The Capital of Australia: A Brief History

Is Sydney the capital of Australia?

SydneyNo, it isn’t.

Is Melbourne the capital of Australia?

MelbourneNo it isn’t.

This is the capital of Australia…

CanberraA Very Brief History of Canberra, Capital of Australia

And when I say brief, boy do I mean brief. If you have this as a homework question kids, move on, unless you want to get a ‘D’.

A long long time ago, I’m talking about a very long time ago, the area we know today as Canberra was known as Limestone Plains. Then after European settlement, sometime around 1820, the place was ‘discovered’ by some geezers. Several years after that, one guy purchased a rather large plot of land described on the deed as ‘Camberry’ for 250 quid (a.k.a £250).

The name Canberra became widely used during the 19th century.

The Federation of Australia

One day, the six states of Australia, that’s New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia decided to become the Commonwealth of Australia and establish federalism.

The big debate though, was where to hold Parliament. Easy, said New South Wales and Queensland, it’s got to be Sydney…

Sydney beachNo, no, no said Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, let’s go for Melbourne which, at the time, was the bigger city…

MelbourneA compromise was needed and a new territory was created between the two and just happen to be around the area known as ‘Canberra’…

CanberraAll that remained was to officially name this area and it became known as Australian Capital Territory. A competition was held to name the city itself, among the considerations were, apparently, Olympus, Paradise, Captain Cook, Shakespeare, Kangaremu, Sydmeladperho, Eucalypta and Myola.

On that basis, I think we can all be grateful that it ended up being called Canberra.

Story loosely adapted from Wikipedia.

So if you’ve ever wondered why it is that when you see an ‘image’ of Canberra you are quite often shown this…

Canberra - Parliament House

Now you know why. Because as a city, Canberra isn’t so photogenic and the alternative is this…

Canberra Canberra3

CanberraYear 6 trip to Canberra

I’ve still not been to Canberra, but as of last week my 11-year-old daughter has as you will know from my recent post A Trip to Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. My thanks to Elizabeth for supplying today’s photos of Canberra.

Some people might say there’s not much to do Canberra, but I can tell you my daughter had a very full itinerary for the four days she was there.

What did she enjoy the most?

She loved the zoo and that gives me a great opportunity to show you some animal pictures that aren’t kangaroos or koalas…

zoo2 zoo

Really? Sorry, there’s just no need for this…

lion poopingShe liked the visit to the Australian Royal Mint which reminded her that in those old days they had threepenny coins, sixpences, shillings and crowns…

mintAlthough she quite preferred this Great Barrier Reef coin…

Great Barrier Reef coinMost of all though, she really loved Questacon…

questaconWhich is the National Science and Technology Centre.

She also really loved the Australian Institute of Sport and I’m sure she would have taken photographs of it, but I’m afraid the memory card on the camera had run out of space.

That’s what happens when you take around 200 photos at the zoo.

She didn’t check out the pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs or the nightlife while she was there, looks like that’s down to me when I visit. What she did do though, I’m pleased to report, is have an awesome time.

Elizabeth gave Canberra the thumbs up.

Canberra, in its full glory, from the other side…

Canberra Panorama

Image courtesy of teejaybee

Nope, still not photogenic.

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