Canberra, based on an Aboriginal word meaning "meeting place", is located in the northern part of the Australian Capital Territory, 300 km south-west of Sydney and 650 km north-east of Melbourne by road. As the National Capital, with population of fewer than 500,000, Canberra is the symbolic home of all Australians, and centre of political and administrative power in Australia. Its climate and facilities make it an ideal place for sailing, fishing, cricket, football and cycling the extensive bicycle paths. The reason this city was built can be traced back to 1901. There was intense rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne over which was the capital city of Australia. In order to solve this problem, a new capital at an equally inconvenient distance from both was invented. Thus Canberra was selected as the site. The city was designed by an American architect Walter Burley Griffin. With its multitude of parks and gardens, the national capital is particularly beautiful in spring and autumn.
The Parliamentary Triangle
Canberra's major monuments, key attractions and national building are all situated within Parliamentary Triangle around Lake Burley Griffin. Exploring the entire Parliamentary Triangle may take one or two days, it will be better to tackle them in two parts, taking first the north and then south of the lake.
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial was built to commemorate 102,000 Australian service men and women who have died while serving their country. It houses an amazing collection of pictures, relics, weapons and document, including a fine collection of old aircraft. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier provides a focus for this commemoration and is the venue for wreath laying ceremonies. The Hall of Memory features a beautiful interior, and a golden dome made of six million Italian mosaic pieces. This dome is one of the world's largest mosaics, designed in part by war widows.
National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery opened in 1982, situated on the south shore of the Lake Burley Griffin, has probably the best collection of art in the country. The Australian collection ranges from traditional Aboriginal art through to 20th century works by Tom Roberts, Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan. The gallery's Asian and international collections are also growing. The Sculpture Garden is located on an open three-hectare site stretching from the walls of the Gallery building to the banks of Lake Burley Griffin. It offers an impressive display of classical to modern sculptures.
Top of Page