GG’s big day out   Leave a comment

Saturday, 21 September, 2013

Being part of the Commonwealth, the Australian head of state is still technically The Queen and her representative in country is the Governor General, who happens to be woman by the name of Quentin Bryce. Of course, being The Queen’s representative in Australia means you get to live in a nice house on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra and by way of showing off this abode, they have a Government House Open Day every year. This year, seeing it’s Canberra’s centenary, the public were invited to bring a picnic along and enjoy all that was on offer.

As always days like these are dependent on the weather and with this technically still being winter, the organisers must have been a bit worried as to what we were going to get. Do not fear, as I woke up early this morning the sun was shining and forecast was for a beautiful day in the ACT. So beautiful in fact, that I decided to go for a ride round the lake first and then call into Government House on the way back! Judging by the numbers of bikes parked up outside the gates, a few people had had the same idea. As soon as I entered the gates, I headed over to where the Sky Whale was teetered, passing a Pony Club demonstration on the way. Apparently I had just missed GG herself, so I contented myself by taking pictures of the balloon, plus the two helicopters nearby.

After chatting to the crew of both helicopters and taking lunch whist watching one of the bands on stage, it was time to explore the many static displays that had been set up around the main lawn of the residence. Suddenly, there was a movement in the sky and a single RAAF Roulette plane was giving us a masterful aerial display before leaving as quickly as it came. I decided against taking a look around the inside of the house after I saw the size of the queue waiting to enter it and in any case the large Naval Sea Hawk helicopter was scheduled to take off with several members of the Army Parachute display team on board in preparation for their ‘jump’ later in the day. The four members of the team were very accommodating with their time and were very happy to pose for pictures with the large crowd that had gathered around both them and the Sea Hawk.

At the allotted time, the crowd was cleared back to a safe distance and the helicopter was started and warmed up ready for take-off. The parachute team were called forward to board and after a deafening roar it took off and was soon just a mere dot in the blue sky above. I took up position at the edge of the lawn where the display team were due to land and like everybody else looked upwards to catch a glimpse of them leaving the Sea Hawk. Suddenly, there they were free falling down towards us and after performing a couple of manoeuvres in the air, they broke off and deployed their chutes in order to glide in to a near perfect landing.

This was the cue for many people to start packing up and heading for the exit and as I’d seen everything I wanted to see today, I did the same. Outside the gates there was a bit of a traffic jam of free ACTION Buses competing for space with the many cars parked alongside the driveway into the house, so I was glad that I could simply jump on the bike, find the cycle path that headed my way and ride home.


Posted September 21, 2013 by yermandownunder in Canberra Events, Observations, Out and about

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