Canberra is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Australia, the capital city of the Australian Capital Territory and the largest inland city in Australia.
It is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, and has population of 323,004.
Canberra is located approximately 150 km inland from Australia's east coast, 300 km southwest of Sydney and 650 km northeast of Melbourne.
As Australia's capital city and seat of government, Parliament House, numerous government departments and other bodies like the High Court of Australia are located in Canberra and make a significant contribution to the local economy.
Canberra is also the location of numerous social and cultural institutions of national significance.
Canberra is unique among Australia's cities as a purpose built planned city, the design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation within the city's design.
For this reason Canberra is also known as the "bush captial".
European exploration and settlement began in the Canberra area as early as the 1820s when four expeditions took place between 1820 and 1824.
Prior to European settlement, the Canberra area was inhabited by the Ngunnawal and Walgalu tribes.
The Ngarigo, lived south-east of the Canberra area, the Gundungurra to the north, the Yuin on the coast and the Wiradjuri to the west.
The word Canberra is said to mean 'meeting place' in the Ngunnawal language.
The name was apparently used either in relation to the Molonglo River which, along with the Murrumbidgee River, flows through Canberra or as reference to corroborees held during the seasonal migration of the Ngunawal people to feast on the Bogong Moths that pass through the region each spring.
According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology January is
Canberra's hottest month with a mean daily maximum temperature of 27.7 °C, the highest highest recorded maximum temperature was 42.2 °C on February 1, 1968.
In wintertime, the days can get very cool, and snow falls every few years; the mean daily maximum for July, the coldest month, is 11.2 °C and the mean daily minimum is −0.2 °C. Thunderstorms occur between October and March, and annual rainfall is 629 mm which is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year.