Canberra Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Purpose built as Australia’s capital city, Canberra is a 3-hour drive from both the snowy
mountains and the beautiful beaches of New South Wales. It is a city which honors Australia’s past
and shapes its future. With an expansive bush beauty, a relaxed attitude and colorful events, Canberra is far more than a political capital. Designed for a young nation that was just
finding its feet, this city is home to many of the country’s
most important stories; stories that have come to define what it means
to be Australian. At the heart of Canberra’s creation story
is Lake Burley Griffin. A long-standing rivalry between Sydney and
Melbourne meant that neither one could be the nation’s
capital. Instead, in 1911, the government launched an international
design competition seeking a master plan for a brand new city. The victor, Chicago architect Walter Burley
Griffin, won with a garden city design focused on a
man-made lake which fits perfectly within the landscape. To understand the genius of the design, head
to the lookout at Mt Ainslie, just a short drive from the center of town. The shores of Lake Burley Griffin are home
to the Parliamentary Triangle, a precinct filled with some of Australia’s
most significant buildings that weave together Australia’s stories. Parliament House, is a national icon, that is instantly recognizable to all Australians. Like the city itself, its design was the winner
of an international competition. Although the center of political power in
Australia, its approach to welcoming visitors is relaxed. Take a tour and see history as it happens, and then head up to the lawn-covered roof
for sweeping views. Just a short stroll away is Old Parliament
House. The corridors of this beloved building are
a time capsule of some of Australia’s most pivotal moments. Walk into the Prime Minister’s office which looks exactly as it did the day the
government moved buildings in 1988. The building that houses the National Museum
of Australia, was designed around the theme of a jigsaw
puzzle intertwining the many tales of Australia. See a prototype of the Holden, Australia’s first locally made car and the enormous heart of Phar Lap, an Australian race horse that captured the
imagination of the entire country. Throughout its history, few characters have captured Australia’s
imagination, like its most infamous outlaw, Ned Kelly. Head to the National Gallery of Australia
to see Sidney Nolan’s bushranger series But for a true glimpse into the very essence
of this land, spend some time amid the astonishing masterpieces of some of the nation’s leading indigenous
artists. Visit the National Portrait Gallery to enjoy
a stunning collection of portraits of prominent Australians who have risen to the top of their fields. From the talented duo behind the international
fashion powerhouse Sass and Bide, to Andy Thomas, the country’s most famous
astronaut, these pictures tell thousands of stories. More incredible stories await, at the National
Library. See Captain Cook’s original diary which
accompanied him on his first historic voyage to Australia. In 1770, Cook claimed this great southern
land for England, opening a European chapter in the country’s
history. A little over 100 years later, the Commonwealth
of Australia was established. At certain times of the year the National
Archives of Australia display the original constitution, signed
by Queen Victoria. Perhaps the most powerful monument in this
city of stories, is the Australian War Memorial – a symbol
of a young nation’s courage, sacrifice and willingness to defend its allies
across the oceans. Immerse yourself in the experience of war
with a seamless blend of technology and storytelling. With wall-sized touch screens and surround
sound, the heroic deeds that established Australia
on the world stage come alive here. See a bullet-riddled landing boat from Gallipoli, the campaign that gave birth to the ANZAC
legend. Experience a powerful reenactment of a bombing
raid over Berlin featuring G for George, a World War 2 Lancaster bomber. Stand before the Eternal Flame and the pool
of reflection and read the roll of honour, a poignant reminder of the tragedies of war. If Canberra is passionate about honoring the
nation’s history, this young city is also creating new stories
of innovation and cool. In inner-city suburbs like Braddon, you’ll find innovative architecture, hipster coffee shops, and microbreweries. If you are traveling with kids, Canberra also has many special things to offer. Step back in time at the National Dinosaur
Museum and see the animals that populated the earth
around 150 million years ago. Many of the country’s stories have been
stamped into its currency. Visit the Royal Australian Mint to see where
coins have been made for more than 50 years. The nation’s future innovators could easily
spend a day enjoying the interactive displays at Questacon – the national science and technology
centre When Burley Griffin designed this city, he included many natural pockets to showcase
the spectacular flora created by Canberra’s diverse seasons. In autumn, see the city’s canopy explode
in brilliant reds and oranges from the viewing platform at Telstra Tower. In spring, the whole city celebrates with
Floriade, an iconic event that has been going for almost
30 years. The city’s climate is also perfect for grape
growing and there are more than 30 boutique cellar
doors on the city’s doorstep. Enjoy a glass of wine overlooking this quintessentially
Australian landscape. When, the nation’s Governor General stood
in a dusty paddock in 1913 and announced the name of the new capital, he told the nation that the city had, lying
before it, a splendid destiny. Over 100 years later, that destiny has been
fulfilled in a city that preserves the great chapters
of Australia’s history and continues to write the future pages of
the nation’s story.


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