Celebrating Canberra Day

Happy birthday Canberra!


The second Monday of March this year marks the 103rd birthday of our nation’s capital and it is throwing quite a birthday bash to all those who are planning to attend the celebrations.


What exactly are we celebrating?


Quick facts


Canberra belongs to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) which is surrounded by New South Wales (NSW). It has a total land area of 2,358 km2. Most of the 390,000 residents live in the city. Canberrans experience 4 distinct seasons due to its positiong


Other areas that could have been the country’s capital:


Bombala, Yaas-Canberra, Orange, Albury, Tumut, Cooma and Armidale were in the list submitted by the New South Wales government for possible places to build a capital.


Backtrack a century or so, when Australia became a Federation in 1901, the country did not have a capital. There was no seat of Government and the Commonwealth parliament was found in Melbourne.


Out of all names submitted, only the first three were in the short list.


Original Settlers of Canberra


The place was traditionally home of the Ngunnawal people. As Europeans explored Ngunnawal land, the indigenous population declined.


A settler named Joshua John Moore owned the property that is now Canberra’s city centre.  Moore called his property “Canberry” which is believed to mean “meeting place.”


The Other Translation for “Canberra”


Canberra may also mean “women’s breasts: in Ngunnawal language. Some people think that this translation may be correct if you view Mt. Ainslie and Black Mountain from a certain angle.


International Design Competition


The American husband and wife team’s design proposal for the new capital won the international competition of 130 participants. Walter Burley Griffin and wife Marion Mahony Griffin envisioned “green bands surrounding the area of settlement, wide boulevards lined with large buildings, formal parks and water features.” It was Ms. Griffin’s drawings that actually won the competition.


Canberra Landmarks


Aside from being the seat of government, it is also the home of Austalian National University, Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, the High Court, Parliament House, Museum of Australian Democracy (at old Parliament House, the Aboriginal tent embassy and the National Library.


Image Credit: BoundRound


Touring Canberra


Canberra and ACT might be the smallest in size but it is quite difficult to go around on foot as it is not designed that way. Private cars, cabs and ACTION buses are the best way to go around.


If you look around and wonder at the names of the streets and suburbs, most of them are named after politicians and an Aussie legend Dr. Cyril Callister – the inventor of Vegemite.


What’s on?


It is going to be a fun long weekend for the people of Canberra this year. If you want to catch the excitement, you can still visit the capital and enjoy some sights and events.


All Weekend


Night Noodle Market (Asian street food)

Enlighten Festival

French Film Festival, Palace Electric Cinemas. (3- 29 March)

La Clique, in front front of Canberra Theatre Cnetre.

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Lanyon Plant Fair, Lanyon Homestead

10:00am – 4:00 pm

Handmade market


6.15 am

Canberra Balloon Spectacular

7:00-12 noon

Charity Garage Sale

1:00 pm

Ballet Russes, Palace Electric

2:00 pm and 8:00 pm

Rock of Ages, Erindale theatres

3:00 pm

Raiders Match, GIO Stadium

6:30 pm

Turning Tricks

8:00 pm

The Threepenny Opera

10:30 pm

Burlesque idol


12:00 noon

Queanbeyan Annual Scottish Ceildh, Queanbeyan Bicennential Hall.

1:00 pm

Ballet Russes, Palace Electric

1:30 pm

Chattertn-McCright duo

3:00 pm

The Girls – Wild Voices, outside Canberra Theatre

6:30 pm

Beautifully Mad, outside Canberra Theatre

7:30 pm

Symphony in the Park, Commonwealth park

10:30 pm

The Naughty Rhythms


2:00 pm

Canberra day celebration, Commonwealth park

For more details check the link here.


Special thanks to weekend Notes for the main image.

Candice C

Candice is a school teacher and a mother, She loves writing about practical guides and of course, parenting advice.


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