop Culture
☄️ LJ ☄️
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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CULTURE

What makes the people and culture of Australia special?
What is Australia known for?
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7. Board Game: Shrimp [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:11279]
Board Game: Shrimp
☄️ LJ ☄️
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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CUISINE

What is special about Australian cuisine?
Post recipes, trips to restaurants, and other information on Australian cuisine below
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8. Board Game: Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends Corridor Chaos Board Game [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends Corridor Chaos Board Game
☄️ LJ ☄️
United States
Dist of Columbia
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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ALCOHOL

What alcohol is Australian known for?
What do you drink on an average day?
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9. Video Game: Chaser [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
From gallery of ljtrigirl
☄️ LJ ☄️
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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MOVIES, TV, DOCUMENTARIES

Share with us media that is about Australia, set in Australia, or is famous in Australia
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10. Board Game: Beach Music Trivia [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
 Missing Image
☄️ LJ ☄️
United States
Dist of Columbia
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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MUSIC

What is the traditional music of Australia?
What music is popular in Australia?
What are great Australian bands, artists, and composers?
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11. Board Game: Art Shark [Average Rating:5.42 Unranked]
Board Game: Art Shark
☄️ LJ ☄️
United States
Dist of Columbia
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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ART

Share with us works of art and famous artists
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12. Board Game: Paperback [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:435]
Board Game: Paperback
☄️ LJ ☄️
United States
Dist of Columbia
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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LITERATURE

Share books that are about Australia or set in Australia.
Famous Australian authors and Literature?
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13. Board Game: Ubongo [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1022] [Average Rating:6.71 Unranked]
Board Game: Ubongo
☄️ LJ ☄️
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Dist of Columbia
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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GAMES

What board and video games are set in Australia?
What are some of the popular games in Australia?
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14. Board Game: Sydney Harbour Bridge [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Sydney Harbour Bridge
A face in the crowd
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Alberta
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If I'm going to get to Australia, I have to break the travel time up a bit.
That means starting with a 3 hour flight to California, where I can then catch a direct flight "down under".
My two choices are L.A. and San Francisco. Even though I won't see very much of it, I'm choosing S.F.
This being a dream vacation, I'd actually opt for two nights/ three days in San Fran. Just to cut down on the stress and scrambling around between arriving and departing again.
Because the Australian flight leaves at 6:25am local time, and that means getting up really early to get to the airport, and all that goes with that.

One 15 1/2 hour flight later (holy crap!), I'm finally arriving in Sydney.

I plan to stay in a hotel close to the downtown area, and take advantage of mass transit. I don't want to rent a car.
I'm assuming that the jetlag will be like nothing I've never encountered before. Hopefully I won't need to sleep for an entire day to get back to normal (Ha!-- like I was ever "normal"!).

Here's my wishlist of Things to do in Sydney:

* Sea Life Sydney Aquarium (and pier)

* Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK --Westfield Centre/100 Market St.

* Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk (6 km cliff-top hike)
Closest train stop is Bondli Junction but the beach is still 20 blocks away, and then there's the hiking after that

* Royal Botanical Gardens

* The Rocks (a market near Sydney Cove) lots of transit access

* Wine tasting tour(s) (professionally arranged, by bus/ motorcoach I'd assume, but maybe Sydney is the wrong place to do this?)

I'm thinking that 5 to 7 days should be enough time to do these things.

Can a local BGG/VGG guide on this geeklist give some comments on my choices?
Based on them, is there something else in Sydney that you think that I "should/ must see"?
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15. Board Game: Melbourne Cup race game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Melbourne Cup race game
A face in the crowd
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Alberta
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O.K. then. I've got some excellent notes on Sydney so I'm off to Melbourne now.
That's (essentially) where my friends live, so I'm not worried about finding things to do in the "rainy city".
So I've always wanted to see Melbourne; not sure why, but I'm sure that I will love it there.

Things to do and see in Melbourne
Great Ocean Road (scenic drive— that would require a car rental but I think it would be worth it)
Royal Botanical Gardens— would that be better or worse or completely different than Sydney’s? Should we skip it?
Queen Victoria Market
St. Kilda Beach
Melbourne Walks in the Middle Park district

I'd love some local knowledge, someone to chip in with their opinions here!

I'm realisticaly going to need a week to take it all in and visit my friends, but I was also wondering about a side trip to Tasmania, while we're down this far on the globe, before going off to Adelaide.
Sounds like it is an 11 hour ferry (a few amenities on board) or 1 ½ hour flight to Hobart.
Now I love ferries, but 11 hours is a bit much. We won't have time to get there this trip but if I had an extra 2 days, I think that I'd jet down to Hobart, spend a day, and then fly to Adelaide on the main continent the day after that.
Does anyone have any good Hobart memories or activities and things to see, if I'm only there for a day or a day and a half?
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16. Board Game: Uluru: Neuer Tumult am Ayers Rock [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:5775] [Average Rating:6.43 Unranked]
Board Game: Uluru: Neuer Tumult am Ayers Rock
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OK then-- since we are running out of July to work with-- I'm done in Melbourne + Tasmania (unless someone wants to backtrack and make some suggestions there!), and I'm flying north.

Because this is the attraction that I think that most of us want to visit.

Thing is, it really is in the middle of nowhere. The closest well-known town in The Northern Territory is Alice Springs.
Supposedly, dozens of tourists show up in Alice Springs every week, having never looked at a map and then find out that it is a 4.5 hour bus or car trip to Ayers Rock, or Uluru/ Ayers Rock as it is more correctly labelled-- the aborigines having found the place long before it was named, by an English-speaking surveyor, for the Chief secretary, Henry Ayers, in 1873.

The Rock has given birth to a tourist town, Yulara (Ayers Rock Resort) that is chock-full of hotels and tour operators, and even has its own airport so you can stay 20 kms from the national park site, and skip the trip to Alice Springs if you'd prefer.

I think I'd like to experience Alice Springs, though, and the drive out there.
There is also access from Adelaide, in South Australia, but that is a mind-numbing 12 hour journey by vehicle!

Here is a rather nifty little guide to driving, and it tries to convince you to do things the slower way: http://traveloutbackaustralia.com/travel-to-ayers-rock.html/

So if you've been there, let us know.
Did you fly in, or drive? Did you stay for a half day or overnight (or longer)?

Supposedly the sunrises and sunsets there are a wonder to behold, so you shouldn't just give this a quick arrival and look around, and then check-mark it off of life's bucket list.
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17. Board Game: Jungle Bungle! [Average Rating:4.40 Unranked]
Board Game: Jungle Bungle!
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I really want to go to the Bungle Bungles.

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I tried when I went to Australia before, but it was the wet season up there. Is it worth trekking up to that part of the country? What else should I do around there if I go?
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18. Board Game: Australian Menagerie: Coral Reef Habitat [Average Rating:6.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.81 Unranked]
Board Game: Australian Menagerie: Coral Reef Habitat
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Alright then-- with just a week remaining in July, it is time to move on from Uluru and Darwin. How about a "quick" stop to the east of us?

Queensland.
Cairns (and Brisbane), to be specific.

The Great Barrier Reef is best accessed if you're based in Cairns, I believe. I'm sure that there would be no shortage of tourboats willing to take me out to see it, and to snorkel around.

Of course Cairns is in a fairly remote part of the world, much like Darwin is.
And it has its dangers; like this report from 2 days ago, where a 2 meter (6 foot) seawater crocodile was caught in a fisherman's crab pot: http://www.cairnspost.com.au/cape-york-crab-pot-croc-require...

Yes, I think that nature is very much the dominant species in these parts of the world.

What a place to see, though. The barrier reef, and then throw in a scenic Railway and a Rainforest cableway in/ near Cairns and it seems guaranteed to pull me there.

Where the majority of people don't realize the sheer enormity of the Australian continent is illustrated, now, by this simple number: 1,684.

That is the number of kilometers (1,046 miles) between Cairns in Queensland and the southern town of Brisbane, also in Queensland. That's almost a 19-hour drive if you want to attempt that! wow
And hey-- it's only another 10-hour drive south to Sydney from Brisbane (927 km). shake

So getting to Cairns isn't something that you do on the spur of the moment. It will require some serious planning. That probably means an airplane flight from wherever you are arriving from.
A three-hour flight from Darwin, for instance. Or a 31-hour drive, if you're into driving.
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19. Board Game: Discover Australia [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Discover Australia
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The eastern coast of Australia gets a lot of love from travellers. There are popular attractions from Cairns all the way south down to Sydney, and then further south and tucked under into Melbourne.
The lone city that the majority of people have heard of, on the west coast of Australia, is Perth.
So let's give it some love before this month's virtual vaction ends.

This is what I have written on my personal list of things to do and see in Perth:

Valley of the Giants Treetop walk. Cable Beach (ride camels on the beach?!). The Pinnacles.

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Like most naive tourists, I then discovered that the Treetop walk is 4 1/2 hours from Perth. And Perth is the closest city, by a longshot-- how about a 55 hour drive from Adelaide?
Yikes! I have the feeling that I would need to spend some serious time in Western Australia, with an overnight stay close to the Valley of the Giants, to even make that feasible.

OK then, Cable Beach:

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What? A 2 1/2 hour flight from Perth? We were twice as close to there when we were in Darwin!
Rats. I'm now scared to even look at my next location idea...

Hey! The Pinnacles are just a 2 hour drive (or bus tour) from Perth. That's close, in Australia. Sign me up for that. At last!

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It also looks like the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park isn't too far south, and it looks pretty nifty, with penguins, sealions, and dolphins.

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But what am I going to do in Perth itself?

Help me, Cringing Dragon; you're my only hope!

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20. Board Game: Gem Rush [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:4980]
Board Game: Gem Rush
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The state of South Australia accounts for 80% of the world's supply of Opal.
And I want a souvenir from the trip, so besides probably picking up a digeridoo and a boomerang, I may be in the market for a gemstone:

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The mine around Coober Pedy (500 miles *sigh* north of Adelaide) is the biggest and best known.

So surely they will be selling polished opals in Adelaide, right?

Adelaide is a place that I'd want to squeeze into my itinerary if I had the time. Seems like an especially nice place, to me.
I'd get to see my name, all over the place. Because the Murray River and all things Murray are close by. cool

What to do there?

Head to Cleland Conservation Park or Gorge Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills where you can cuddle koalas or feed kangaroos, wallabies, emus and many other native Australian animals.

To see wildlife in the wild, go to Kangaroo Island (do kangaroos swim?!) and also explore the Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, Kelly Hill Caves or Little Sahara sand dunes.

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It also sounds like Adelaide has some very nice beaches, plus great wine and food.


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21. Board Game: This Is Your Capital: Canberra Game [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: This Is Your Capital: Canberra Game
Wendell
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Yellow Springs
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CANBERRA, AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

So, despite the warnings and complaints of Aussies in other cities (and despite Bill Bryson's hatchet job), you're headed to the ACT. I won't tell you that Canberra is an essential stop on your Australian vacation - but there are some cool things there.

If you only do one touristy thing in the ACT, you should go to the Australian War Memorial, which includes a military history museum. It is elegiac, sobering, beautiful. I went there several times when I lived in Canberra.

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Though Canberra isn't a big city, it is the host to the Australian parliament - which means it has a surprisingly decent food scene. You should have no troubles getting a nice lunch. I'd recommend Kopi Tiam, a Malaysian restaurant in Manuka (close to Civic, the central business district).

If you have more time and want to hike and watch kangaroos, check out Namadgi National Park, in the ACT.

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