Once the maligned centre of national government, Canberra’s stock has risen as a new generation of creative talent has given the ordered, staid city a much-needed breath of fresh air.
It wasn’t until Federation, in 1901, that it was decided a place had to be found to house the country’s capital city. Where Canberra now stands is the halfway point between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, and the cityscape is the grand design of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin. With its eloquent architecture, central man-made lake and green feel, it's certainly a beauty. However, the capital's bloated population of civil servants and politicians soon earned it a rep for being boring – nice for gallery visits and walks through manicured gardens, but hardly cutting-edge. Recently though, an influx of artists, attracted by low rents and the sense of space, has injected new life into the city, while its student hordes put the emphasis squarely on parties of the non-political kind.
Canberra experiences extremes in temperature, ranging from 40°C in summer to zero in winter. Winter days generally start with frosty mornings followed by clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine. If you are a fan of flora, spring sees the city alive with blooms and so is a vibrant time to visit.