Canberra – The Nation’s Capital


Canberra, the nation’s capital, is located in the Australian Capital Territory. The city is 280 kilometres inland from Sydney and has a population of about 400,000 people.

Canberra was chosen for the federal capital in 1908. Canberra’s special contrast of nature and urban living was planned in 1912 by master designer, Walter Burley Griffin, a Chicago architect who won an international design competition.  Since then, Canberra has grown into a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with national attractions of heritage and history.

Canberra is the home of the Australian story. When you want to learn and celebrate what it means to be Australian, our nation’s history and culture and our way of life, Canberra is the place to be. Discover the Australian National Collection in museums, galleries, libraries and archives, enjoy outdoor recreation in extensive natural parklands and get a taste of the thriving food and wine scene.

Explore Canberra for Australian culture and history at superb monuments and galleries in this city surrounded by parklands and native bushland. Visit Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia and Questacon. Experience the the Balloon Fiesta in autumn, Fireside Festival in winter, and Floriade in spring.

Explore the Australian Alps or Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Murrumbidgee River Corridor, just a short drive away.

Websites that provide detailed information about our national capital include: and

Parliament House

The home of Australia’s Parliament and the meeting place of a nation, Parliament House is located on a 32-hectare site on Capital Hill and is the focal point of Canberra. The building is open to the public every day of the year except for Christmas Day. Additionally, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House brings the journey of Australian democracy to life, presenting its past, present and possible futures.

National Galleries & Museums

The vast wealth of Australia’s culture, history and way of life is housed in the national museums, galleries and attractions in Canberra. These national icons offer an intriguing insight into the Australian character and democracy, and our journey from an indigenous continent to a modern nation.

See the famous painting “Blue Poles” on a visit to the National Art Gallery or visit the National Portrait Gallery to see portraits of people who have shaped our nation.

Experience the work of legendary Australian artist, Tom Roberts December 2015 to March 2106 at the NGA. This extraordinary exhibition brings together Tom Roberts’ most famous paintings loved by all Australians. Paintings such as Shearing the rams (1888-90) and A break away! (1891) are among the nation’s best known works of art.

The Tom Roberts exhibition takes place during an exciting period of change at the NGA, including a large-scale rehang of almost every work of art, with Australian art taking pride of place in a new location. Rediscover your NGA!

Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial  is a first class museum and extensive archive, commemorating the sacrifice of Australian men and women who have served in war. The memorial enables Ausralians to remember and to understand the enduring impact of war on Australian society.  The Museum is open daily 10am to 5pm, with a Last Post Ceremony every day at 4.55pm.

Department of Defence

Canberra’s Russell Offices is home to the Chief of the Defence Force and Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force.

The Department is responsible for formulating Defence policy to meet the broad objectives of the Federal Government.


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