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As the nation's capital, Canberra is sometimes maligned by outsiders, who see the city as lacking the coolness of Melbourne or the glamour of Sydney. But Canberra certainly has charms of its own, with its world-class museums (the majority of which are free), leafy open spaces, and the huge Lake Burley Griffin.
When Australia federated in 1901, both Sydney and Melbourne vied to
be the nation's capital. But in the spirit of compromise, it was decided that a new city would be built, and Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory (A.C.T) were created when New South Wales ceded land to build a federal zone, based on the model of America's District of Columbia.