We might be confused at times about the exact location of Canberra. Is it in South Wales, or is it in Sydney? Where is Canberra exactly located?
Don’t worry because we are here to address all your doubts.
Where is Canberra located?
Canberra, the federal capital of the Commonwealth of Australia, is located in the southeastern corner of Australia and is about 150 miles (240 km) southwest of Sydney.
Is Canberra in New South Wales?
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. It is located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which is a self-governing territory surrounded by the larger state of New South Wales (NSW) but not part of it.
Canberra is located in the southeast corner of New South Wales and is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) of Sydney.
Because of the confusing location of Canberra, people often wonder if the ACT and NSW are the same. The above image further clarifies the position of ACT wrt NSW. Please note:
- ACT is a self-governing territory under the control of the federal government. The local laws of NSW do not apply within the territory of ACT.
- ACT is geographically located within the territory of NSW, but is not legally a part of NSW.
- ACT and NSW are independent states with independent laws.
Why was Canberra chosen as the capital of Australia?
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was established in 1911. Canberra was officially declared the national capital on 12 March 1913. It was decided to be the capital because of a compromise between the different colonies of Australia when the federation of Australia came into being. It’s 629 km² in area and has a population of about 350,000 people (as of 2016). It includes Canberra city center and surrounding suburbs – Belconnen, Gungahlin, and Queanbeyan – plus several small townships such as Yass.
History of Canberra & How it came into existence?
On 1 January 1901, a federation of the different colonies of Australia was achieved and a new constitution was set up. The Federation of Australia consisted of six states namely New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. S.125 of this Constitution provided that land, situated in New South Wales and at least 100 miles (160 km) from Sydney, would be ceded to the new federal government. After a lot of detailed deliberations between the different constituents, Canberra was finalized as the new Capital. Accordingly, the Seat of Government Act 1908 was passed which specified a capital in the Yass-Canberra region. The ACT region including Canberra was transferred by New South Wales to the federal government.
Canberra is the home of Australian politics. Over the years, it has become the hub of the country’s history and culture, which has fascinated tourists worldwide.
What is the Aboriginal name for Canberra?
The aboriginal name for the ACT region was ‘Ngambri.’ The name Canberra comes from an Aboriginal word meaning “meeting place”. This name reflects the purpose of the city: it’s where all Australians can come together and discuss national issues.
Is Canberra and the ACT the same thing?
No, Canberra is a city in the territory of ACT. ACT or the Australian Capital Region includes Canberra and other townships like Williamsdale, Naas, Uriarra, Tharwa, and Hall.
What cities come under New South Wales?
Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Penrith, Gosford, Albury, Maitland, and Shellharbour are some of the famous and more populous cities of NSW. Sydney is the capital of the state of NSW.
Is Canberra a good place to visit?
Yes, it is. Canberra is best known for its vast collection of historical spots and accounts of cultural heritage, providing its tourist’s glimpse of Canberra’s past and what it has become. You will also be thrilled to find out about unique local art, spots where you can take your family and spend a casual time amidst the beautiful soothing weather, and several wineries circling the city.
Will a visit to Canberra be worth it?
Suppose you are one of those tourists who is fascinated by visiting sites of historical and political importance, in that case, Canberra is the city for you as it is home to iconic landmarks such as-
- The Australian War Memorial,
- Royal Australian Mint,
- National Museum,
- National Gallery,
- and Parliament House.
Canberra also allows visitors to learn about the rich history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Top 10 places to visit in Canberra
1. Visit the Parliament Houses (Old and New)-
Location: New Parliament House – Parliament Dr, Canberra; Old Parliament House – 618 King George Terrace, Canberra.
2. Canberra Railway Museum
Location: Geijera Pl, Kingston.
3. Mount Majura Vineyard-
Location: 314 Majura Rd, Majura.
4. Cockington Green-
Location: 11 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls, Canberra.
5. Go Hot Air Ballooning with Balloon Aloft-
Location: Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla.
6. Questacon: The National Science and Technology Centre
Location: King Edward Terrace, Canberra.
7. National Zoo and Aquarium-
Location: 999 Lady Denman Dr, Weston Creek, Canberra
8. The National Portrait Gallery-
Location: King Edward Terrace, Canberra.
9. The National Gallery of Australia-
Location: Parkes Place, Canberra.
10. Australian War Memorial-
Location: Treloar Cres, Canberra.
Some popular Canberra tourist places include Parliament House, Questacon – National Science and Technology.
What else can you do in Canberra?
1. Spend the day on Lake Burley Griffin
Take a walk, or even cycle around the shore, or take a paddle boat, go to the lake, and have a fantastic boat ride. There’s plenty to do there at the lake. So you won’t regret spending your time there.
2. Get back to nature at Tidbinbilla
In under an hour, you can trade the city for the lush snow gum forests and sprawling valleys of Tidbindilla Nature Reserve. Home to a range of wildlife and adventure experiences, you may want to spend a few nights experiencing this natural haven.
So, suppose you are planning to choose Canberra as your vacation destination. In that case, you will surely enjoy it to the fullest as Canberra would give a taste of every aspect of Australia- history, politics, culture, nature, and even the finger-licking delicacies.
Hope it is now clear that Canberra is not a part of New South Wales but merely in New South Wales. But if you plan a trip to Australia this year, a visit to Canberra is a must because the city has a lot to offer to all its tourists.