Though I have regularly visited Australia for the past 12 years, it was my first visit to the Australian capital, Canberra. I have to admit that I am totally impressed with the City and it is not unfair to say that I am in love with it.
Among the various reasons why I feel that way is, the greenery and the low density of population. The city is surrounded by forests and natural reserves from all sides.
Though early European settlers in Australia started exploring Canberra in 1820, it was later designed by an American Architect and designer Walter Burley Griffin, who won the Federal Design Competition in 1911.
It has a population of about 380,000 and it is Australia’s largest inland city. It has many interesting sites for tourists. The major among them are –
The National Museum of Australia. It opened in its current premises in 2001 and now showcases 50,000 years of Indigenous heritage and largest collection of Indigenous bark painting and stone tools. It is not be missed if you are in Canberra.
Another landmark is Australian Parliament which houses the Senate and House of Representatives which makes laws and policies in Australia. It is a massive and beautiful structure under an impressive flagpole. The foundation document of democracy, The Magna Carta 1297, is also housed here. In the forecourt of the building is a large ceremonial pool and a central island which has mosaic based on an Indigenous painting by Michael Nelson Jagamara.
Next is the Telstra Tower, a steel structure, 195 meters high at the top of the Black Mountain from where you get a 360 degrees view of the beautiful Canberra. There are two viewing platforms. The tower provides communication services for the National Capital. It opened in 1980.
Among other landmarks are the Australian War Memorial, dedicated to the Australians who lost their lives for the country. Lake Burley Griffin is also a big tourist attraction particularly in the evenings when a lot of people go for walks and cycling here. The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection has some high quality bonsai plants and again is very popular with tourists for view of the city.