The Australian Capital Territory has more to offer than just an insight into the political workings of the country, although it does this well. It is a place where Australia’s history comes face-to-face with architectural modernity. You can discover the scientific workings of the universe, pay your respects to the soldiers who fought and died in the wars, venture back in time to the dinosaurs, create your own dollar coin or catch a close-up view of the fittest bodies on the continent. You can see artworks from all over the world, cycle around or sail on a large man-made lake, rise above it all in a hot-air balloon, visit Australia’s only zooquarium, or stroll through the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The Australian Capital Territory has a diverse range of attractions and sights to suit every taste.
Australian Capital Territory
Located on perhaps some of the best sheep and cattle grazing land in Australia, the national capital is bordered by farmland, bushland, national parks and the Boboyan, Tidbinbilla and Booth ranges. It is completely surrounded by New South Wales and was selected as the site of the national capital in 1909, eight years after Federation. Located inland, the creation of the Australian Capital Territory was a compromise to appease bitter interstate rivalry between New South Wales and Victoria.
The Australian Capital Territory encompasses only 0.03% of the entire continent, yet it is the political centre of the nation – rich with history and fine examples of modern architecture, art and culture. The capital city, Canberra, occupies around 15% of the Australian Capital Territory – a large percentage relative to the other capital cities of Australia. In addition to being Australia’s only planned modern capital city, Canberra also has the distinction of being the only Australian capital city located inland.
Places of Interest and attractions:
Australian National Botanical Gardens
Australian War Memorial
Canberra Theatre Centre
Captain Cook Memorial Water Jet
City Hill Lookout
Gorman House Arts Centre
High Court of Australia
Lake Burley Griffin
National Capital Exhibition
National Gallery of Australia
National Library of Australia
National Museum of Australia
Old Parliament House and National Portrait Gallery
Prime Minister’s Lodge
Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre
Royal Australian Mint
Floriade (Mid September to mid October)
The Australian Capital Territory’s national parks, make up 53% of the total territory. 45% of the land in the ACT forms part of the Namadgi National Park. However, there are 28 smaller parks and recreation areas including Molonglo Gorge Recreation Reserve and Murrumbidgee River Corridor.
The wine industry around Canberra is both young and old. There are about 20 wineries within an hour’s drive of the Australian capital. Nearly all of these are in New South Wales, just outside the Australian Capital Territory border.
The Nations Capital
Canberra is widely acclaimed as the best landscaped city in the world. Its geometrically circular street pattern, set around key urban planning elements, is complemented by millions of trees and shrubs which give the city it’s ambience. The best way to explore Canberra is by car.