Australian Capital Territory Travel

Australian Capital Territory is a state on its own. 

ACT is not Australia's most popular travel destination, but it's an interesting place to visit.  

Canberra is not like any city, it was built to be the capital of Australia, and you can see it. Just a short trip outside is a lot of wildlife in Tidbinbilla and Namadgi National Park, and not far from it are some of the best of Australian ski resorts.
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, Pacific
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Australian Capital Territory Travel Information - Canberra History
Australia's smallest state, Australian Capital Territory also has the shortest history. Before 1901, the Australian continent consisted of six separate colonies. They would probably have developed into six different countries to cover the continent, but I’ve heard that beer taxes becoming too high made the six colonies decide to join together and form the Commonwealth of Australia.

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But where should the capital be? The oldest colonies in New South Wales and Victoria had had the longest time to develop, so clearly it should be either Sydney or Melbourne, but which one of them? Unable to answer that question, they decided to build a new capital between the two, and call it Canberra. Not willing to have Canberra in New South Wales, around it they created a new state - Australian Capital Territory.

Parliament House, Capital Hill, Canberra, A.C.T. (Australian Capital Territory), Australia
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Australian Capital Territory Travel Information - Canberra Design
The first thing I noticed as we drove along the wide boulevards – there are no skyscrapers in Canberra! How different for a New World city.

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Canberra is spread out over a large area, it’s very green with all the parklands, and it’s very artistic and modern. Wherever you watch there is a statue or a piece of art. Shopping centres are flash and bars and restaurants posh. There are a few Irish pubs but they are nothing like a good old historical pub in Sydney or Melbourne. This is of course understandable because they had decided to build Canberra into the bush, and try to find a piece of bush suitable for a capital city, where there happens to be a historical pub.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Canberra, Australia
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Australian Capital Territory Travel Information - Canberra Attractions
On the other hand, I would understand if they didn’t want to build Australian Capital Territory around an old drinking hole. A city like Canberra had to start from the scratch. No other city is so perfectly planned: from Capital Hill where the Parliament House, Commonwealth Avenue crosses the Lake Burley Griffin and goes right through the city centre at Vernon Circle.

Kings Avenue crosses the lake towards east in a similar way and between the two is the perfectly triangular Parliamentary Triangle, with the Old Parliament House in the middle, and the ANZAC Parade with Canberra War Memorial lined up with it on the other side of the lake. West of the city centre is the Canberra Zoo (National Zoo and Aquarium), and north are the residential suburbs Lyneham and Dickson. South of Capital Hill, Canberra Avenue takes you to Manuka and Kingston, with some nice Canberra restaurants and the Old Bus Depot Markets.

Australia - Canberra and Lake Burley Griffin
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Australian Capital Territory Travel Information - Tidbinbilla and Namadgi
Canberra is full of parks to jog, cycle or roller blade, and the Lake Burley Griffin is popular with kayakers and yachties. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve 45km out of the city has some good bushwalks, and south of it is Namadgi National Park which covers pretty much the whole southern ACT.

Geehi, Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales, Australia, Pacific
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Australian Capital Territory Travel Information - Mount Kosciuszko Ski Resorts
On the other side of the state border, in New South Wales, is Mount Kosciuszko National Park - a great place to bushwalk during the summer and ski or snowboard during the winter.

The park contains Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, and the famous Australian ski resorts Thredbo, Perisher Blue and Mt Selwyn.
Chairlift at Mt. Thredbo, Kosciuszko National Park, Australia
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Fun packages with trips starting from Sydney and Canberra:




Here's a map of ACT, places mentioned on this web page tagged. You can click on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.

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Here is the local time in ACT right now:


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