The Political Heart of Australia

By | May 10, 2023

The Australian Capital Territory or ACT is Australia’s smallest region, having only one city, Canberra and with a mere 2,366 km2 of land area. It is situated northeast of the city of Sydney. Although small, it also has many points of interest, and lots to discover. Half of the ACT is a protected reserve and national park, and this region is composed of bushland, hills and mountain ranges ideal for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. Furthermore, for the non-adventurous, Canberra has many interesting museums, government buildings and similar places, such as the Parliament House. A visit to the capital of Australia can be an exciting political and cultural experience.The Australian Capital Territory, as its name clearly indicates, is the country’s capital territory, with the city of Canberra being the capital of Australia. Canberra is the nation’s political hub, harboring cultural centers such as the High Court, the Australian War Memorial, the Parliament House, National Library, and the National Art Gallery.Canberra is slightly over three hours away from Sydney by land and less than seven hours drive from Melbourne. It has a population of 329,000 and has several universities and a dynamic diplomatic community. It was established as the nation’s capital to end the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney in vying for being the capital of Australia. The Australian Capital Territory was removed from its former political jurisdiction of New South Wales, and was directly controlled by the federal government. It was here, specifically in the capital city, where the Parliament House was decided to be put in.Most of the city attractions can be easily reached by walking, and the farthest are simply ten minutes away by car. Just outside the city is a plethora of natural wonders such as gorgeous coastlines and the well-known Snowy Mountains.Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake on the shore of which was placed Canberra, an equally artificial city. At first, the city’s population was comprised mostly of public servants. As time went on, however, it took on a culture and identity of its own. A yearly flower festival is held during the spring, with tulips being the main attraction. This festival is accompanied by garden stalls, sculptures, music, street food, and sometimes even a scarecrow and gnome festival.Other places to visit in ACT include the Braidwood, Tumbarumba, Montague Island, and Jervis Bay. The Snowy Mountains offer excellent ski resorts, beautiful alpine wildflowers, glacial lakes, fishing, hikes and treks, wild brumbies, mountain bike and horseback riding, and more. It is also here that Mt Kosciuszko, the highest point in the country, is located. Sights in the region also includes the Namadgi National Park, the National Gallery of Australia, and the National Museum of AustraliaAnd finally, the region that surrounds the Australian Capital Territory is filled with historic villages with world-class crafts and arts, stunningly picturesque nature sceneries, delights of the palate, manicured gardens, and wine regions. South of Canberra merely two hours away can be found stunning and pristine coastlines. Truly, even the political capital of Australia is not without its myriad attractions.