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Balloon festival, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, Australia Photo
Balloon festival, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra

SOURCE: Geoff Lung, courtesy of Tourism Australia, the tourism promotion authority of the government of Australia, used with permission.

With a population of over 340,000, Canberra, Australia's capital is the coutry's largest inland city. It is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 650 km (400 mi) north-east of Melbourne.

The site of for the capital was selected in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international competition, a design by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction was begun in 1913. Its design was influenced by the garden city movement, and so includes large areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title "bush capital". Although the growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city after World War II.

As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the National Library of Australia.

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NOTE: The information regarding Australia on this page is re-published from Australia Tourism Promotion Authority. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Australia information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Australia should be addressed to Australia Tourism Promotion Authority.

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This page was last modified 25-JAN-09
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