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Australian Capital Territory - Small but Mighty

Despite its small area, the Australian Capital Territory is full of adventures and sights. The Australian Alps and the Namadgi National Park are as impressive as the planned city of Canberra with its extraordinary structures and monuments.

Panoramic view of Australia's capital

Geography - The seat of the capital

The Australian Capital Territory (abbreviated to "ACT") is an Australian territory which includes the capital of Canberra. Although the region has its own government, it does not have full independence like the other Australian states. Its area of 2,358 km² is enclosed by the state of New South Wales, making it an enclave. Almost 400,000 people live in the relatively small state, only 1,000 of which reside outside the capital of Canberra. Due to its geographical position, the ACT has four seasons. The summers are warm to hot, while the winters are cool to cold and characterised by fog and frost.

Seat of the government in Canberra

Nature - The Australian Alps and the Namadgi National Park

The landscape of the Australian Capital Territory is dominated by the capital of Canberra, the Australian Alps and the Namadgi National Park. The latter constitutes the northern end of the famous range and accommodates the region's highest mountain, Mount Bimberi (1,912 m). High peaks, several rivers and thick forests characterise the scenery of the protected area, which borders on the smaller Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. This reserve contains historical sites of Australia's native inhabitants, shrubland, mountain lakes and gorges. While the peaks are partly covered in snow in winter, they are vegetated by beautiful wild flowers in spring.

Nature reserve near the capital

Culture - The rivalry between two cities leads to the creation of a third one

The Australian Capital Territory and the capital of Canberra were founded in 1901 because of the rivalry between the big cities of Melbourne and Sydney. Both metropolises fought over becoming the country's capital. Since they could not come to an agreement, the compromise was the creation of a third city. This way, the idea of a new territory and a new city between Melbourne and Sydney was born and construction began on the 20th of February in 1913. The planned city is still the main tourist destination in the region. Popular sights in the city are the Parliament House on Capital Hill and the Australian War Memorial. Other main attractions are the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library, the National Museum and the Captain James Cook Memorial.

War memorial in the capital

Experience - Wine tastings and culture in Canberra

Outside of the capital, the Australian Capital Territory is characterised by agriculture, mainly sheep farming and milk production. In addition, several vineyards and wine-growing estates decorate the landscape, some of which offer tours and wine tastings. Canberra has a vibrant cultural scene and nightlife, including musicals, cabaret, cinemas as well as bars and restaurants.

Wine-growing in the Australian Capital Territory

Activities - Hiking and canoeing in the Australian Alps

Besides the capital of Canberra, the Capital Territory fascinates with its nature. The Tdbinbilla Nature Reserve and the Namadgi National Park are excellent locations for hikers, canoeists, anglers, climbers and cyclists. The numerous lakes in the area and the many hiking trails, for example the Australian Alps Walking Trecks, make active holidaymakers' heart leap for joy. Winter sports fans can pursue their hobbies in the Snowy Mountains from June to August. With a bit of luck, animal lovers get their money's worth too because they can watch kangaroos, platypus and koalas in the wild.

Water sports in the Australian Capital Territory

Information

The best time for travelling the Australian Capital Territory are spring and autumn (October to April). During this time, the days are pleasantly warm and the nights are mild. Visitors can arrive via Sydney or Melbourne or via the regional Canberra Airport (CBR), which is about eight kilometres away from the city centre.

The Australian Capital Territory is an attractive travel destination, especially for lovers of nature and active holidaymakers. In addition, culture enthusiasts get their money's worth in the capital and planned city of Canberra.

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