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Images of Canberra – The Surrounds of Parliament House

By johnboy - 29 May 2005 15

Unbeknownst to most Canberrans the surrounds of Parliament House are at least as interesting as the interior. On a clear autumn’s afternoon you can easily spent a rewarding hour or so circumnavigating the building and taking in the curiousities.

It’s been something I’ve been meaning to record for posterity for ages. But lacking a digital camera it was all a little difficult. In the end I dragooned my ex-girlfriend into the cause because she’s got a newish camera she was mad keen to put to good use. The following is an effort to tell a story (of walking around Parliament House) with the pictures she took.

All these pictures were taken from public areas, outside of the security screen. Any of you can wander along any time you like. Although you can’t play on the tennis courts.

We started in the forecourt where a large team was frantically at work repairing the infamous leaky pond.

Fixing the leaking pond

Front of House (North)

The view over the leaky pond and Lake Burley Griffin to Telstra-Yama is spectacular.
Telstrayama over forecourt

As we went west towards the Senate side the stark beauty of the interim fences was irresistable.
Flagpole through wire

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15 Responses to
Images of Canberra – The Surrounds of Parliament House
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RandomGit 8:26 am 01 Jun 05

Indeed you are quite correct! I shall inform the head of security down the corridor that he is wrong wrong wrong.

Bad fact checking must have given you a bad day yesterday. I bet VG still can’t sit down comfortably.

johnboy 6:38 pm 31 May 05



Guardian lions, also called Fu Dogs, and called Shi (獅) in Chinese or Ra shi da, are powerful mythic protectors that have traditionally stood in front of Chinese imperial palaces, emperors’ tombs and government offices. Since the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), imperial guardian lions were placed at the entrances to important official buildings and gates, until the end of the empire in 1911.

And they should NOT face each other.

RandomGit 4:09 pm 31 May 05

And by inwards, I mean each other.

RandomGit 4:08 pm 31 May 05

Fu dogs are supposed to face inwards too. So there!

Flash 3:06 pm 31 May 05

Nice photos, but I’m gonna have to be a little pedantic here. In one caption (page 10 pic 2) you describe a ‘plinth’ with a plaque. A Plinth (besides being a very underused word – try incorporating it at least once a day into normal conversation) is a base for another structure. What you have shot there is a monolith, albiet a small monolith. Also, they are Chinese Temple Dogs, not lions. The ancient Chinese did travel, but, never historically made it to the Serengeti, let alone the African Continent. They are modeled around the Sharpei or Foo dog. (a Mongolian offshoot of the Siberian Husky.
Teej, you shoulda known better!

johnboy 8:21 pm 30 May 05

I have been down to the basement. it’s good fun down there.

whole other world.

we were a little suprised not to see any weddings in our travels.

blossy 1:48 pm 30 May 05

My wedding photos where taken at Parliament House too.

Absent Diane 1:35 pm 30 May 05

marriage is a strange concept – but yes they are very nice photos…. but the place is rabbit warren for sure!!! If you have ever been down to the basement area, with all the docking bays and so on……. it’s completely scifi/industrial….. and a bit of headfuk if your not that familiar with the place!!

Nik_the_Pig 1:17 pm 30 May 05

I looked at the “pool room” as a possible site for my wedding but ended up choosing the lawn down near the High Court.

The owner of these photo’s also has a interesting piece on her blog on her last minute attendance at the Brumbies dinner accompanied by some (realy bad) photos. As always, much fun to read.

Xanthomyza 12:53 pm 30 May 05

That’s a great set of photos.

I love the place too. I’ve been working here for two and a half years. Never get sick of being here.

I actually got married in the ‘pool room’ many years ago, before I worked here. The ceremony was in the central garden, near the end of the water feature, with guests scattered amongst the beds. It was in October (floriade time), so the beds were planted with lots of beautiful flowers, poppies I think.

Lots of wedding parties have photos taken in there apparently.


yakz 12:04 pm 30 May 05

A great set of photos definitely a hidden gem, did security ask to see what photos you had taken I imagine to strategic firepoints and landing zones (tennis courts) could have also been considered senistive.

RandomGit 9:50 am 30 May 05

I will definitely try to get there for a wee picnic this weekend with the fam. This is the best idea in the ‘images’ series so far.

Ralph 9:47 am 30 May 05

I’m am occasional user of the PH tennis courts on the sly. In the good old days you could even park down in the Reps car park. I haven’t seen or heard of anyone getting booted off the courts.

blossy 9:33 am 30 May 05

I love the place.

Canberra_unsung_hero 11:53 pm 29 May 05

They’re all marvellous pictures.

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