20 Things You Didn't Know About Canberra, Australia
Canberra is the capital and the largest inland city of Australia. The capital city is known for its historical national monuments, planned city design, stunning attractions, fun festivals, and definitely for its amazing wine and dine culture.
The Australian capital is 100 years old! It has the Judiciary and Legislature of the country’s government.
Tumut, Albury, Dalgety, and Orange were the options considered for the base of the nation’s parliament initially.
The name ‘Canberra’ in the Ngunnawal people’s language is said to mean ‘meeting place’ or ‘women’s breasts’. The latter might be in reference to the Mt Ainslie and Black Mountain.
Almost 137 entries came in from 15 countries to design the city in 1912, when the Australian Government hosted a Federal Capital Design Competition.
Walter Burley Griffin gets the credit of designing the whole city but it’s said his wife Mario actually did all the drawings.
The manmade Lake Burley Griffin was filled out in 1964, which turned out to be a disaster initially. The first attempt was done during a drought.
The name ‘Bush Capital’ is well-suited as there are numerous natural reserves till now. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve includes 14 protected habitats protecting endangered animals like brush-tail rock wallabies, kangaroos, koalas in their natural habitat.
Most of the streets in Canberra are named after ex-politicians like Fisher, Hughes, Deakin, Whitlam, etc. The Callister Street is named after the chemist Dr Cyril Callister who invented Vegemite.
The capital’s biggest flagpole, 40m Douglas Fir, was actually a gift from Canada. It was offered in 1957 as a memento of the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister’s visit in 1955.
The Captain Cook Memorial Jet can spray water up to 147 meters in the air. The jet in the lake and a globe sculpture stand at Regatta Point of lake Burley Griffin.
Many famous attractions are actually free! It includes the Parliament House, National Capital Exhibition, National Archives of Australia, Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, etc.
Canberra is said to be a scary place. Some of the haunted places are the National Film and Sound Archive, Old Parliament House, and Kurrajong Hotel. These places have had several ghost sightings and many guards even have refused to work.
Almost 50 hot air balloons can be seen in the air, every March for the Canberra Balloon Spectacular Festival. It takes place from the lawns of the Old Parliament House.
Another national event is the Floriade (flower festival) which is a celebration of spring. The Commonwealth Park is a wonderful display of colors, flowers, and entertainment. The National Folk Festival is also held in the city.
The city hosts the Summernats Car Festival every January. The four-day carnival displays restored and modified street cars with numerous competitions and car shows.
The city is a fan of street art. There are actually 30 legal graffiti art sites where artists can practice without permit.
The city has three sister cities – Beijing in China (since 2000), Nara in Japan (since 1993), and Wellington in New Zealand (Since 2016).
The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex is a part of NASA’s Deep Space Network.
There are numerous secret tunnels and hidden passageways in the city. The Old Parliament House has a tunnel below which is the same length as of the building.
Because of the city’s vibrant vibe and amazing food and wine scene, it was the first Australian city to rank in the first 10 of Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel – Top Cities’ list. It ranked third in the year 2018.