Australia sits on top of the list for almost every traveler out there. Pristine beaches with breathtaking views, an incredible nature with unique animals and plants and fantastic cities are just some of the attractions of this wonderful country. For the urban tourist, the main cities are the prime destinations, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth. But tourists should not miss Canberra, the nation's capital and one of the most fun cities in the southern hemisphere.
With a population of just 367,000, the city is only the eighth largest overall in Australia, but that doesn't mean it comes off as boring or uninteresting. The first thing about Canberra that you will notice is that it is a fairly new city, founded in 1908, and built as a planned city, with wide boulevards, squares and impressive parks, providing sweeping views of the skyline. Circles, hexagons, squares and triangles are some of the geometric motifs which the designers had in mind when planning the city. And indeed, the outcome is utterly outstanding, Canberra often being called the Garden of Australia.
Located close to the two large cities, Sydney and Melbourne, there are a lot of cheap flights to choose from, so arriving there should not be a problem. Being the nation's capital, Canberra acts as the seat of the Government, the Parliament House and other high ranking public offices. The most interesting parts, however, are the public attractions, such as museums, libraries and memorial parks or gardens, and Canberra has plenty to choose from. Here is a short list of the main attractions in and around Canberra:
The National Museum of Australia features the most comprehensive collections of social history and human development concerning Australia and its development as a modern nation. Established in 1980, the museum exhibits a full collection spanning 50,000 years of Indigenous heritage, as well as the age of European colonization, starting in the 17th century. The museum holds and displays to the general public the largest collection of Aboriginal art, including rare bark paintings, stone cuts and sculptures and other handcrafted objects. Visitors can enjoy the interactive media center, with fun exhibitions, demonstrations and classes for every age group or interest.
Mount Ainslie is a hill and popular lookout point, with spectacular views of the whole city and the valley. It is truly the perfect destination for the adventure seeker, being a fun hike for anyone looking for a little exercise. Also, the path leading to the top is filled with commemorating plaques from World War II and other historic events. On arriving at the top, you will find a lookout area with scenic views, a visitor center and a restaurant.
The Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) is a great experience if you are interested in flowers, plants or shrubs. Australia is known for its unique flora, featuring different ecosystems, climates and biotopes. Located near Canberra, the ANBG holds a huge selection of plants from across the continent and beyond. Tourists can explore the huge variety of flowers, seeds or trees in a wonderful, exciting setting.