Day 7: The Capital

Trip Start May 03, 2012
Trip End May 13, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Australian Capital Territory,
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

President Obama jetted into Canberra, the capital of Australia, from Alice Springs for negotiations regarding the military base in Darwin and several other matters. The main purpose for this leg of the trip was to reaffirm diplomatic ties between Australia and the United States, negotiate for more troops to be sent to the US' military base in Darwin and discuss important world issues such as terrorism and the global financial difficulty. While in Canberra, President Obama visited a local highschool and addressed Australian Parliament.

 Fun Facts: Canberra
  • Canberra's coordinates are 3518'29" S and 1497'28"E.
  • In May, the average maximum temperature for Canberra is 24.5 Celsius (76.1 Fahrenheit) and the average minimum temperature is 3.2 Celsius (37.8 Fahrenheit). Canberra relatively dry continental climate with warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters and has an average precipitation levels of 44.4mm (1.748 inches) in May.
  • The ACT's bird emblem is the Gang-gang Cockatoo.
  • The Canberra Spider-orchid is endemic to the ACT.
  • Due to Canberra's small size and closeness to rural farmland, the Easter Grey Kangaroo is commonly found in the suburbs unlike most other major cities in Australia and because of this is the most commonly killed animal on the roads in the ACT.
  • There are four lichens that are endemic to the ACT.
  • Canberra became the nation's capital in 1913, twelve years after Australia became a nation.
  • In 1972, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on the grounds on Old Parliament House. It was established to draw attention to Aboriginal land rights and other matters concerning Indigenous Australians. It has been there ever since.
  • In 2003, massive bushfires in Canberra killed four people, injured 435, and destroyed 487 homes as well as major research telescopes belonging to the Australian National University's Mount Stromlo Observatory.
  • Many suburbs of Canberra are named after politicians, commonly former prime ministers.
  • Canberra covers an area of 814.2 square kilometres (314.3 sq. mi).
  • Lake Burly Griffin which is an iconic symbol of Canberra is actually man made.
  • As of 2006, the population of Canberra was 323,056 people.
  • The building currently used as Parliament House which is on Capital Hill was opened in 1988. Previously, another smaller building was used from 1927 to 1988, now called Old Parliament House.
  • Every year, Canberra hosts Floriade, a flower and entertainment festival held from mid September to mid October.
  • Old Parliament House was only meant to be a temporary residence for parliament but ended being used for 62 years.
  • Canberra is Australia's largest inland city, population wise.
  • Canberra's first two sets of traffic lights were brought into operation on 23 October 1965, some thirty years after Sydney received its first traffic lights, in 1933.
  • In Canberra, posession of 25 grams of dried Cannabis for personal use has been decriminalised, making it the only place in Australia to do so.
  • Fireworks used to be legal in Canberra, again making the only place in Australia where such laws existed.
  • In 1974 Queanbeyan River flooded (NSW), rising to Queanbeyan River Cemetery, washing away graves and eventually washing coffins into Canberra's central lake, Lake Burley Griffin. Not all coffins have been recovered from the lake.
  • Apparently, Canberra is Australia's most haunted city.

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