Welcome to Canberra
While every other Australian city was settled before Federation in 1901, the youthful capital was first called Canberra in 1913 making it the only Australian city founded when the nation existed. It’s not your colonial capital; it’s an Australian invention conceived of by visionary American architect Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin. Before the constructed capital, the Ngambri and Ngunnawal were the among the indigenous peoples who owned the land with ties stretching back over 20,000 years. The name Canberra is based on the Ngunnawal word for meeting.
Today, the city boasts expansive open spaces, broad boulevards, aesthetics influenced by the 19th-century Arts and Crafts Movement, and a seamless alignment of built and natural elements. Recent designer precincts around the lake – New Acton, Kingston Foreshore and a work in progress boardwalk around to the Acton Peninsula – have added a cosmopolitan atmosphere at the city’s heart. During parliamentary sitting weeks, the city buzzes with national politics. When not talking policy, the city’s developing a reputation for its festivals – the legendary Floriade, National Folk Festival and the freshly minted Canberra Writers Festival.