CANBERRA

Australia’s national capital was founded in 1913 and is very young by world standards but it is as full of interest as any of its overseas counterparts. From its inception it has been developed as a garden city and is unique in that it was planned from the outset. In 1912 an American architect, Walter Burley Griffin, won first prize in a world-wide competition to design the new national capital.

Being an inland city Canberra has a continental climate – hot summers with temperatures sometimes reaching 40 degrees Celsius and crispy sunny winters with early morning temperatures, often below freezing point. Since 1915 thousands of trees have been planted annually and the variation in the shades of leaves during spring and autumn creates a lasting impression with visitors. Over half the city is parkland and open space dotted with picnic areas, most with BBQs.

The city’s focal point is the 11km long Lake Burley Griffin which was created in 1963 by the building of scrivener Dam to hold back the waters of the Molongolo River. Its 35km shoreline is spread with lawns, gardens and trees. The National Capital Exhibition, at Regatta Point in Commonwealth Park, is the ideal starting point for a tour of the Capital.