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The Australian National University

Visiting Canberra

Australia’s national capital

Canberra is modern city, located on the ancient lands of the Indigenous Ngunnawal people. Canberra’s name is thought to mean ‘meeting place’, derived from the Aboriginal word Kamberra. European settlers arrived in the 1830s, and the area was selected by ballot as the location for the federal capital in 1908. Walter Burley Griffin, a Chicago architect, won an international design competition in 1912 and established Canberra’s special blend of natural environment and urban living.

Canberra has grown into a vibrant, cosmopolitan city whose residents and visitors enjoy the excitements and conveniences of city life amidst an extensive network of parks and reserves with walking trails and cycle ways.

Home to around 347,000 people, Canberra is located in the Australian Capital Territory, surrounded by New South Wales. The city is 150 kilometres inland and 571 metres above the Pacific Ocean, 281 kilometres (a 3 ½ hour drive or short flight) from Sydney and 660 kilometres (an 8 hour drive or comfortable flight)from Melbourne. The latitude and longitude is 35 degrees south and 149 degrees east, and the city experiences all four seasons of the year.

For more details on what to see and do in Canberra, including information on the beaches, rural towns and alpine peaks in the surrounding region, go to Canberra’s visitor website.

For more information on Canberra’s history, visit the National Capital Authority website.

 

Updated: 12 January 2011/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher