Established in 1913 as the purpose built capital of the new nation of Australia Canberra is a planned city designed to showcase the best of this vast and enigmatic country. Built around a large artificial lake Canberra forms the heart of the Australian Capital Territory an independent administrative area in New South Wales. It’s the location of the Australian parliamentwhere the major political decisions are made and also a cultural centre with some of the country’s finest museums. But it’s not all formal and manmade in Canberra. Just outside the city there are some great bushwalking trails as well as kangaroo reserves. It’s a great mix of natural and cultural attractions set in a pleasant and progressive environment.
Areas & Neighbourhoods in Canberra
North Canberra - The city’s oldest suburbs this leafy area is close to the central area of the city complete with parks and hip bars and cafes.
South Canberra - On the south side of the manmade Lake Burley Griffin this is where you’ll find many of the city’s major attractions including the National Gallery and Old Parliament House.
Woden Valley - The first of Canberra’s satellite cities there’s a major shopping centre here and a number of the larger government departments.
Belconnen - On the shores of Lake Ginninderra discover a lively suburb with a new shopping centre the university and the Australian Institute of Sport.
Things to See in Canberra
You can see what the area was like before the city was developed at the historic village of Hall and at attractions like Blundell’s Cottage and Calthorpe’s House. Climb the 195 metre Black Mountain tower to enjoy 360˚ views out over the city and surrounding landscapes. There are some top natural attractions too in the form of the Canberra Reptile Zoo and the kangaroo reserves outside the city. Visit the Royal Australian Mint and see how money is made or explore the National Dinosaur Museum the largest collection of its kind in Australia. See democracy in action at the Parliament House of Australia or discover a new world at Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre.
Things to Do in Canberra
Canberra is a centre of cultural and historical learning. Some of the country’s best museums and galleries are located here including the National Gallery National Portrait Gallery and National Library of Australia. You’ll find all of this in the Parliamentary Zone on the south side of Lake Burley Griffin. Take a stroll around the National Botanic Gardens or get up close to nature by enjoying some of the bush walking territory outside of the city. The Australian War Memorial also doubles up as a museum detailing the country’s military history right up the the present day. Or of course you can enjoy some retail therapy in the Civic Canberra’s main shopping area.