East of Parliament House, the broad acres of Fitzroy Gardens run a close second to Carlton Gardens as a getaway from the CBD. Originally laid out in the shape of the Union Jack flag, the park’s paths still just about conform to the original pattern, though the formal style has been fetchingly abandoned in between. The gardens are best appreciated on weekdays, as at the weekend you’ll spend most of your time dodging the video cameras of wedding parties. The much-touted main attraction is really only for kitsch nostalgists: Captain Cook’s Cottage was the family home of Captain James Cook, the English navigator who explored the southern hemisphere in three great voyages and first “discovered” the east coast of Australia. Otherwise, there are attractive flower displays at the Conservatory.

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