Canberra & Capital Country Attractions - Canberra, ACT

Canberra & Capital Country Attractions

Capital Country includes the Australian Capital Territory, seat of Federal Government in Australia, the city of Queanbeyan and the towns of Bungendore and Braidwood that lie outside the designated territory area.

The region extends from the northern tip of Lake George in the north to the southmost part of Namadgi National Park, home to Brindabella Ranges. These Ranges also mark the western extremity of the region. The town of Braidwood marks the eastern perimeter.

Principal towns in addition to Canberra City include, Queanbeyan City and Bungendore. Other towns include Braidwood, Majors Creek, Captains Flat, Michelago, Tarago, Hall, Royalla and Williamsdale.

Features

Facilities
Canberra – Canberra is a planned formal city with its centre arranged carefully around the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. On the southern shore lies the “Parliamentary Triangle” with grand monumental buildings standing in magnificent parkland settings. Canberra is a young city little more than 80 years old that commenced with the establishment of the Australian Capital Territory in 1911.

Braidwood – Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson, a naval doctor and surgeon, was the first settler on the land that now occupies the town by his second name. Dr Wilson constructed, at his own expense, a Courthouse where he often acted as a part-time Magistrate. The town changed dramatically with the discovery of gold at nearby Araluen in 1852. Braidwood was the setting for the film ‘Ned Kelly’ starring Mick Jagger in 1969. Braidwood was left off the track when the railway line was constructed despite already having a “station street” and a “railway hotel”. Today many of the early Georgian buildings from Braidwood’s heyday remain. The town is classified by the National Trust.

Captains Flat – as the Araluen gold ran out, miners moved to Captains Flat where they continued to mine gold, copper, lead and zinc until 1901. The mine at Captains Flat was reopened in 1937 finally closing in 1962.

Queanbeyan – explorers reached the junction of Queanbeyan and Molongo Rivers in 1820. This spot became a natural stopping place for settlers on their way to the Monaro country giving rise to the settlement of Queanbeyan.

Majors Creek – the first gold of the district was discovered here in October 1851 by Mrs Baxter who was killed 18 months later when a cart overturned upon her. Majors Creek is now a small village noted for its spectacular waterfalls and Clarks Lookout on Majors Creek Mountain.
Attractions
Lake George – Lake George was discovered in 1820. Shortly thereafter Governor Macquarie visited the lake referring to it as being ‘full of fine large ponds and lagoons of freshwater’. Today the lake is empty and home to the occasional cattle that graze here. The waters of the lake are held in the shallow basin and evaporate readily in dry years. Naturally occurring gravel terraces at the north end of the lake indicate that water levels were once higher. 20,000 years ago the lake was twice its present area and six times as deep as today’s maximum of 5 metres.

Shoalhaven River – Shoalhaven River is the major River of the New South Wales south coast and a vital source of water for Sydney and other centres. The 320 kilometre long river rises on the eastern slopes of the Great Diving Range as it travels through the Southern Highlands. After passing near Majors Creek the river winds through a wide valley near Braidwood before flowing to the sea at Shoalhaven Heads.

Brindabella Range – Brindabella Range on the Australian Capital Territory’s western boundary forms a rugged backdrop to Canberra. The range is a spur on the Snowy Mountains Range and forms part of the high country. The range is also part of the much larger Namadgi National Park that traverses the south-west end of the Australian Capital Territory. This park consists of 100,005 hectares of rugged highland country. As well as being home to Aboriginal artefacts with the best known sites in the park at Yankee Hat, Rendezvous Creek and Nursery Swamp.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve – on this 5,000 hectare reserve to the south-west of Canberra are found the mountains of Tidbinbilla Range. These rugged ranges are an important link in a chain of parks that stretch from the Australian Capital Territory to Victoria.

There are plenty of bushwalking trails throughout the reserve ranging from the paved footpaths of the wildlife enclosures to challenging fire trails that climb steeply through a series of native grasslands and valleys.

Location

Canberra, ACT, 2600