Canberra Visitor information
Canberra is the capital city of Australia and is the largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a blueprint by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The Griffins' plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centred around axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory. Within the central area of the city near Lake Burley Griffin, major roads follow a wheel-and-spoke pattern rather than a grid. Griffin's proposal had an abundance of geometric patterns, including concentric hexagonal and octagonal streets emanating from several radii. However, the outer areas of the city, built later, are not laid out geometrically.
The city's design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title of the "bush capital". The growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, which exacerbated a series of planning disputes and the ineffectiveness of a sequence of bodies that were to oversee the development of the city. The national capital emerged as a thriving city after World War II, as Prime Minister Robert Menzies championed its development. As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court and numerous government departments and agencies.
Accommodation in Canberra's university residences
The two main tertiary institutions are the Australian National University, established in 1946, and the University of Canberra. Many of the univeristy residences offer casual visitor accommodation during the vacation periods. It should be understood that these residences and colleges are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, they do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Getting around Canberra
The car is by far the dominant form of transport in Canberra. Canberra's districts are generally connected by parkways, ie. limited access dual carriageway roads, with speed limits generally set at a maximum of 100 km/h. The government-operated bus service ACTION provides public transport throughout the city. An interstate CountryLink railway service connects Canberra to Sydney. Train services to Melbourne are provided by way of a CountryLink bus service which connects with a rail service between Sydney and Melbourne in Yass, about one hour's drive from Canberra. Canberra International Airport provides direct domestic services to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, with connections to other domestic centres. No regular commercial international flights operate from the airport.