Canberra is the capital of the Australian Capital Territory, and federal capital of Australia. Its population is about 385,000. In area it is 80km north/south and about 30km wide.
Canberra was first settled by Europeans in 1824. Being almost equal distance between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, in 1908 the site was diplomatically selected as the national capital, together with the surrounding area, as the Australian Capital Territory. The name Canberra was selected in 1913 from an Aboriginal word meaning 'meeting place'.
Following an international competition American architect, Walter Burley Griffin, was
chosen to design the city. His plan envisaged a garden city for about 25,000 people.
In 1963 the Molonglo River was dammed to form Lake Burley Griffin, an artificial lake 11km wide, named after the architect. It is now the centrepiece of modern Canberra. It also provides facilities for sailing, rowing, fishing and swimming.
Canberra Visitors Centre is located at 330 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson.
City and suburban banks are open Mon-Thurs 9.30am-4pm, Fri 9.30am-5pm.
Canberra Post Office: Alinga Street, Civic.
Hours vary at smaller shopping centres.
Coaches run from Canberra to most capital cities. You can also catch a bus to the snow
fields and throughout New South Wales.
Canberra's attractions include Parliament House, new and old, the Prime Minister's Lodge, the High Court of Australia and the various diplomatic embassies. There is also the National Library, National Gallery and the Australian War Memorial.
EVENTS:February - Royal Canberra Show
March - Canberra Festival, for 10 days to celebrate the city's birthday, with music, food and a mardi gras.
April - National Folk Festival.
April/May - Australian Science Festival.
September/October - Floriade Festival, a floral exhibition in Spring, in Commonwealth Park. With lighting between 6pm-10pm.
November - Spring Exhibition and Rose Show.
December - Street Machine Summer Nats, hot-rods and wet t-shirt competitions at New Year.
Daylight saving commences on the first Sunday in October and ends on the first Sunday in April.
STATE HOLIDAYS (2012):
Canberra Day - Monday 12 March
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS (2012):
1st Term: Feb 3 - Apr 13