Canberra - Population of nearly 300 000 is Australia's capital and only
major inland city. It is unique in having every detail of it's construction
planned from the beginning, then being built halfway between Sydney and
Melbourne after a dispute over which would become the nations capital.
The nerve centre of Australian national government, is just a three hour
drive or a 45-minute flight south-west of Sydney. Set in a broad valley in
the southern tablelands of New South Wales, Canberra is a well-planned
lakeside city of parklands, impressive restaurants, beautiful bushland and
leafy suburbs. Many of the public buildings display some of Australia's most
innovative architecture including those housing our major, and most
impressive, national attractions.
Key attractions of Canberra
Built into the peak of Capital Hill, is the focal point for the whole of
Canberra. The interior incorporates Australian artworks and is designed to
embody the spirit of democracy. Visitors can take a guided tour, have lunch
on the terrace, or view the story of Australian democracy in the theatrette.
You are also welcome to observe Australia's political process if your visit
occurs when Parliament is in session
National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery has the finest modern art collection in the southern
hemisphere. It has more than 70,000 works which range from European Old
Masters to contemporary Aboriginal artists, and is renowned for its inter-
national blockbuster exhibitions and permanent gems such as Jackson
Pollock's Blue Poles. A wander through the Sculpture Garden will introduce
you to many exciting works by Australia's foremost sculptors, and the
wonderful "fog sculpture" shrouds the garden and lily pond in a
delicate white mist. Follow a path through land- scaped greenery to
Mirrabrook, an outdoor restaurant beside Lake Burley Griffin.
National Portrait Gallery
Situated in Old Parliament House and opened in 1994 the gallery is in an
early stage of its development. Exhibitions, built around a theme are
changed every four or five months and include artworks borrowed from public
and private lenders some of which have never been exhibited before.
of Cannebra include the artificial Lake Burley
Griffin that is the centrepiece of modern Canberra . The Civic Centre, or Civic
for short, which houses shops, restaurants, cafés, pubs, cinemas and
theatre also attracts lot of visitors. The campus of the Australian National
University (ANU) is just to the west of the centre in the suburb of Acton,
and youll also find the National Film and Sound Archive here. Beyond
Acton, the National Botanic Gardens sit at the flanks of the 806-metre Black
Mountain, topped by the distinctive Telecom Tower and just one of many
scattered sections of the Canberra Nature Park. Commonwealth Avenue Bridge,
is where youll find the government offices and national cultural
institutions, and is the part of Canberra that is of most architectural
All cuisines imaginable are represented somewhere in Canberra and the
surrounding suburbs, and if you have the time its well worth getting
out of the centre to explore some of them. Woolley Street in Dickson is the
best suburban street to head for, crammed as it is with a variety of Asian
restaurants and supermarkets. The well-off areas of Manuka and Kingston,
near New Parliament House, have gourmet delis and fine restaurants. Civic
itself is well served with places to eat, especially in the pedestrian mall
around Garema Place.
In addition to the restaurants listed Canberras many clubs also serve
very inexpensive meals in a typical Aussie atmosphere. Cafés are
plentiful around the centre, with a particular concentration on Bunda
Street, near the cinemas.
City of Dreams
clubs, most of which admit visitors, are one of the features of Canberra
life. They often serve inexpensive meals, and may also organize live music,
film evenings, parties or comedy shows all in the hope of luring
visitors to gamble their money away on the one-armed bandits. One of the
biggest is the Canberra Workers Club on Childers Street.
There are several nightclubs in Canberra, including Pandoras, on the
corner of Mort and Alinga streets, with two floors of dance music, disco and
rock; and The Private Bin, on the corner of Northbourne Avenue and East Row,
where the citys public servants let their hair down.