Canberra, capital city of Australia
Cradled by mountains and bushland hills, Canberra is more than just the political heart of Australia. The liberal city is also where national museums share the country's finest treasures, stylish restaurants serve up delicious cuisine and expanses of native parks offer seemingly endless walkways and trails. It is one of the few world capitals where parkland and bush are integral to the city plan, making Canberra the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts with a taste for the cosmopolitan.
Comprising nearly 30 grassland and native bushland reserves, Canberra Nature Park is where urban meets rural. Spread throughout the city, the nature park includes mountains, wetlands, ridges, hills and miles of hiking trails. Visitors can get their fill of the wild without ever leaving the city by horse riding, cycling, swimming, fishing, camping and biking. The scenic parks are a great place to spend an afternoon observing native flora and fauna, like exotic frogs, snakes, magpies and of course, kangaroos.
The city is also home to the National Botanic Gardens. The beautiful gardens spread over 90 hectares on the lower slopes of the Black Mountain. Tranquil and lush, the gardens are a prime example of Australian floral diversity. Take a walk through the Rainforest Gully and enjoy the cool shade of the Eucalyptus Lawn, which features more than 600 species of the iconic Aussie tree.
Food lovers will feel right at home in the capital. Tantalizing fresh produce is readily available at farmer's markets throughout Canberra, and local chefs craft first-class cuisine from seasonal ingredients. Two breweries call the city home, offering fresh, flavorsome beer handcrafted using traditional techniques. Nearby wineries are gaining world-wide recognition for their diverse varieties that can only be made in Canberra's cool climate. Romantic and idyllic, the wineries offer an escape from busy city life while still being in the borders of the capital.
The story of Australia is told through the many museums and galleries of Canberra. These collections show the evolution of the country's character and culture, from its indigenous beginnings to multicultural present. The National Museum of Australia is one of the best places to explore the country's stories and history. The vast collection includes fascinating artifacts from early Aboriginal societies, rare snapshots of Australia's industrial history, tools used by Captain James Cook himself, remnants from the country's colonial period and more.
The story of the continent is also told through over 100,000 works of art at the National Gallery of Australia. Both enjoyable and educational, the museum features pieces by Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal people, whose art deeply conveys a connection with the land and past. Natural daylight illuminates the pieces, so visit on a cloudless day for the best view.
Canberra's most visited museum is the Australian War Memorial. The truly moving memorial pays tribute to the country's fallen soldiers while humanizing wartime events through relics, pictures, exhibitions and dioramas. Military history fans will particularly enjoy the Anzac Hall, where a sound and light show makes the backdrop of heavy machinery even more impressive.
The capital is always vibrant, but it really comes alive at night. After the sun sets, experience this side of Canberra at one of the city's beer gardens, stylish cocktail lounges, traditional pubs or packed clubs. You can even try your luck at the city's casino, known for its luxurious style and lively entertainment. For a quieter but no less exciting evening, hike up to Mount Ainsile, Black Mountain Tower or Red hill to watch the city lights sparkle. The view is unbeatable, and it is the perfect way to end a day in Canberra.
Canberra Geographical Location
Latitude: 35° 18' South
Longitude: 149° 08' East
Canberra is located in the southeast of Australia on Lake Burley Griffin and is its eighth largest city.
The population of Canberra is approximately 359,000.
Although Australia has no official language, English is the most widely spoken.
Canberra Predominant Religion
- 26% Catholic
- 19% Anglican
- 19% None
- 16% Other
- 8% Other Christian
- 6% Uniting Church
- 3% Presbyterian and Reformed
- 3% Eastern Orthodox
Australia has no official religion and its fastest growing religious demographic is “no religion” contributing to its reputation for being among the least religious countries in the world.
The Australian Dollar is the official currency of Australia.
Canberra experiences hot summers with mild winters in which rainfall is heavier than the rest of the year.
Canberra Main Attractions
- Canberra Museum and Gallery
- Australian National Botanic Gardens
- Australian War Memorial
Other Attractions in Canberra
- National Gallery of Australia
- The High Court of Australia
- The Questacon
- The National Science Center
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