The City of Canberra

The city of Canberra is the capital of which country?

And the answer: Australia.    

In the early 20th century, there was much debate in Australia about whether Sydney or Melbourne should be the new capital. Both cities wanted the honor, and neither wanted the other to have it. A compromise was reached, with the city of Canberra centrally located inland, between the two cities.

Photo credit: Jason Tong. 

Affectionately referred to as "The Bush" for its abundant natural landscape and mountain ranges, Canberra is a significant site of Australian culture, both Indigenous and settler. For more than 21,000 years, the Ngunnawal people, the original custodians of the land, considered the Canberra region their home. Naturally, then, the name of the city was derived from the Ngunnawal language, and means "meeting place." Fitting, is it not?

Canberra also has sister cities: Beijing, China; Nara, Japan; and Wellington, New Zealand. Established in 1993, the sister cities program is designed to boost travel, community, and education about the respective countries and cities. Canberra even hosts the Nara Candle Festival every year!

And yet collaboration in this capital city doesn't just end there. For the original design of the city, the Australian government held a Federal Capital Design Competition to find a design for the nation's capital. They received a staggering 137 entries from all over the world, including Mexico, Sweden, South Africa, Paraguay, France, and India. Ultimately, the award went to American architect Walter Burley Griffin. Today, the city is laid around a manmade lake called Lake Burley Griffin that was filled out in 1964.

Learn more about Canberra below.

Question of the Day Mobile App


Learn something new everyday. Get the Question of the Day delivered to your inbox each day!

You've successfully subscribed to Question of the Day
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Question of the Day
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.