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Diplomatic Estate Tour

Home > Canberra > Architecture | Historic Houses | Tours | Walks
by Natasha Stewart (subscribe)
Food and words.
Published December 9th 2012
Canberra is home to over 90 diplomatic missions from countries all over the world, of these the embassies and high commissions in Yarralumla are some of the most interesting. You can walk, ride, or drive around the streets of Yarralumla to get a good look at some of the more interesting missions.

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The Thai Embassy


Before you start head to your nearest information centre. There's the City Information Booth in Garema Place, the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre in Dickson. Most tourist attractions will also have a range of brochures. Here you can pick up a guide that lists 33 of the missions. Of course you don't need the guide, if you head along without one see how many you can spot.

Once you head to Yarralumla, decide how you'll be tackling the path. Some of the embassies are fairly spread out, but if you're driving it can be difficult to stop sometimes, and the whole thing can be over rather quick.

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The South Korean Embassy


So why would you bother driving around Canberra just to look at a few government buildings? When the United States built their embassy in the 1940s they styled it in a colonial Georgian style. Since then many of the embassies in Canberra have been built with traditional styles of architecture from their native countries in mind. Most of the missions in the Yarralumla area have some kind of interesting touch that's worth seeing.

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The Greek Embassy


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The Malaysian Embassy


You won't necessarily get a good look at all of the embassies, and from the road some can be a little tricky to see. It's hard to miss the United States embassy, which looks like it could be a university campus, and the Finnish embassy looks like it should be in a modern spy film. Taking the tour by foot or bike means you'll have an easier time trying to find a good vantage point.

A few missions you shouldn't miss are the High Commission of Papua New Guinea, The Embassy of the People's Republic of Chine, and the High Commission of India.

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The Indian High Commission


Once you've done the diplomatic estate tour your next task is to get invited to a party with one of the ambassadors.
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Why? Get a taste for Canberra's international sector
When: Anytime
Where: Around Empire Circuit, Yarralumla
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great article, Natasha - though it does occur to me if any of our security personnel see you trailing around the various embassies craning your neck and taking photos, you may well become a 'person of interest'!
by Julie Mundy (score: 3|1728) 2006 days ago
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