"Get an Overview at the National Capital Exhibition" Canberra Things to Do Tip by Kakapo2
Canberra Things to Do: 457 reviews and 1,081 photos
The National Capital Exhibition (in an uninteresting concrete building) at Regatta Point in Commonwealth Park tells the story of Canberra.
Here you learn everything I have told you in my intro. Ok, nearly everything. Nothing about the worrying roundabouts and the things I did not find so appealing, like the Stalinistic touch of many appalling buildings. But everything about the history, the planning and the building, from the early days of the Aboriginal people of the Ngunnawal tribe who hunted and ground the Bogong moths. Those people BTW moved in small family groups, painted their art in rock shelters, arranged marriages and traded goods. You find evidence of their cultural life throughout the region.
You learn about the coming of the Europeans in 1823 and the change of the landscape, the first farm on the site of what is now the National Museum of Australia, drought, floods and rabbit plagues - and the absolutely dramatic changes when the colonies decided in 1901 to become a nation which needed a capital.
You will learn that the name Canberra drives from "Kamberra", a word used by local Aboriginal people and meaning "meeting place". What a perfect name for a place where soon the representative of the states, territories and districts would meet regularly!
From a giant model you will learn best the thoughts behind the planning of the capital city by American architect Walter Burley Griffin who BTW had never visited Canberra but won an international competition. His innovative design was entirely based on information included in the competition kit! Griffin's plans (NOT: Burley Griffin's...) were illustrated by his architect wife and partner Marion Mahony Griffin.
The exhibition won the Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award and Visitor Experience Award at the 2006 Canberra and Capital Region Tourism Awards - and should be the start of every Canberra visit.
Open daily 9am to 5pm, except Christmas Day. Admission and tours are free.
Address: Regatta Point, Commonwealth Park
Directions: Barrine Drive in Commonwealth Park, off Commonwealth Avenue. - An underpass from there leads to the Ferry Terminal.
Phone: (02) 6257 1068
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