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Canberra - Australia's Capital City

about ...

Canberra is the capital city of Australia, has a population of over 332,000 and is located 280 km SW of Sydney.
Canberra, New  Parliament House
©2006 Gabriel Ditu

Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court, and many other federal departments and agencies.

brief history ...

Initially the ACT was inhabited by the Ngunnawal and Walgalu tribes for at least 21,000 years.

European exploration in ACT began around 1820s.

White settlement in ACT area begun in 1824, when a station was built by stockmen employed by Joshua John Moore. He named his property Canberry, or Canberra, which was an English approximation of the name of the indigenous people of the area.

Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin
©2006 Gabriel Ditu
The change from a NSW rural area to the national capital began during debates over Federation in the early 20th century. At the time, Sydney-Melbourne rivalry was such that neither city would agree to the other one becoming capital.

As a compromise the NSW government ceded the ACT to the Commonwealth Government on Jan 1, 1910.

On May 9, 1927 the old Parliament House was opened. Embassies began to establish in Canberra during the 1930s. The new Parliament House was opened on Capital Hill as part of Australia's bicentenary celebrations on 9 May 1988.

Trivia: ‘Canberra’ is believed to come from an Aboriginal word meaning what? Answer: Meeting Place.

tourist information ...

How to get there
You can either catch a train from the Central Station, which is close to the City center, or by car via the highway that is linking Sydney and Canberra. See map.

Canberra Visitors Centre
330 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2601
Ph: (02) 6205 0044

Relevant links:
Visit Canberra.
Online Canberra guide.
17 January
1922 - The first Archibald Prize for portraiture is won by William McInnes.

1972 - A tent embassy is set up in Canberra outside Parliament House, protesting land rights.
Australian slang
  • cat burying shit, as busy as a busy
  • aerial ping-pong australian football
  • fossick to prospect for gold
  • cactus dead, out of order
  • av-a-go-ya-mug encouragement
  • cut snake, mad as a very angry
  • kelpie Australian sheepdog
  • bugger off impolite dismissal of someone
  • brumby a wild horse
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