Visiting the National Capital
The National Capital Exhibition, Commonwealth Park
The National Capital Exhibition tells the extraordinary story of Canberra, our national capital, and is considered an essential stop for school groups visiting the National Capital.
Through its exciting interactive displays, the National Capital Exhibition illustrates Canberra's vital role as a symbol of Federation and features the people, events, history and design which contributed to its development.
Some of the curriculum-based topics covered at the National capital Exhibition include:
- an introduction to the concept behind nations and national capitals
- early Aboriginal and European inhabitants of the Canberra area
- the selection and naming of the site for Australia's national capital
- the winning designer of the national capital - Walter Burley Griffin
- the plan for the national capital and its unique relationship with local geography
- the heart of a nation, present-day Canberra
A popular feature of the national capital Exhibition is a large 3D model, with a high-tech light show, which illustrates the features of the capital and its unique plan. Detailed exhibits, artifacts and guided tours aim to reinforce classroom-based learning derived from activities and background notes listed in this education kit. Alternatively, this education resource can be used to reinforce curriculum-based knowledge gained from a school excursion to the national capital.
The Exhibition is ideally located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin and offers outstanding views of many of the attractions your class will visit.
The National Capital Exhibition is open from 9am to 5pm weekdays and 10am to 4pm weekdays (closed public holidays except Australia Day and Canberra Days).
Admission is free.
Bookings are essential for school groups. Busiest periods are from August through to October.
National Capital Exhibition
Phone 02 6272 2900
Fax 02 6247 1875
Directly opposite the National Capital Exhibition, the Captain Cook Memorial Water Jet is a much photographed and popular landmark. The water jet was constructed by the Commonwealth Government to commemorate the bicentenary of Captain James Cook's first sighting of the east coast of Australia.
Interesting fact: The exit velocity of water leaving the nozzle of the Captain Cook Memorial Jet is 260km per hour. About 6 tonnes of water are in the air at any one moment when the main nozzle is in use, discharging 500 litres per second.
The maximum height the water jet can reach is 147 metres.
Tours of Anzac Parade
Anzac Parade was officially opened by Prime Minister Menzies on Anzac Day 1965 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli.
Gravel on the central median and around the memorials was selected for the quality of parade ground crunch during ceremonial marches and as visitors walk the Parade. The gravel is red and is said to symbolise blood shed in war.
To learn more about the history of the memorials on Anzac Parade, book a national capital Authority volunteer guide, who will provide an insightful tour down either side of the Parade or to specific memorials of your choice. Volunteers provide descriptions on the construction of each memorial, the reasons behind its location on Anzac Parade and its symbolism. Each tour lasts approximately one hour.
Alternatively, download a self guided walking tour brochure or podcast tour from the National Capital's website.
The national capital's major commemorative way is set along the magnificent Land Axis of the original 1912 plan of Canberra by Chicago architects, Walter and Marion Griffin. More than a ceremonial approach to the Australian War Memorial, Anzac Parade holds a special significance for all Australians.
Self guided walking tour brochures can be downloaded from the National Capital Authority website - www.nationalcapital.gov.au
Guided tours of Anzac Parade
Phone 02 6272 2900
Fax 02 6273 4427
Tours are free. Bookings are essential.