I went to Canberra for work on Thursday - slowly seeing Australia one business trip at a time! For you non-Aussies, Canberra is our nation's capital, located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), our state that was designed specifically to house the capital when the Commonwealth was formed in 1901 (Canberra was not complete until 1913). I like the fact that this is somewhat similar to the creation of Washington, DC in the US.
The central part of the city, which houses Parliament and the Australian National Musuem (pictures above) is built around a lake and is very pretty. Everything is very green, and there are rolling hills in the distance. However, everything is really far apart. It took us about 30 minutes by taxi to get from one office to another, which seems outrageous in comparison to the Sydney CBD, where most things are a 5-10 minute walk away.
At the airport, I was trying to suck down the last of my water when the x-ray attendant told me I could just bring it through. Her response to my surprise was, "This isn't America." I told her, "I know -- it's like a free country!" I don't have to take off my shoes, take off my suit jacket, or get rid of my water. On the downside, they don't check my identification, and if I travel with a laptop, I still have to take it out of the bag.