Brisbane, QLD

Monday, October 15, 2012


When we left Sydney we headed down the highway to Canberra for my college reunion. It was a super road, no doubt because politicians use it often. 

Canberra is our national capital and it is situated in country NSW in its own territory called "Australian Capital Territory". At the turn of the 19th century when Australia became a Federation there was debate about where the capital should be, Melbourne or Sydney so it was decided to be placed in between the two state capitals in a territory of its own.
You know you have arrived in Canberra when you see the giant flagpole rising from the top of Parliament House. This is a side view where you can see the grass that grows on top of the building.
This photo from the web shows the front of the building. It is a huge complex.
That night there was a "Meet and Greet" of our old friends from 50 years ago, who all attended ASOPA* in 1962/63 destined for the classrooms of Papua/New Guinea and the Northern Territory. It was non stop chatter, reminiscing and catching up.
The next day we walked through the Botanical Gardens full of native Australian flora. The weather decided to turn cold.

My ardent commenter, Colin is also an ex student and he is here amongst the Banksia flowers with Margaret, wife of Peter, another ex student.

There were so many beautiful native flowers here are just a few.

We could see another icon of Canberra from the gardens.
The Black Mountain Tower.

Lazing around the water hole were lots of these lizards.

I think they are Water Dragons.
I love their prehistoric skin texture.

Then we bumped into some more of our crowd in the rainforest section. From L to R Dave and Lorraine from Adelaide, SA. Margaret from Maitland, NSW. Sue and Bill from Victoria, and Colin from Brisbane, QLD.

The whole group about 40 all met together for lunch in the cafe at the Botanical gardens. More talk fest. Not many of us stayed in teaching and we have followed an interesting range of occupations although many of us are now retired. Rory on the left has a huge cattle station and farm stay property in the Northern Territory. Ian on the right worked for the American Government in Japan and the list goes on.
Thanks to Ian and his helpers Bob and Jeff, who now live in Canberra and organised this 50th anniversary event. They had special caps made for us with the ASOPA logo and 50th Anniversary embroidered. A nice memento.
*ASOPA = Australian School of Pacific Administration


  1. Love the waterfall and the water dragons. We saw some in the Blue Mountains and they are quite fascinating.

  2. What a top spot for a reunion. I reckon mine would be held in front of the submerged Big Bunyip in Murray Bridge!

  3. That all looked like so much fun! Great photos Diane. Lovely to get together with your friends from way back.

  4. Haha! So you've been to Canberra, but not a politician in ANY of your photos - unless there's a closet one amongst your reunionees??!! The waratah is one of my favourite flowers - and not just because it's RED!

  5. That is nice to meet people from so long ago, all oldies now.

  6. Fantastic photos, have never been to Canberra so this was an extra interesting post for me. Love the shots of the water dragons and the exotic flowers. Looks like you had fun meeting up with everyone. Take care and drive home safely. Diane

  7. i am flabbergasted over that flagpole, never seen one like it and it is amazing as is the building. and the water dragons i just love, would like to see them.

  8. Wow, this post sent chills up my spine, in a positive way that is. How phenomenal to reunite with former classmates after 50 years, wow, wow and wow!

    I can see from your wonderful shots that you're not wasting any time at all, you've taken in so much and captured it all so beautifully.

    Thank you for sharing your reunion with us and Canberra. It looks so beautiful there, maybe next trip out to Australia I'll have to go and visit... a girl can dream. :-)

    Have a fantastic week Diane! Cheers.

  9. I'm exhausted! How do you do so much?

  10. I agree with "darlin" above, what a wonderful treat to reunite with friends of 50 years ago. What a lovely place to have the reunion, too. I love your photos, Diane and you explain history and other interesting facts about the places you visit so well. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of your journey. Greetings Jo

  11. It must be quite an adventure catching up on acquaintances from so long ago. It was interesting to see your shots of Canberra and that amazing flag pole....and the walk in the woods does look a bit chilly. Those water dragons have beautifully long and graceful tails!

  12. Beautiful flowers and I love the little dragon meeting !
    I bed nobody of you has changed over the years and you look all the same (at least from inside :))

  13. What a wonderful get together! I can tell you enjoyed it and what a blessing so many can still come. The parliment building is really unique and as always I love your flower shots. Now go finish road tripping and we don't care if you blog just takes lots of pictures and blog later. Most of all enjoy and have FUN!

  14. Diane, it looks like a wonderful place for a reunion. The gardens looks pretty and the waterdragons are cool. It is nice to meet Colin and everyone in your group. Thanks for sharing more of your trip! and photos.

  15. Great photos of CBR.
    You certainly "Zoomed" in on the Water Dragons, pity my stick throwing was not shown. Lazy things,I wanted to see them running, but not in our direction and especially up our legs - ha ha!
    Colin (Still in Young and sane???)
    Ps: I have won the battle of that shrub with the green new shoots.
    The leaves stay even if Mother thinks that you and I have no idea of what is normal in shrub land. Qld shrubs and NSW shrubs being different, as well as gardening practices - Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

  16. It sounds like you had a really fun reunion!! It's always so wonderful to meet up with old friends and catch up on their lives and families! Your classmates are all such interesting people and have led productive lives.
    The lizards are cute. And the wild flowers are just gorgeous! You chose a beautiful location to meet.

  17. a lovely get-together and gosh did you strike Friday's cold in Canberra?! That would've been a shocker. Enjoyed also, the beautiful water-dragons.

  18. I laughed about your comment on the road, not so much the reference to politicians but the fact that you can tell you've crossed the border into Queensland because the state of the roads which are generally quite dreadful up that way.

    The road to Canberra is actually very good and has mobile coverage all the way ... we go down there every month and I work in the car without the slightest problem all the way.

    I just love the way they make that pattern on the lawn at Parliament house.

    The Botanic Gardens are great. I often take a stroll around then if I have extra time to kill and the weather is nice.

  19. Hi Diane, you certainly picked a great spot for a reunion. Happy smiles all round.
    Gorgeous photos. Cheers! :D)

  20. Great post...I didn't know all that about Canberra, so this is my one new fact to learn today (actually pretty much everything I read on Australian blogs teaches me something --- that happens when you start from ground zero.)

    Looks like you guys had a great time; what a great place to have a reunion. It was fun to see a picture of your "ardent commenter"!

  21. That's the most special flag pole I have ever seen.


  22. Hope you are having fun. Cold there in Winter/Spring, even colder that where I live.

  23. Water dragons are pretty attractive critters, but Canberra has always struck me as cold [weather wise] so I was surprised to learn you had found some there. [Might be all the hot air...]