A major squabble between Melbourne and Sydney as to which city deserved to be Australia's capital led to the building of Canberra in 1908, located roughly halfway between the two of them.
It is the playground for Australia's politicians, as this is where you will find the biggest kindergarten of all, Parliament House. You can even watch the politicians in name calling action during Question Time in the House of Representatives or the Senate. Nicknamed the "Bush Capital" because of the surrounding forest, farmland and nature reserves, Canberra's heart is Lake Burley Griffin. The lake is the setting not only for the pollies' windows, but also for museums and the National Gallery that houses an incredible collection of Aboriginal Art.
You can glean an idea of the true Aussie spirit at the War Memorial, delve into the Old Bus Depot Markets on a Sunday where you can taste some locally grown organic produce and take a hot air balloon ride chasing a magical sunset. Have a culture hit by visiting one of the many small art galleries, bump into a sporting superstar during training at the Australian Institute of Sport or kayak - windsurf around Lake Burley Griffin. For the energetic, jump on a bicycle and ride the 35 km perimeter. There are quite a few urban heritage trails to follow for those into buildings and architecture, or simply hire a car and explore the countryside with its amazing restaurants, wineries and national parks for the odd leg-stretching hike.
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