When we think of Australia, our minds often wander to the bustling cities of Sydney or Melbourne, or the stunning beaches of the Gold Coast. However, there's a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the country - the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Established in 1913, the ACT was designed as a federal territory to accommodate the newly founded Australian Capital, Canberra. So what makes its capital city more than just a government hub?
The Birth of a Capital
The Australian Capital Territory was strategically chosen as the location for the country’s capital as a compromise between Sydney, the commercial hub, and Melbourne, the cultural centre. Canberra, the capital of the ACT, was designed in a way that mirrored the democratic principles of the nation, with wide boulevards, open spaces, and grand architecture. Housing several Australian government agencies, Canberra's sights and landmarks, such as the Australian War Memorial, Parliament House, and the National Gallery of Australia, attract visitors from all corners of the globe.
Canberra: More Than Just a Government Hub
Canberra is more than just a city of government buildings. It's a place where nature and urbanization beautifully intertwine. With nature reserves like the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, where you can spot koalas and wallabies, and the Namadgi National Park, boasting stunning landscapes and hiking trails, Canberra offers a breath of fresh air for every visitor. Don't forget to visit the Australian National Botanic Gardens, where you can appreciate a beautiful and extensive collection of native Australian plants.
The ACT: A Landlocked Gem
The ACT is a unique territory, as it's the only Australian state or territory that is entirely landlocked. Despite this, the territory still shares a border with New South Wales, boasting plenty of small towns and villages scattered throughout the area. Take a drive along the scenic routes and explore quaint towns like Braidwood, renowned for its well-preserved historic architecture and gold mining heritage.
A Rich Indigenous History and Culture
The ACT also has a rich indigenous history and culture that dates back over 20,000 years. The Ngunnawal people are the traditional owners of the land on which Canberra is located. Visitors can learn about their rituals, traditions, and dreamtime stories by visiting Aboriginal rock art sites in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve or taking an immersive tour with indigenous guides.
Ready to Discover the Heart of Australia?
The Australian Capital Territory, with its capital city Canberra, offers a unique blend of history, architecture, nature, and culture. From the democratic principles that the city was built upon to the vast natural reserves that encompass it, the ACT has something for everyone. Whether you're interested in politics, hiking, or immersing yourself in indigenous cultures, the ACT awaits you. So pack your bags, book your flights, and get ready to discover the heart of Australia!
24 Nov 2022