20 Interesting And Fun Facts About Canberra, Australia [Explained]

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Canberra is the largest inland city and the eighth-largest city in Australia. One of the often forgotten facts about Canberra is that it is the capital of the country; many foreigners often mistake that title to belong to Sydney since it’s a more popular travel destination.

Nevertheless, Canberra boasts its fair share of museums, parks, and malls that make it an interesting place to explore. Here are some fun Canberra facts that can help you learn more about this Australian city.

Historical Facts About Canberra

There are plenty of interesting facts about Canberra and its past that offer insight into how the city has evolved to its current state.

Many Suburbs Of This City Are Named After Former Prime Ministers

The city has an old tradition of using the name of Australia’s ex-prime ministers for its suburbs. For example, Whitlam in Molonglo Valley is named after Gough Whitlam. The interesting thing is that such a naming tradition is not limited to prime ministers.

Callister Street is named after a famous chemist called Cyril Callister. Don’t be surprised when you see names of popular personalities on Australian streets and suburbs.

The City Has Secret Passageways

One of the fascinating facts about Canberra is that it has various tunnels that connect different government buildings. These passageways are mainly built underground for discretion. There are also many rumors about hidden passages beneath a lake in this city.

No solid evidence is present to validate such rumors. However, the city does have underground highways.

Australia’s Biggest Car Festival Occurs Here

Summernats is a famous car festival that has been taking place annually in Canberra since 1987. The only time that this event did not happen is 2021 because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

It happens at the start of every year and announces a champion. The 2023 festival has already taken place, with Livi Krevatin being the grand champion. This thrilling event is one of the most exciting facts about Canberra for automotive fans. 

15 Different Nations Contributed To The City’s Design

Many are unaware that Australia conducted a competition for this city’s design in 1912. The nation received 137 entries from 15 different countries. An American architect won the award for this competition.

The unique thing about the winner and his piece is that his wife was the one who made all the drawings for the design.

Cultural Facts About Canberra

From its modern infrastructure to its original heritage, the city of Canberra embraces and celebrates its diverse culture. Here are some cultural facts about Canberra that you should know.

Many Aboriginal Groups Have Been Living Year Since Old Times

One of the top facts about Australia is that its first inhabitants include people from various groups, such as Aboriginal people. European settlers that resided in this nation attacked many tribes in the past. However, Canberra was saved because of its low population.

This is why local Aboriginal groups in the city survived and experienced an increase in population over the years.

Angus Beef And Roast Lamb Are The City’s Main Dishes

Australian food is famous because of its meaty dishes. Angus beef is one of the widely used meats in Canberra. People mainly use this premium cut for making delicious steaks in this city.

Meanwhile, roast lamb is considered the national dish of Australia in various cities such as Canberra.

The National Museum Of Australia Is In Canberra

One of the fun facts about Canberra is that it has various museums that represent the nation’s culture and history. The National Museum of Australia mainly preserves the country’s social history. It was established in 1980 but did not have a permanent location until 2001, when its museum building opened.

You can see exhibitions on various subjects such as bushrangers. It also has the greatest collection of bark paintings by Aboriginal people.

It Is Famous For Its Candle Festival

There are three sister cities of Canberra that allow it to maintain good relationships with different nations. Nara, Beijing, and Wellington are the three cities. The Canberra Nara Candle Festival is held every year to celebrate good relations with the Japanese city.

This event is mainly hosted at the Canberra Nara Peace Park. You can enjoy many cultural and entertainment performances during the festival.

Simple Facts About Canberra For Kids

Here are some straightforward and fun facts about Canberra that can interest kids in learning more about the city.

It Is The Capital Of Australia

Many people believe that Sydney or Melbourne are the capital cities of Australia. This is because of their high popularity, bigger size, and the larger number of annual visitors. However, that is not true.

Canberra is the capital of this nation, and it is also called the Bush Capital. The city got this name mainly because of its nature reserves and different mountain ranges.

Cycling Is A Famous Activity In This City

One of the interesting facts about Canberra for outdoor lovers is that it is home to first-class biking facilities. Mountain biking or cycling is a well-loved activity in this city because of its local trails. Majura Pines and Cotter Pines are some of the best trails for cycling in Canberra.

Light rail vehicles in this city also have bike racks for easier transportation. Many professional cyclists also come to this city for training.

Recycling Waste Is Very Important In Canberra

If you are just moving into the city, it’s important to find out information about Canberra and its waste recycling practice. People in this city are very strict about this task, so you must be diligent when throwing trash in Canberra.

Some of the things you can recycle in this city are hard plastic bottles, steel cans, glass bottles, jars, cardboard, and paper. These should be separated from regular trash.

Useful Canberra Facts For Travelers

Taking a trip to the Australian capital? These are some fun Canberra facts that can be helpful for planning what to do.

A Hot Air Balloon Festival Takes Place In This City

One of the top Canberra facts is that this city has a scenic landscape that people love to view from the sky. This is why the Canberra Balloon Spectacular is held every year. About fifty hot air balloons are launched every day across a period of two weeks.

It usually takes place at the old Parliament House in the city. Many food stalls are set up at the site, where you can sample some delicious fares and tasty desserts. Even if you have a fear of heights and don’t want to take a flight up, you can enjoy performances on the ground too.

Skydiving Above A Parliament House In This World Is Only Possible In Canberra

Speaking of enjoying the pretty scenery and good atmosphere from the skies, many people also love to skydive above the city. And you can choose various sites to take part in this thrilling activity.

One of the most special Canberra facts is that skydiving above the Parliament House is allowed. This is considered strange by many because recreational activities around a government building are typically not allowed in most countries due to security reasons. 

Most Attractions In This City Are Free

One of the best facts about Canberra is that you can travel on a low budget in this city. Most attractive sites have free entry for visitors. So you will not have to worry about paying a high entry fee for each family member when exploring different sites in Canberra.

You can visit the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum for free. Entering the Parliament House will also cost you nothing. And these are some of the most iconic landmarks in Australia.

The City Has More Than 30 Wineries

Canberra is known for being a major hub for wine and beer lovers. This is due to the high number of wineries and distilleries around the region. 

Surveyor’s Hill Vineyard is one of the closest vineyards to the city’s central business district. Eden Road Wines is another place you can visit to indulge in high-quality wines.

Common Facts About Canberra

A NASA Base Is Located In Canberra

There are three stations under NASA’s Deep Space network around the world, and Australia is known for hosting one of them. It is right here in Canberra and is called the Deep Space Communication Complex. The station facilitates radio contact with spacecraft enabling easier communications.

The base is closed for the time being, but school students are allowed entry on official school trips.

There Is A Manmade Lake In This City

Lake Burley Griffin is one of the top landmarks in Australia. It was filled in 1964 and is named after the American architect who won an award for the city’s design competition. 

Remember we mentioned that peculiar Canberra fact or rumor where some believe there are underground tunnels beneath a lake? Well, this is that lake.

Stonefest Is A Famous Annual Festival In This City

The University of Canberra hosts Stone Week every year to celebrate its foundation. This festival is often held during the 11th week of the second semester. The musical event features various local artists and at least one international artist.

Other Interesting Facts About Canberra

The Name Canberra Is Derived From Canberry

Canberra has been derived from the word ‘Canberry’, which meant ‘meeting place’ in the Aboriginal language. British colonists also used to refer to a local tribe in the region by that term. The first European landowner in this territory also titled his property ‘Kamberri’ after the tribesmen.

It Was Given The Capital Status To End An Argument

Canberra is an odd choice for a capital city because Australia has other larger and more-developed cities. Sydney and Melbourne gave each other tough competition for capital status in the past. This is why Canberra was chosen as the capital to prevent these cities from fighting each other. 

Discovering More Fun Facts About Canberra

These intriguing facts about Canberra showcase the uniqueness and charm of this Australian capital city. While it may not be Australia’s largest city, the region is famous for its annual festivals and free attractions. 

From its cycling culture and eco-friendly practices to its spectacular festivals and free attractions, Canberra offers a memorable experience for both residents and visitors. 

Be sure to explore and appreciate all the hidden gems this city has to offer, and you are bound to uncover more incredible Canberra facts that might make you fall in love with the city.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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