View from the war memorial over Lake Burley Griffin towards Parliament
An American architect from Chicago (Walter Burley
Griffin, whose name lives on in Lake Burley Griffin outside Parliament
House) beat 136 other entrants in the design competition and won
the 1750 pound prize for his design of a city laid out along north/south
and east/west axes with Parliament House in the centre, similar
to Washington D.C. The first parliamentary meeting in the new
capital city was held in 1927.
Canberra nowadays is home to the Australian Government and most
of the nation's most important monuments and buildings, two major
universities and numerous museums.
Although Walter Burley Griffin designed the city for a population
of 25000 Canberra nowadays has a population of about 315,000 people
and is best known for public servants, the 2003 bushfires, relaxed
drug laws and being the base of the nation's porn industry, due
to legislation they find this the easiest place to operate from.
There is no other industry to speak of here so anyone you meet
from Canberra will either be a politician or a pornstar, not that
there's much difference in that, one will do anything for money
and the other will do anything for votes, which will then also
bring in money.
Canberra is sometimes called 'the bush capital'
because pockets of bushland reserve extend almost to the city
centre and over half of the land is classified as national park
or nature reserve. All this bush turned out to be a disadvantage
when on January 18 2003 a firestorm pushed beyond containment
lines and into the suburbs of the national capital and killed
four people and destroyed 507 houses.
Sarah Jones, who lives on the outskirts of the city, described
to us how she saw fire jumping from one hill to another through
the sky, though the hills were several kilometres apart! Even
houses right in the city went up in flames from burning debris
falling from the sky and fire creeping in along nature strips.
Kangaroos also stray into the city's parks, especially in dry
times, and there have been incidences where people walking their
dogs had their pet killed by kangaroos. Dogs may think it is fun
to chase wildlife but a large kangaroo can stand its ground very
If you are going to lose your passport during your
holidays in Australia this is the best place to do it, Canberra
houses over 70 embassies and high commissions so you're always
in walkingdistance from your home country's representative.
The name Canberra originates from the word Kamberra,
which in Aboriginal language means meeting place.
Inside Parlament House, the meeting place of the Australian Government
Being a very planned and clean city, Canberra has
a reputation amongst some Australians of being Australia's most
boring city but you can see this is an undeserved reputation on
our What to do
Canberra - Accommodation
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