Canberra the Austarlian city has been staking a claim for the title of ‘coolest little capital’from the past. The city of excusite beauty is located at 280km from the northern end of the Australian Capital Sydney, and 660 km from north-east of Melbourne.
While every other Australian city was settled before Federation in 1901, the youthful capital was first called Canberra in 1913 making it the only Australian city founded when the nation existed. It’s not the colonial capital, it’s an Australian invention conceived of by visionary American architect Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin. The name Canberra is based on the Ngunnawal word for meeting.
Today, the city boasts expansive open spaces, broad boulevards, aesthetics influenced by the 19th-century Arts and Crafts Movement, and a seamless alignment of built and natural elements. Recent designer precincts around the lake New Acton, Kingston Foreshore and a work in progress boardwalk around to the Acton Peninsula have added a cosmopolitan atmosphere at the city’s heart.
As a hub of art this city of beauty has its own collection of art pieces of excusitic beauty in National Gallery of Australia. The nation’s extraordinary art collection is showcased in a suitably huge purpose-built gallery within the parliamentary precinct. Almost every big name one could think of from the world of Australian and international art, past and present, is represented .in this gallery.
National Portrait Gallery which is also a piece of masterly art is a flash new purpose gallery which tells the story of Australia through its faces from wax cameos of Indigenous Australians to colonial portraits of the nation’s founding families, to Howard Arkley’s DayGlo portrait of musician Nick Cave.
Australian War Memorial
Canberra’s glorious art deco war memorial is a highlight in a city filled with interesting architecture. Built to commemorate ‘the war to end all wars’, it opened its doors in 1941 when the next world war was already in full swing. Attached to it is a large, exceptionally well designed museum devoted to the nation’s military history.
Australian National Botanic Gardens
On Black Mountain’s lower slopes, these large gardens showcase Australian floral diversity over 35 hectares of cultivated garden and 50 hectares of remnant bushland. Various themed routes are marked out, with the best introduction being the 30-to-45 minute main path, which takes in the eucalypt lawn where 70 species are represented, rock garden, rainforest gully and Sydney Region garden. A 3.2km bushland nature trail leads to the garden’s higher reaches.