Introducing Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was carved out of the Limestone Plains, a region of New South Wales 280km southwest of Sydney and 150km inland from the coast. Its weathered ranges, quintessential bushland and untamed landscape are a perfect partner to the tidy city it cradles. Canberra, the Australian capital, is a geometrically designed urban centre, housing the symbols and machinery of a nation’s aspirations. Planned to a fine point, it’s home to many a national treasure, yet it has also evolved from its bureaucratic origins into a flourishing city of multi-cuisine dining, modish bars and lively festivals. Students, public servants and artists find themselves ushered here for opportunity, but remain after planting roots. As the nexus of Australian political power, Canberra thrives on networking, business lunches and gossip. Politics, scandals and the latest conspiracy theory are never off the agenda, and power brokers or image breakers can be seen scribbling notes in a Manuka café or a Civic bar.
Surrounding Canberra you’ll find rustic townships, historic homesteads and thick pockets of bushland. Hikers, bird-watchers and nature connoisseurs will find half of the territory is protected as national park or reserve. There is also accessible Aboriginal rock art and splendid camping. For more genteel pursuits there are cool-climate wineries and the meandering Murrumbidgee River to explore. The surrounding region of southeast New South Wales boasts snow fields, historic towns, more wineries and pristine lakes and rivers, and is yet another reason to base yourself in the capital and see the sights.
Hit Australia's capital highlights: 2 days in Canberra
Some capital cities almost define the country they represent. What would France be without Paris, Italy without its Eternal City or England without London? Canberra, on the other hand, is so obscure many overseas visitors have never heard of it.
Australian Capital Territory destination guides
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was born of a dispute between Sydney and Melbourne, each competing to become the capital of the newly independent and federated Australia.
Canberra Day Trip from Sydney
Visit beautiful Canberra on a day trip from Sydney. The nation's capital - a purpose built city, ultra modern, with imposing architecture yet a rural charm of lakeside, gardens and open spaces. Come and discover this hi-tech city - home of superb national monuments, museums and galleries.
Canberra Explorer: Australia's Capital City Tour from Sydney
Enjoy this comprehensive day tour of Canberra, Australian's capital city. Travel south by coach from Sydney through the Goulburn region, one of Australia's premier sheep and wool growing areas, and on to Canberra.