Australia's capital, mainly by virtue of Melbourne and Sydney's refusal to cease squabbling over the honour, Canberra is a modern city created along principles of space and accessibility. It is often overlooked, literally, as tourists shuttle between Australia's two Southeast giants, but Canberra is well worth a more thorough exploration.

Despite being relatively young, Canberra has a gravitas that belies its age. A massive artificial lake makes a picturesque centrepiece and around it are located parks and wide thoroughfares centering on the city's finest buildings and institutions - which of course include the Australian parliament.

With icons such as the National Gallery, the National Museum and the Australian War Memorial located here, Canberra more than matches the big two Southeast cities for cultural attractions. And the capital can boast a burgeoning entertainment scene and nightlife - largely helped by its energetic young population. Add to that the beautiful natural surroundings of vineyard dotted countryside and mountains and more days of sun per year than either Sydney or Melbourne, and you'll find that Canberra might surprise you.

National Gallery of Australia
National Museum of Australia
New Parliament House
Old Parliament House
National Botanic Gardens
Australian War Memorial
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