That’s it for the serious golf for this trip … now off to Canberra for some sightseeing.
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of just over 400,000, it is Australia’s largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne.
The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation’s capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city outside of any state, similar to Washington, D.C. in the United States, or Brasília in Brazil.
Following an international contest for the city’s design, a blueprint by American architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The Griffins’ plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centred on axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory.
As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the official residence of the Monarch’s representative the Governor-General, the High Court and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial, Australian National University, Royal Australian Mint, Australian Institute of Sport, National Gallery, National Museum and the National Library. The Australian Army’s officer corps is trained at the Royal Military College, Duntroon and the Australian Defence Force Academy is also located in the capital.
From the Southern Highlands we head straight over to our next week of golf at Young, another of our regular visits, to play in their annual Cherry Festival Tournament. Young is the Cherry Capital of Australia and every year hosts the National Cherry Festival. Young is situated on the Olympic Highway and is approximately 2 hours drive from the Canberra area. The town is named after Sir John Young, the governor of NSW from 1861 to 1867.
Another successful week with Bob picking up the overall Division 1 (A Grade) winner’s gong and Siobhan winning the 36-hole Visitor’s prize.
Its time to get back to golf. Our next destination is known as the Southern Highlands, a geographical region and district in New South Wales, 110 km south-west of Sydney. The region centred on the commercial towns of Mittagong, Bowral, Moss Vale, Bundanoon and Robertson. The Highlands geographically sits between 500m and 900m above sea level on the Great Dividing Range. Like other regions along this plateau such as the Blue Mountains to the north and the Australian Alps to the south, the Southern Highlands is known for its cool temperate climate.
This week of golf includes rounds at Moss Vale, Bowral, Mittagong and Mount Broughton. All these courses are a pleasure to play on with rolling green fairways.
Bowral is the home of the Bradman Museum, the International Cricket Hale of Fame, the Bradman Oval and was the home of the best cricketer in the world, Sir Donald Bradman.
Back to the golf and Siobhan had a very successful week snapping up 2 daily prizes at Bowral and Mittagong.
We were quite pleased to be able to find a part of New South Wales that we had not visited before – The Illawarra Region. It is a coastal region situated about 100 Kms immediately south of Sydney and north of the Shoalhaven or South Coast region. It encompasses the cities of Wollongong, Shellharbour, the town of Kiama and the shire of Wingecarribee.
We stay right on Lake Illawarra just south of Wollongong. The striking Buddhist temple (Fokuangshan Nan Tien Temple) is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and we also look in on the impressive Kiama Blowhole where the ocean explodes through a small gap in the rocks.
Off to the Sydney Fish Markets, then to Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant at Watsons Bay for lunch, then to South Heads just in time to see Australia’s latest Aircraft Carrier head out to sea.