Floriade 2011, Canberra

21 Sep

I guess the last time I went to Canberra was 10 years ago, but I completely don’t remember how Canberra looks like, and I have no idea where my mom put the photos we took, so I have no way to recall everything that happened during my trip years ago in Australia.

I have been looking forward to this event for a long time, because during my semester break, I didn’t get a chance to visit Canberra with my friends, so I have been trying to find an excuse to pay a visit. Floriade definitely is the perfect excuse for a weekend escape and to embrace the coming of spring.

I did a bit of research on the Internet, and many people recommended going to the Floriade around 2 weeks after it officially starts. However, I know I won’t have the time to have a weekend escape once school resumes normal (crazy assignments coming!). Seeing how nice the weather would be on the first day, I decided to have an impromptu trip with my friend.

Murrays Coach

Murrays Sydney Floriade Coach

When I was in the US, I always took the coach to travel between cities. One of my favorite coach companies was MegaBus, because their seats were comfortable and they had free wifi, though not always stable. I have to say Murrays’ service did impress me. Their seats were comfortable; even after a 3-hour trip, I didn’t feel any pain at all. The company has a Floriade Special Package; $49 return trip from Sydney to Canberra, drop off and pick up directly from Commonwealth Park. Very convenient for us, who don’t know how to drive or foreign travelers. You also get to choose your departure time in Sydney, 7am or 9am. We chose 7am, so I had to wake up at 5:30am that morning!

The company did make a mistake though. Originally the coach was to pick us up at the place where they dropped us off in the morning at 5pm. We confirmed with the coach driver before we headed to the Floriade that morning. However, the coach didn’t arrive until 5:30pm. The coach driver who picked us up told us that the driver from Sydney misunderstood the pick up location, so he actually waited for us somewhere outside on the Commonwealth Avenue instead.  Luckily one of the passengers mentioned to him before he left the shuttle bus stop for Canberra Centre, and of course the company realized they left their customers waiting (I guess there were a total of 16 passengers!), so he came to pick us up to catch the 6pm coach back to Sydney. The coach, that was supposed to pick up, was going to pick up more passengers at Jolimont Centre and leaving there at 6pm anyway, so there was no delay in our schedule. Provided it was only the first day of Floriade, I think it is understandable and I guess the same thing won’t happen again.

P.S. The coach driver who picked us up from the Commonwealth Park was actually the one who took people from the Commonwealth Park to Canberra Centre, a free shuttle service from Thursdays to Sundays. I think his name is Roy, and he’s super friendly and nice!

It was actually pretty crowded, and I didn’t expect so many people on the first day, but it was an enjoyable day, except for the hotdog we had at one of the food stalls there, the sausage wasn’t heated enough and my friend said she felt like it wasn’t fully cooked.

There were a lot of  signs around the park, like the one below, it actually took me and my friend some time to figure out what they mean.

Interesting sign

Tasty donut puffs!

Tasty honey donut puffs to start the day!

Tea pot and tea cup made of oranges

Tea pot and tea cup made of oranges

Gnomes

You can paint your own gnome

I’m no expert at taking photos, but hope you guys enjoy them.

Sorry, but I had to highlight the following photo, because these flowers reminded me of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC! I was there in 2010! Check it out if you are in the States in March!

The Commonwealth Park is so big, my friend and I walked around and love it so much.

Nerang Pool

Nerang Pool

Walking around Lake Burley Griffin. Such a great place to spend the afternoon!

Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin

Taking the free shuttle bus from Canberra Centre back to Commonwealth Park.

Commonwealth Avenue

Definitely should visit Canberra during spring for the Floriade! I would love to visit Canberra again, love the cleanliness and quietness during the weekend.

Floriade’s official website: http://www.floriadeaustralia.com/

Murray’s official website: http://www.murrays.com.au/

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