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              Canberra

Click for Canberra, Capital Territory Forecast

Canberra, the national capital of Australia, is a unique destination where city style meets the beauty of the Australian bush. Canberra is just over three hours drive from Sydney, or less than seven from Melbourne, and is the seat of Australian government. The national capital is a young and modern city with a population of around 320,000 people. Today people from all over the world meet in Canberra – through the national parliament, universities and a vibrant diplomatic community. Canberra offers so much more than politics  an eclectic mix of restaurants, wineries, shopping, entertainment, galleries, museums and world-class monuments and attractions – all within easy reach of accommodation. 

Most attractions are around the lake, in what is know as the "Parliamentary Triangle", and in easy walking distance of one another. Festivals, galleries, embassies, gardens and sport – there’s always plenty to do and see. You can mix with the locals at the shops, markets, theatre and sporting events, or ‘go bush’ to discover wildlife and Canberra’s untouched beauty. The name Canberra comes from the aboriginal word Kamberra which meant ‘meeting place’, either of rivers or of tribes from the surrounding areas. The Parliament House (photo) is located at the apex of the Parliament Triangle.

There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Canberra’s great year-round weather. Hire a bike and ride around Canberra’s centerpiece, Lake Burley Griffin, drift over the city in a hot air balloon, or play golf at one of many fabulous golf courses. You can try abseiling, hang gliding, parasailing, paintball, mountain bike, canoeing, white rafting, and lots of activities. There are more than 300 restaurants, cafes and bars with a huge variety of cuisines on offer which reflect the diversity of the national capital. Canberra has a busy nightlife with pubs, nightclubs and a Casino, offering plenty of entertainment. For pure pleasure take a tour of the Canberra district’s award-winning cool climate wineries. Set in beautiful rural surrounds, the wineries are small and friendly and offer a personal experience where you may even get to meet the winemaker at the cellar door. Most cellars are only 25 minutes from the city.

In spring, millions of bulbs and annuals transform Canberra’s Commonwealth Park into Floriade – Australia’s largest spring floral festival. From mid-September to mid-October every year, the flowers bloom on cue to celebrate the miracle of spring. Each year, Floriade presents fresh and different floral displays that illustrate a new theme. Each weekend is different at Floriade, bringing you new flowers, new entertainment, displays and demonstrations. Entry to Floriade is free.   Canberra boasts many other festivals and events such as, the Subaru Rally of Canberra, the National Multicultural Festival, National Folk Festival and the famous Canberra Balloon Fiesta. Distinct seasons make Canberra visually exciting. Glorious blossoms in spring are followed by hot, lazy summers around the lake. Autumn offers a rich tapestry of color as millions of trees turn reds and gold, and Canberra winters are crisp and cool with beautiful clear blue skies. A wealth of attractions and hidden surprises will make a visit to Canberra an unforgettable experience.   

A visit to Canberra can certainly give you a deeper understanding of the first Australians and indigenous Ngunnawal people who called Canberra home. Through various galleries and museums, Canberra is a keeping place of art and artifacts, of treasures and treasured knowledge of the indigenous people of Australia. The stories and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – their spirituality, diversity, identity and survival – are explored in the First Australians Gallery at the National Museum of Australia. While profiling some 40,000 years of indigenous heritage, the Gallery also looks frankly at history and contemporary issues, using multi-media and interactive technology. On show is part of the largest collection of bark paintings in the world. The diversity and beauty of Aboriginal Art can also be seen at the National Gallery of Australia. The Gallery’s permanent collection recognizes that indigenous art is one of the major art traditions practiced in Australia today. The Gallery’s collection incorporates the multitude of styles and techniques of art used by indigenous artists, including drawings by 19th Century Aboriginal artists, bark paintings from Arnhem Land and significant works by today’s urban indigenous artists.

Animal lovers will enjoy the National Zoo and Aquarium. This is Australia's only combined Zoo and Aquarium where you can see the Australia's largest collections of 'big cats'. Within its rural setting, 20 minutes from Canberra, in Gold Greek Village, you come face to face with wildlife at the Australian Reptile Centre where you can wonder at the diversity of Australia's reptiles, cuddle a python and feed the birds. Over there is located the National Dinosaur Museum fascinating all ages with its prehistoric displays, including a real 150 million-year-old Dinosaur bone and ten full sized Dinosaurs cast from original fossils. Nearby is the historic Gold Creek Station , offering an experience on working sheep and cattle farm.

Canberra and Region Visitors Centre - Northbourne Avenue, Dickson ACT 2606 -T: (61 2) 6205 0044 - F: (61 2) 6205 0776 Email: visitcanberra@act.gov.au or CRVC@act.gov.au Website: www.visitcanberra.com.au

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