Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
Tacoma, New South Wales, Australia
August 29, 2007
From journal Snowtrip to the New South Wales Snowfields
January 24, 2006
From journal 2 Days in the Australian Capital
September 22, 2002
The Interior is of the highest quality, everything from the marble entry hall and staircases to the plush interiors of the great hall, set aside for balls and the such, and the two debating chambers. Lining the walls are the portraits of the past Prime Ministers as well as the reigning Prime Minister and the Queen who is the head of the Commonwealth. Also on the walls you will find beautifully crafted weaving depicting Australian native animals, plants, and people. There are also various displays which show railings and parts from the original Parliament House and gifts from other nations.
Externally you can climb up the grassy slopes which house the building and get a terrific view of the suburbs surrounding the area.
There is no entry fee and it's well worth going for a look around.
From journal Canberra for the weekend anyone?
April 15, 2002
The most striking element is the central flagmast towering 81 meters over Parliament. The flagmast looks like a gigantic four-pronged tripod (quadpod?). The design of Parliament includes a bermed grass hill over the roof of the building. People have access to this area, from which you can walk around the flagmast and look over all of Canberra. This signifies that the politicians are working for and "under" the citizens of Australia. The natural elements are also emphasized by indigenous trees and flowers in the gardens surrounding Parliament.
Upon entering the building, you enter the Foyer consisting of a "forest" of wood and marble columns. The architects emphasized the patriotic use of products and materials grown and manufactured in Australia. While the high ceiling and fine materials do signify the importance of the space, it struck me as stylistically similar to a shopping center atrium. There are tours of the building starting from the Foyer every 30 minutes; they average 45 minutes in length. You can also conduct a self-guided tour of the vast complex. You can take a peek in the Chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives. If Parliament is in session, you can get tickets to attend and even participating in grilling MP's during "Question Time". The Member's Hall is located directly beneath the flagmast.
There are educational exhibits related to the historic events in Australia, the development of the nation's government, and so forth. There is a portrait gallery of Australian Prime Ministers. Documents on display include a precious copy of the Magna Carta (1 of only 4 originals from 1297) and the original Commonwealth of Australia Constitition Act of 1900. There is a documentary called "Open House" in the Viewing Room that depicts the design and construction processes surrounding the new Parliament. It was interesting to see the proud artists and their respective designs for the variety of paintings, mosaics, tapestries, sculptural reliefs.
The Queens Terrace Cafe, on the second floor, features Australian comfort foods like meat pies. It is adjacent to the Queen's Terrace, an outdoor patio with outstanding panoramic views of Canberra. There is a noble statue of Queen Elizabeth II standing regally in the terrace. The Parliament Shop has loads of interesting souvenirs, again with a strong emphasis on Australian-made products. If you have some postcards or letters, you can even get them postmarked at the Parliament's very own Australian Post.
From journal Bill in Australia - CANBERRA
January 4, 2001
From journal Canberra - the gentle Australian Capital