Canberra is the political capital of Australia, and although it is a large city, it is distinguished by its dazzling nature, as it contains a large number of nature reserves in which kangaroos and other forms of Australian wildlife live, in addition to a mountain range on the border with the southwestern border.
As the capital of Australia, Canberra is home to some of the country’s most important institutions, including an interesting modern art gallery and an exceptional war museum. Huge public buildings and monuments make the urban planning of the city very dynamic and captivating, while preserving its beauty and order.
Many tourists are drawn to Canberra as the seat of the nation’s policymaking and decision making, but the city has a lot to offer. In fact, this capital city is full of famous factories, trendy restaurants and great shopping centers, and it boasts a rich history of many cultural and sporting events.
Inhabitants of the capital of Australia
Canberra, with a population of about 367,000, is a city you can live in peacefully. The mountains are only two hours away from the sea, and locals are convinced that they live in one of the best places in the world. The creation of this capital is linked with a long debate and struggle between Sydney and Melbourne over the title of capital, and nowadays, Canberra is one of the most organized cities in the world.
The story of the creation of the City of Canberra
In addition to its geographical nature, Canberra’s history is also very special. It was built specifically to be declared the capital of Australia. And after a long conflict between the cities of Sydney and Melbourne , as its establishment led to the consecration of government sovereignty for fear that this competition would cause violent incidents, as the government announced its decision not to take either city as the capital of the country. Australian Economic and Political Center. Even today, the event is commemorated by the citizens of Canberra.
The architect of the Canberra project, Walter Burley Griffin , designed the city provided the focal point was the Parliamentary Triangle.
Tourist attractions in the Australian capital Canberra
National Capital Gallery
This exhibition mixes interactive displays, rare images and 3D screens capable of skillfully mixing various sounds, lights and audiovisual materials, in an effort to tell the story of Canberra. Its working hours are 9.00 to 17.00 from Monday to Friday; And from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, the exhibition is closed during national holidays, except for Australia Day and Canberra Day, where entry is free.
Opened in 1988. Here you can observe the country’s democratic activities which are all open to the public (visit www.aph.gov.au for reservations and other information). In addition, Parliament House is a center for priceless Australian artwork.
Finally, do not forget that there are beautiful gardens surrounding Parliament that can be walked and strolled. And business hours are from 9:00 to 17:00 on Mondays to Sundays; Entrance is free.
Monument to reconciliation
Near the Commonwealth Monument on Lake Burley Griffin is this place, which recalls a period of reconciliation between Aboriginal people and Australian whites. Works of art known as “shards” exist as a central circular mass, while paths lead to the Commonwealth Monument and Lake Burley Griffin .
The Museum of Australian Democracy in the Old Parliament House
This palace is a treasure and a world heritage site, and it was the seat of the Federal Parliament from 1927 to 1988. It is now the center of the social and political history of Australia. Free guided tours are available.
Outside the Old Parliament Gardens is the Aboriginal Tent, a tent erected in 1972 to protest the lack of indigenous rights in the area, and there are also the National Rose Gardens. Business hours are 9.00 to 17.00 from Monday to Sunday.
National Portrait Gallery
Surrounded by the Supreme Court and the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery features over 400 paintings from those who have somehow contributed to shaping and improving Australian society. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, and multimedia works, as well as temporary exhibitions. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Entrance is free.
National Archives Building
The National Archives are housed in the first General Post Office (GPO) building in Canberra, where there is a permanent exhibition called “Memory of the Nation,” and it highlights some of Australia’s treasures including ASIO observation photos, the draft constitution and complete copies of the ordinances. Business hours are from 9:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Sunday; Free admission.
National Library of Australia
This library is the largest in the country, with about 10 million books, including newspapers, magazines, photographs, music, websites and stories collected since 1901. Free guided tours are available to this library. The Library Café is a good place to have lunch.
Showrooms: Opening hours are from 10 am to 5 pm; Reading room: Opening hours are from 9.00 to 21.00 from Monday to Thursday, and from 9.00 to 17.00 on Friday and Saturday. And from 13:30 to 17:00 on Sundays; Free admission.
Climate in Canberra
The climate in Canberra is divided into four distinct seasons. During the summer in Australia the temperatures are very high, but during the winter the temperatures can drop to very cold temperatures. This is due to the fact that the city is located at a relatively high level compared to the sea level. The best times to visit are March and February, or between May and November, when you get the opportunity to see whales along the coast.
Summer in the capital is very hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 30 ° C and sometimes even exceeding that. As for winters, they are cold, and periods of frost can occur, due to the fact that Canberra is located at an altitude of about 600 meters above sea level and the city is very close to steep mountains. Winter days in Canberra are very pleasant and the air is fresh, and the day is often sunny, with few clouds and a beautiful dark blue sky, in addition to after the morning fog that hovers over the city at night. Even spring in Canberra is very pleasant, colors and flowers abound in the city, which creates a joyful atmosphere, although there are those who say that the best season in the capital is autumn.
Life in Canberra
Canberra is a very simple city, you just need a car and a map to get around. The city’s road system is perhaps the best you can find in Australia, with regular and very wide routes, and tourists can easily reach every destination, although the distances can be long.
In the central part of the city it is very easy to travel from one attraction to another by car or public transport.
Public transportation is always available in Canberra, but services may vary, especially during peak times. To be able to move comfortably and peacefully between the various tourist attractions in the city, you can take one of the sightseeing buses that depart regularly from the Melbourne Building on Northborn Street.
Canberra is a city full of cyclists, and all major roads are equipped with bike lanes, often marked in green at road junctions. So be careful, as cyclists have the right to hit the green lanes.
The ideal way to get to Canberra is by plane. This way you will reach Canberra International Airport, which is less than 10 kilometers from the city. From here you can choose between taking a private taxi or a bus that takes you into the city center. Domestic transportation is mostly done by buses, and there are some buses that follow tourist routes to pass through the main attractions within the city.
What to visit in Canberra
If you’ve chosen Australia’s capital as the destination for your itinerary, here you will find all the information about what is worth visiting. Even if you are planning to spend a few days in Canberra, there are some points of interest that should not be forgotten to visit.
The gorgeous Lake Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin is the first thing you will see once you set foot in Canberra, and it is a lake dotted throughout the city. It bears the name of the architect who designed the city’s structure. It has a fountain that can pump water that rises from the lake and juts out into the sky at a height of nearly 150 meters.
In the center of the lake there is also a small island near the coast, called Aspen Island and famous for hosting the national carillon, which is the largest musical instrument in the world. Its 55 bronze bells are used daily at great concerts. If you happen to be in that area, be sure to listen to it because its offer is so suggestive.
All of the country’s major political buildings are located in Canberra, and among these buildings the House of Representatives stands out without a doubt. The palace is located on the hill that takes the name Capital Hill and overlooks the entire city from above. If you book to see it, you will also have the opportunity to attend Parliament sessions. The other two major political buildings in the city are the City Hill and the Ministry of Defense Building. Connecting these three buildings with an imaginary line forming the triangle for which this area is called (Parliament Triangle).
After visiting the political buildings in the city, visit the National Museum of Australia which is considered the most important museum in the entire country. Here you will find the fulcrum for all Australian history and culture, from the settlement of indigenous people to the conquest of European settlers to the events of our current century.
If you are an art lover, you can dedicate your time to the National Gallery, which houses more than 100,000 works of art by Australian and Aboriginal artists, with special attention to art originating from the lands of Asia.
Another point of interest for tourists and residents is undoubtedly the National Portrait Gallery, where you will find portraits of figures who have made ancient and modern history of the Australian nation.
Even Australia has an unknown soldier. If you want to visit it, you must go to the Australian War Memorial, which is one of the most visited museums in the city. It includes information on everyone who contributed to the life and identity of the nation.
John Curtin School of Medical Research
The Australian National University in Canberra campus isn’t perhaps the best part, but its most beautiful façade is the Curtin School of Medical Research that won first prize for architectural design.
Celebrity White House
ACT has many high-end, pioneering and eco-friendly homes, many of which have received national praise. One of the most identifiable is the Slater White House.
If you want to make your children happy, you can plan to visit the National Zoo which also has a large aquarium. Inside you will find wild Australian animals with a large area also dedicated to ocean animals and huge sharks. When booking, you can pay an additional fee, then you will be able to feed the animals, or if you are brave, you can pet a cheetah.
The Zoo in Canberra is extremely beautiful and is greatly appreciated by the millions of tourists who visit it every year.
Parks in Canberra
Canberra celebrates one of the greatest annual flower festivals in the world. This amazing month-long festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. But the event, which takes place between September and October, is just the tip of the mountain, because Canberra is immersed in something more than just the center of political decision. In fact, most of the city can boast of being very green. It contains a large number of wonderful parks.
The Commonwealth Garden is the most famous of these parks, located on the shore of Lake Griffin, and it is where the annual flower festival is held, which decorates it with millions of bulbs and seasonal plants for a whole month.
But the fun in this park is not limited to the flower festival, the green space of the park is unusual at all times. With countless paths, small ponds, trees, and great views of the National Gallery, the Supreme Court, and the National Library make Commonwealth Park an ideal place for a fun stroll.
Areas around the Australian capital, Canberra
After visiting Australia’s capital, leave a little space in your program to spend a couple of days visiting the regions around Canberra, in which you’ll discover an interesting series of surprises. Remember that a long weekend may be enough to visit Australia’s capital, but if you have a few more days, the surrounding areas are well worth a short visit.
One of the most popular attractions around Canberra is the Canberra Space Center , which is located inside the city’s Astronomical Observatory. In addition to visiting the exhibition indoors, you can enjoy seeing lunar rocks collected during the flight on the moon in the Apollo 11 spacecraft and the majestic communication dish, which is 70 meters in diameter.
Nature is just a few steps from the city
If you like jungle walks, you will have to plan a visit to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on the town’s southern border. During your walk, it will not be difficult to see the Australian primates, such as moles, kangaroos and birds.
In Namadji National Park, you can try your rock climbing or horseback riding skills, as well as go hiking or biking. Here, in addition to the flora and fauna, you can discover the ancient magic of the rock art that the indigenous people left on the rocks of the region. And if you have time, you can decide to camp inside the park, as there are places and equipment to do so.
On the north side of town is the National Dinosaur Museum, where massive prehistoric fossils are preserved, as well as the Australian Reptile Center, which houses four species of rare wild snakes.
What to do in Canberra
Like all Australian cities, Canberra is full of attractions and entertainment that will make you spend your days without realizing the passage of time.
One of the most beautiful ways to get around the city is to rent a bike and take advantage of the many bike paths that dot the city streets. You will thus be confused with the locals who are accustomed to using these modes of transportation.
And if you like spending time in nature, you should visit the Australian National Botanical Gardens. Here you will find nearly 100 hectares of land designated for the study and conservation of national plants. In particular, you should visit the eucalyptus garden and the area dedicated to indigenous medicinal plants.
Sports in Canberra
If you are passionate about sports, you can benefit from a visit to the Australian Institute of Sport, which is a unique building. Here the best Australian athletes train daily and will be available for you where you can freely ask questions about the sports of your interest and the most prominent Australian athletes.
Regardless of the sports, remember that every weekend the city’s stadiums are filled with lovers. It is followed by rugby and cricket at Canberra Stadium, and Australian Football at Manuka Oval.
Major events in Canberra
The city organizes many festivals and events that are worth visiting. If you are particularly interested in the event, you can also plan your trip according to its schedule. This is the calendar in detail.
Australia Day Live: Live music concerts are held on Parliament Lawns on January 25th every year.
Car Festival: In January, Canberra becomes a “moving city” full of cars.
The National Multicultural Festival: It is a cross-cultural fusion of food, art and performances that takes place in the month of February.
The Royal Canberra Show: A wonderful agricultural show that takes place every year in the month of February.
Canberra Balloon Spectacular: A nine-day festival in March, every day more than 50 balloons filled with hot air are released from the grounds of the Museum of Australian Democracy in the Old Parliament House.
Canberra Festival: A festival dedicated to art, food and fine wines in March.
Anzac Day: Celebration of the Australian Armed Forces on April 25th.
National Folklore Festival: Hundreds of artists and thousands of spectators give life to one of Canberra’s biggest Easter celebrations.
Floriad Flower Festival: This is an incredible festival, with thousands of flower varieties between September and October.
Scott: The most important mountain bike race in the Southern Hemisphere that takes place in November.