Custom Search

world clock

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Australian Capital Territory

Canberra was chosen as Australia's capital city in 1908, resolving a long-running debate between the main rivals of Sydney and Melbourne, and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is the land that was placed around it.The territory is a small area, 80km (50 miles) from north to south and about 30km (20 miles) wide, carved out of pre-existing land. Yet, despite its size there are historic homesteads, parks and hills to roam, thick bushland to frolic in, wineries and wildlife parks. Indeed half of the Territory is protected via national park or nature reserves. The Snowy Mountains, jutting out of nearby New South Wales, are a brilliant border to the territory's picture-perfect scene.Canberra retains its own distinct atmosphere having evolved from quiet bushland home for the nation's bureaucrats and politicians to a buzzing city offering multicultural cuisine, thumping festivals and an active student population. As holder of national treasures such as the National Gallery and National Museum, Canberra offers plenty for culture vultures. Designed by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin, it is a deliberately spacious city, from its large areas of parkland to the 11km (7-mile) lake to the circular layout around the Parliamentary Centre.