It was only ever meant to be temporary until the "proper" house was built on Capital Hill, but the Old Parliament House was the seat of government from 1927 to 1988 -- despite the objections of Walter Burley Griffin (who likened the placement of the Old Parliament to "filling the front yard with outhouses"). Inside, many of the offices, including the PM's office, are just as they were when the politicians walked out to move up the hill in 1988, full of delightfully daggy (out-of-fashion) furniture and fittings. The elegant building is now home to a changing program of exhibitions, usually with an irreverent political edge. There are free guided tours every 45 minutes from 9:30am to 3:45pm daily and special kids' treasure hunts. Outside on the lawn is the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, which was set up in 1972 in a bid to persuade the authorities to recognize the land ownership claims of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It was the first place the red, black, and yellow Aboriginal flag was flown. The Australian Heritage Commission now recognizes the campsite as a place of special cultural significance.
- © Frommer's 2013
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