Canberra ACT Australia
Parliament of Australia
Lake Burley Griffin
When the first European explorers arrived in the area during 1820, the Ngunnawal and Walgalu tribes inhabited the Canberra landscape. Archaeology suggests humans had lived in the area for at least 40,000 years.
It only took a further 4 years from 1820 before the first European homestead was built, which was named Canberry or Canberra by its owner.
The origin of the name Canberra is often debated. The many suggested derivatives include; a name some local aborigines called themselves, the word meaning “meeting place” in a local aboriginal language and an aboriginal reference name for the area of plains between Mount Ainslie and Black Mountain .
This particular location was chosen as the nation’s capital due to the political wrangling between Melbourne and Sydney as to which would become the Capital: Canberra lies roughly between the two, and was eventually chosen in 1908.
The site/city was officially named in 1913 by Lady Denman, wife of the then Governor-General, and construction of the new town quickly followed.
In 1927, the provisional Parliament House (now known as the Old Parliament House) was opened and Canberra finally became the nation’s capital and seat of Government.
The city is now home to an expanding population of over 310,000.
At latitude 35.15S and longitude 149.08E, Canberra is approximately 150km inland, 300km from Sydney, and 660km from Melbourne. The respective drive times are approximately 3 hours 30 minutes from Sydney , and 9 hours from Melbourne .
Although the city is serviced by an airport very few international flights land here, though domestic connections are frequent.
Regular rail services run to and from the city.
Canberra enjoys mostly dry and mild weather. The summers are warm and rarely uncomfortable, with an average of 28C during January. Whereas the winters are cool with an occasional frost and an average of 10C during July.
Winters can often be filled with clear, crisp, bright sunshine – but also often contrasted with considerable fog activity.
Rainfall is even throughout the year, falling on an annual average of 1 day in 4. Compared to the tropical cities, Canberra ’s rainfall in generally light annually receiving around 60cm.
The focal point of the city is Parliament House, which resides at the pinnacle of Capital Hill. Guided tours are available, and there is a public gallery with which to view Australia ’s political processes when Parliament is in session.
Canberra boasts several art galleries, not least the National Gallery of Australia , and the National Portrait Gallery. Between them, you’ll be presented with perhaps the finest collections in the southern hemisphere.
As the capital, the city is also the guardian for many other collections of national significance: The Australian War memorial, The National Library, The National Film and Sound Archives, The National Museum, National Botanic Gardens, etc… All boasting huge values of importance, education, and (let’s not forget) entertainment.
To fully appreciate how the beautiful parks and countryside intertwine with the city, a trip up the Telstra Tower on Black Mountain will provide you with 360 degrees of breathtaking views.
For further information about Canberra, please visit our canberra accommodation directory or for general information, visit this comprehensive canberra australia web site.
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