Anzac Parade starts at the steps of the Australian War Memorial, in Canberra, and ends at Lake Burley Griffin. On the other side of the lake is Parliament House (which houses our politicians.)
The Parade is visually powerful, with a red gravel central strip and dark eucalypt ‘walls’. The red gravel of the central strip was originally made from crushed Canberra house bricks. The material was chosen in part for the similarity to the ‘crunch’ made by military boots during a parade (and some suggest refers to blood). The ‘walls’ are created by the Victorian Blue Gum, Eucalyptus bicostata, and the planter boxes, which contrast in colour to the crushed red brick paving, have the native New Zealand plant Hebe ‘Autumn Glory’ growing in them, symbolising the ANZAC connection.
Taking a self guided walking tour along the Parade is something I do every visit to Canberra, regardless of the season. The fragrance from the Eucalypts and the overhanging branches are stunning. At dawn or dusk you’re more than likely to spot a grazing kangaroo, and the parrots and cockatoos that feed on the flowering gums are a constant reminder that Canberra is indeed our “Bush Capital”.
Lining each side of the Parade are monuments commemorating the military conflicts in which Australia has played a part. It officially opened on 25 April 1965 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the ANZAC landing in Gallipoli.
One of the most recent additions to Anzac Parade, and also my favourite, is a monument to the Boer War. It was unveiled late last year.
The monument shows Australian troopers mounted on horses breaking through the trees of Anzac Parade. The significance of the four troopers is that they represent a four-man section, a formation for fighting and patrolling. When they went into combat, three men would dismount while the fourth would lead the horses to cover. Letters from a soldier are at the feet of the horses.
There is also a nod to Australian Bush Poet and journalist, A B (Banjo) Paterson, who served in both the Boer War and WW1.
There are no Entry Fees to visit the Australian War Memorial.
See you in a couple of weeks!