Many visitors to Australia are surprised to learn that the so-called business capital, Sydney, is not the actual capital of the country. In fact, Canberra, is the capital. The city has a storied history that dates back 20,000 years, when Indigenous people first populated the area. Since that time, many others have arrived, and now you too have the option to visit and stay in one of the many cheap hotels in Canberra.
The Commonwealth of Australia was established in 1901, and Parliament immediately began searching for an appropriate capital. They determined that it should be within New South Wales and near Sydney. Canberra was determined to have the best climate, land, and water supply to create a capital city worthy of this fledgling country. A design competition was launched, and a landscape architect won with his stunning ampitheatre design.
Visitors to Canberra today will not want to miss seeing Parliament House, but there is so much more to Canberra than politics. The Australian National Botanical Gardens, which house and cultivate an extensive collection of native plants, call Canberra home. Just a few kilometres from the city’s centre is Namadgi National Park. The park has peaks topping 1,700 metres, Aboriginal rock art, opportunities to abseil and mountain bike, and plenty of other activities and attractions to keep you busy and engaged.
The Australian War Memorial in Canberra offers visitors an opportunity to participate in guided tours, learn from exhibitions, or take advantage of the research centre. Canberra is also home to Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre of Australia and one of the most popular attractions in the capital city.
Accommodations in Australia’s capital are plentiful, ranging from budget hostels and caravan or camping accommodations to mid-priced hotels and motels. Bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels often offer a bit more service and some of the luxuries of home in a range of price points, while Canberra’s four- and five-star hotels are posh and include a heritage-listed art deco hotel. Furnished properties offer an affordable alternative for those planning longer stays.
Any visit to Australia will benefit from a stop in the capital, surrounded by snowy mountains, wine country, and the natural wild beauty of the land down under.