Canberra is a picturesque 20th-century concoction on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin that has struggled to establish itself as the focus of Australia's national identity. It has often been perceived as a 'fat cat' town of politicians and bureaucrats living off the rest of the country.
Canberra travel, Australia Tourist Attractions
However, you'll only have to step outside the Parliamentary Triangle to realise that there's more to Canberra than machinations and money. One of only two artificially-conceived cities in the world, Canberra is eerily symmetrical, surprisingly workable and endlessly intriguing. Autumn in Canberra is quite simply gorgeous. The days are sunny and crisp, the trees are changing and everything looks lovely. Winter is really cold. Spring is much wetter and windier, though the very popular Floriade festival brightens things up. Canberra was first settled by Europeans in 1824, when Joshua Moore bought the first land grant in the area, at the Canberra travel foot of Black Mountain. By 1845 a town had grown up in the shadow of the mountain, with the newly built St John's Church and the nearby school at its centre.
The establishing of a national capital and surrounding Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was one of the tenets of the constitution created when the colonies were federated into Australian states in 1901. The site was selected in 1908 - diplomatically situated between arch rivals Sydney and Melbourne. Canberra was named in 1913, from an Aboriginal term believed to mean 'meeting place', and an international competition to design the city was won by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin. Development of the site was slow and although parliament was first convened in the capital in 1927, it was not until after the World War Two that the dream of a national capital began to reach fruition.
In 1957 the Menzies Government created the National Capital Development Commission, to establish Canberra as the seat of government and generally spruce the place up a bit. Over the next 20 years it was full steam ahead - bridges were built over a hypothetical lake, then a year later the lake followed; the Mint, the National Library, the Botanic Gardens and the Carillon sprang up; the civic centre was packed full of offices, shops and theatres. Throughout the 60s the public service became Canberra's major industry, with departments shifting to the capital from all over the country, bringing with them hordes of happy families in Canberra tourism search of a quarter-acre block to call their own. In line with its reputation as a planned city, Canberra's growth was less than organic - rather than filling in the city centre and letting suburbs sprawl around it, the NCDC oversaw the setting up of 'satellite towns' to the north and south. Woden, to the south, was set up first, then Belconnen to the north. In the 70s they were followed by Tuggeranong, and in the 80s Gunghalin.Las Vegas
Since Federation the ACT had been under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, with no local government of its own. In a 1978 referendum Canberrans had voted no to self-government, but despite this in 1988 the Federal Australia Tourist Attractions Government passed four bills to make the Territory self-governing and in 1989 the first Legislative Assembly was elected.