Why is Canberra the capital of Australia?

If you ask what the capital of Australia is, what would be your answer? Almost 90% of people will go for Sydney or Melbourne as these are two of the biggest cities in Australia. Canberra is the capital of Australia. The Canberra name comes from the local Aboriginal word meaning meet peace. 

Canberra is situated away from the big cities of Australia like Melbourne and Sydney. The big city in general is considered the capital of the nation. But why is Canberra selected as the capital of Australia? Canberra is located between Melbourne and Sydney. Australia separates as the six British colonies before Canberra city. Melbourne was the temporary capital of Australia and Sydney was the first European settlement built. After a long debate, the Australian government decided Canberra as the capital of Australia with the establishment of Australian capital territory. 

Let us learn about this and some more facts about the capital of Australia.

Canberra Location

Canberra’s location played a vital role in its formation as capital. Canberra is 177 miles away from Sydney and the distance from Melbourne to Canberra is 411 miles. Canberra city has no coast, but it is Australia’s largest inland city. The Aussies capital city has no coast, but three main rivers named Molonglo, Cotter and Queanbeyan. These three rivers combine to form Murrumbidgee river that drains all Australian Capital Territory and most southern New South Wales.

Less Populated but High Opportunities

The population of Canberra city is 472,000 in 2023 while Melbourne has 5,235,000 people and Sydney has 5,121,000 population. A less population does not mean Canberra is not worth living. The standard of living in Canberra is high with diverse Job opportunities and a strong economy. Canberra has a skilled migration program for skilled foreigners to get a job in their relevant fields through applying for a visa. As an Australian citizen, you can work with the Australian Government in Canberra as a temporary as well as permanent basis. 

Canberra History

In 1901, when the federation of the colonies of Australia established after 6 British colonies became one nation, there was a dispute about whether Sydney would become the capital or Melbourne. After long debates, it was decided that a new capital would be built in the middle of Sydney and Melbourne. The Australian government decided Canberra as planned city and Canberra declared capital in 1913 officially. 

An international design contest held by the Australian Government at that time and the design presented by American architect Walter Burley Griffin was selected from the 137 entries. Canberra is the state capital of Australia, but the center of the economy of Australia is Sydney due to its huge population.

Canberra Weather 

The Canberra has dry and continental weather that gives every range of hotness and coldness. You can experience thunderstorms in summer and heavy snowfall in winter. The climate change impacts the weather of the Aussies capital that results in extreme hot days in summer (with above 40 degrees).

Canberra is established in a region where one can enjoy hot summers and cold winters, with uniform rainfall in the city. There are multiple buildings and landmarks to visit. 

Famous Landmarks of Canberra

Canberra is not a historical city. The history of Canberra is about a hundred years old. But there are many famous and important places and landmarks to visit.

National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia brings the story of the history of Australia to life with the help of objects, events, and ideas. The current building of the museum officially open in 2001. The architecture of the building is a masterpiece that makes it a worth-to-watch place. You can explore the fifty thousand years old Indigenous people culture through paintings and stone tools. 

You can have the assistance of a guide or wander solo to explore the history of Australians. There is no entry fee, but some of the events that happen occasionally are paid. The collection of objects will link you to the history and culture of Australia.

Parliament House Canberra

Parliament house Canberra built at the most prominent place in Canberra. This is the place where the legislatures of the whole of Australia discuss every day. This building started through Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1988. 

This is also an architectural masterpiece, designed by New York-based Mitchell/Giurgola and Thorp Architects. The house is open to visit every day except public holidays like Christmas.

Australia War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial locates in the suburb of Canberra. This construct to pay tribute to the sacrifices of those who have served the nation in wars, operations, and conflicts. The building consists of a war museum, a shrine, and extensive archives. 

The place is a must-visit and connects its visitors to the enthusiasm and spirit of the soldiers of the nation. There are many other places to visit in Canberra including the National Library of Australia, The Australian National University, and the National Carillon.

Final Wrapping

Due to its geographical importance, Canberra made the capital of Australia. Melbourne became the temporary capital of Australia and Canberra became officially capital 1913 as a compromise between the two big cities, Melbourne, and Sydney. Read about What is Adelaide famous for.

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