Discover our Capital City
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Canberra is Australia’s capital city and a unique Australian city with an entirely planned urban landscape. 300 kilometres south west of Sydney, the site was chosen as Australia’s capital in 1908 as a compromise between the two largest Australian cities, Sydney and Melbourne. It’s the nation’s political heart and home to some of Australia’s best historical and cultural institutions.
Unlike most cities which have been developed organically overtime, Canberra’s unique inner-city layout was built from a holistic design. Throughout the inner-city you’ll notice a pattern of geometric motifs such as circles and hexagons, the work of American architect Walter Burley Griffin who won an international competition to design the city.
Canberra was officially named with a ceremony on 12 March 1913. A variety of original and quirky names were suggested for the city including Paradise, Shakespeare and Boomerang City. However the name of Canberra was eventually settled upon. It is derived from an Aboriginal word thought to mean ‘meeting place’.
The city is home to Australia’s Parliament, High Court and a number of diplomatic embassies and consulates as well as the Lodge, the official residence of Australia’s Prime Minister.
A trip to Canberra will give you a fantastic insight into the rich history and culture of Australia. Visit the Australian War Memorial, a deeply touching shrine to commemorate the sacrifice of Australians who’ve lost their lives serving their country, the National Museum of Australia and the distinctly designed Parliament House.
As you drive around the key landmarks of Canberra you’ll see its centrepiece, the man-made Lake Burley Griffin. This unique landscape was planned with a garden city in mind and is home to the annual Floriade Festival. Watch the city burst into colour from September to October, as hundreds arrive to view Australia’s biggest flower festival.