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The new Parliament House, designed by Italian Romaldo Giurgola, took eight years to complete

Canberra is a picturesque 20th-century concoction on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin that has struggled to establish itself as the focus of Australia's national identity. It has often been perceived as a 'fat cat' town of politicians and bureaucrats living off the rest of the country.

However, you'll only have to step outside the Parliamentary Triangle to realise that there's more to Canberra than machinations and money. One of only two artificially-conceived cities in the world, Canberra is eerily symmetrical, surprisingly workable and endlessly intriguing.

Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track
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