Capital Territory, Australia - Stein Travel
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Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was created as a compromise; both Sydney and Melbourne thought that they should be Australia's capital city and the authorities decided that the only answer was to create a new city, within its own territory, between the two rivals. ACT is landlocked in the mountainous state of south-eastern New South Wales; Sydney is 190 miles (306km) to the northwest. The territory is tiny by Australian standards; it is 50 miles (80km) from north to south and about 20 miles (30km) wide. The capital city, Canberra, and its surrounding suburbs are in the northeast of the territory and surrounded by the artificial Lake Burley Griffin; the parliament and other government buildings are located to the south of the lake, and in the north is Civic, where visitors will find the university, the main shopping and business district and most of the nightlife, which, contrary to reputation, is fairly lively. The Namadgi National Park occupies the whole southwestern area of the Territory.

Information & Facts

Climate

The Capital Territory experiences warm summers and cold winters, often with light snowfalls. It rains throughout the year, especially on the mountains, and strong winds are frequent. Canberra averages more hours of sunshine per year than any other capital city in Australia.

Language

English is the official language of Australia.

Money

The Australian Dollar (AUD) is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere, but banks take a small commission and it is better to take cheques in major currencies (e.g. US dollars or Euros) to avoid additional charges. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.

Time

GMT + 10 (GMT + 11 from first Sunday in October to first Sunday in April).

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