Capital of Australia, Canberra is the country’s largest inland city with a population of about 350,000 inhabitants. It is located 280 km southwest of Sydney and 680 km northeast of Melbourne.
Its location was selected for the country’s capital in 1908 and was designed by American architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. Construction started in 1913.
It is full of cultural treasures here are a few of its main attractions:
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Australian War Museum in Canberra
Australian War Memorial
Canberra’s number one attraction is this Byzantine style monument, commemorating Australia’s war fatalities. It is more than just a War Memorial, featuring a museum, archives, library and art gallery.
At the entrance is the Commemorative Courtyard with walls full of names of every Australian who has died in war since 1885.
Beyond the entrance there are galleries telling the story of Australia’s conflicts since the times of colonial days.
It offers free 90 minute tours, that are highly recommended.
New parliament House in Canberra the Capital of Australia
New Parliament House
This is a beauty of modern architecture. It is a boomerang-shaped structure on the hill, replacing the temporary one at the base of the hill, known now as old parliament house.
It was designed by a New York architect in 1988 and it was officially opened by the Queen
From the roof, visitors can enjoy a fantastic view of Canberra and note how the parliament forms the central focus of the streets layout.
Throughout the public spaces, exhibits display important documents and retrace important events in Australian history. From the gallery running round the first floor, visitors can gain admission to the public galleries of the green-hued House of Representatives and the Senate, traditionally dressed in red.
Free guided tours offer fascinating details about the building.
Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the heart of Canberra
Lake Burley Griffin
This is the centerpiece of Canberra, the Capital of Australia. It is an artificial lake that came to life in 1958. Tourists and locals alike come here to bike and stroll along the waterfront paths, picnic along its parks, and fish, sail, or paddle the glistening waters. Six islands lie at its center, the largest of which is Aspen Island, home to the National Carillon, a gift from the British government with 55 bronze bells.
Museum of Australian Democracy
Old Parliament House is now home to the Museum of Australian Democracy. The building was occupied by the Australian Parliament until 1988 when New Parliament House was officially opened. It was formerly called Provisional Parliament House, finally realized 61 years later.
National Gallery of Australia
On the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the National Gallery of Australia features the largest collection of art in Australia.
It was opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1982 and consists of 11 galleries on three levels and a sculptures garden laid out according to the four seasons.
Many treasures on books in the National Library of Australia
National Library of Australia
Opened in 1968, the National Library of Australia is a treasure of Australian books, manuscripts, newspapers, historic documents, oral history, music, and pictures.
Captain Cook’s journal is among its most valuable possession, together with will’s diary about his expeditions together with Burke in 1860. It is built in the format of a Greek Temple.
In the foyer are superb stained glass windows by Leonard French and three Aubusson tapestries woven from Australian wool.
The lower floor features treasures from the library's collection and the Exhibitions Gallery hosting special visiting displays.
View from Mount Ainslie Lookout in Canberra
Mount Ainslie Lookout
Head to the lookout of Mount Ainslie with an altitude of 543 meters. From here you can understand the perfect layout of this well planned city.
It is located on the back of the Australian War Memorial and you can walk or drive to the lookout. It aligns perfectly with the Anzac parade, Lake Burley Griffin, Old Parliament House, and, in the background, the sleek lines of New Parliament House.
National Portrait Gallery of Australia
Located near the High Court of Australia and the National Gallery, this museum displays some 400 portraits of the nation's most influential people. Visitors can easily spend an hour or two coming face to face with Australia's movers and shakers, brought to life through paintings, photography, and sculpture. Multimedia presentations divulge fascinating details about the lives of the people who helped shape the nation.
Australian Botanic Gardens in Canberra
Australian National Botanic Gardens
This Garden is located about one km west of the Capital of Australia.
It is a well tendered collection representing every important species of
Other highlights include the Red Centre garden with its red earth and spinifex grassland as well as the Children's Discovery Walk. The gardens are also a haven for birds and butterflies. From the gardens, visitors can access Black Mountain Nature Park and hike to the summit for glorious city views.
Black Mountain Nature Park
Black Mountain Nature Park, to the west of the city center, is a great wilderness experience to combine with a visit to the adjacent Australian National Botanic Gardens.
Telstra Tower, the Black Mountain Tower provides a panoramic view of the city. You may visit its top revolving restaurant while gazing all over the city.
Australian National University
Called ANU is located on the north side of Lake Burley Griffin. It was in the original plans of the city in 1912, but only built in 1946. It consists of the Institute of Advanced Studies, used for research, and the School of General Studies for teaching. The University is worth a visit for the sake of its beautiful grounds, which were laid out by the ANU's landscape architects and botanists.
National Zoo & Aquarium in the Capital of Australia
National Zoo and Aquarium
This is only combined zoo and aquarium in Australia. Is the perfect visit for everyone that loves animals. It displays a wide range of marine life and many species of Australia’s fauna.
It features lions, tigers, cheetahs, bears, and more. The animal encounters are extremely popular and allow visitors to go behind the scenes and interact with cheetah, giraffes, sun bears, and red pandas, among other creatures. It's located five minutes from the city center.
For more information visit Australia Tourism website
Map of Australia showing the location of Canberra
credit for images for the capital of australia
war museum n/a
new parliament by aruminta
museum democracy by bidgee
lake birly n/a
national gallery by john conway
national portrait n/a
national library by martyman
mount ainslie n/a
all courtesy of wikimedia commons
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