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About Canberra - Accommodation - Tours and what to do - Transport - Photos - Map

Canberracanberra tourist information


Canberra is Australia's capital city, and lies in the Australian Capital Territory which covers an area of about 2,400 km2, this area of rugged plains, hills and mountains includes the Namadgi and Kosciusko National Parks is surrounded by New South Wales.
When Melbourne and Sydney kept on disagreeing about who was going to be Australia's capital city it was decided in 1901 to put an end to this argument once and for all and to build another city from scratch, though it took till 1908 to choose a location and until 1927 before the country was really governed from here.

canberra war memorial view over lake burley griffin wo parliament house
View from the war memorial over Lake Burley Griffin towards Parliament House

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 well.

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.

canberra parliament house
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 page.

Click for Canberra, Capital Territory Forecast  

About Canberra - Accommodation - Tours and what to do - Transport - Photos - Map

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