Overview of Canberra

Parliament House in Canberra, the capital of Australia
Australia's capital city of Canberra is home to many government sites such as Parliament House and High Court.

If you are visiting Australia, a visit to the national capital of Canberra is a wonderful place to visit, even just for a day trip. Located literally in between Sydney and Melbourne, it is known as the 'bush capital' due to the fact that there are significant areas of natural vegetation nearby. As the governing city of Australia, it is home to many Government-related sites such as Parliament House, embassies, and the High Court.

Canberra has a population of over 345,000. It is the eighth largest city in Australia, and is also the largest inland city in the nation. As mentioned above, it is known as the 'bush capital'. The site was actually chosen for the fact that it is in the middle of Sydney and Melbourne as these two rival cities were arguing about which city should be the capital.

As this piece of land was chosen due to a compromise between these two rival cities, this city situated on farming or stock land was planned in its entirety. An international contest was held to create the design of the city, and Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin from Chicago won this award. Construction started in 1913, and their plan was inspired by the garden city movement. This town plan design includes many geometric motifs like triangles, hexagons, and circles. It was also planned to centre around significant landmarks as well. It is only the newer parts of Canberra which actually are not laid out geometrically.

As the nation’s capital, it is the home of many national monuments and institutions. The Australian War Memorial is a must see for history buffs as well as those who want to pay tribute to the Australian soldiers, both in the past as well as the present. This memorial contains history of all of its armed forces and supporting organisations who played a role and died during the wars such as World War I and World War II. It also commemorates the Vietnam War, as well as recipients of the Victoria Cross medal.

The Captain Cook Memorial Jet in Canberra
Canberra is a small but modern city and has a lot to offer to its visitors.

It is also home to the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum, and the Royal Australian Mint. These are great places to learn more about the Australian history and culture. Alternatively, for something a bit more exciting, the University of Canberra holds a music festival called Stonefest, which spans across two days. During this festival, many nightclubs and bars offer awesome live entertainment, especially around the city and the neighbouring suburbs of Kingston and Dickson.

Other popular cultural festivals include the Royal Canberra Show, National Folk Festival, amd the Canberra Multicultural Festival. Car lovers will go nuts at the Summernats car festival, which features street machines, modified cars, and restored cars. Held over a period of 4 days, it is the biggest car festival in Australia. There are many car-related competitions and other events such as car parades and burnouts. There is also fireworks and a Miss Summernats competition. Celebrate Canberra is also another major festival, which goes for 10 days.