Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Canberra, Australia

Canberra is the capital city of Australia.  With just over 410,000 people it is the country's eighth-largest city.

The city is in the Australian Capital Territory which is located inside of New South Wales.  This keeps the government independent from any one state or territory.

Canberra is about 250 km (154 miles) south-west of Sydney and roughly 650 km (404 miles) north-east of Melbourne.  Both Sydney and Melbourne wanted to be the country's capital so a compromise was made in 1908 to build a capital between the two rivals.

Yesterday was a full-day coach tour to the capital which began with a three-hour drive to Canberra.  We didn't get to explore the city but it was a great way to see the key sights.

Mount Ainslie is on the northeast side of the city.  The tourist outlook provides a great view of ANZAC Parade from the Australian War Memorial to the Parliament House.

The Australian War Memorial is huge and includes the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, a museum and an outdoor sculpture garden.

With Remembrance Day approaching there were poppies everywhere and soldiers preparing for the 100th anniversary ending WWI.

Old Parliament House was the seat of government from 1927 until 1988 when the Commonwealth Parliament moved to the new Parliament House on Capital Hill.  Today the building is used as a venue for exhibitions and concerts.

The National Library of Australia was established in 1961.  It is the biggest reference library in the country.

Parliament House was opened in 1988.  The design is based on the shape of two boomerangs with an 81-metre (266 ft) flagpole on top.

House of Representatives

The building has 4700 rooms with many areas open to the public.  We had a private tour of both the building including both the Senate and House of Representatives.


Under Australian law, all citizens are required to enrol and vote in all federal elections and referendums.  People who don't vote receive a fine about the cost of a parking ticket.  I think this is awesome!  I wish this was the case in the USA.

Lake Burley Griffin runs though the centre of the city.  The artificial lake was completed in 1963.  It's named after the American architect Walter Burley Griffin who won the competition to design the city.

The National Carillon is 50 metres (160 ft) tall and was installed in 1970.  Queen Elizabeth II presented it as a gift from the UK to commemorate Canberra's 50th anniversary as the country's capital.

The National Museum of Australia covers 50,000 years of history from its Indigenous heritage through the Sydney 2000 Olympics.  The permanent facility opened in 2001.

This was a long day, especially with the six-hour round trip coach ride, but our guide was great and kept the day from feeling too long.

No comments:

Post a Comment