12 March – 26 June 2016

Canberra is Australia’s Bush Capital, and has been since the city’s birth. Its location in ‘the bush’ was the result of old inter-colonial rivalries which meant that the capital could not be in Sydney or Melbourne, but rather was carved out of rural NSW. Meanwhile, the border of the then Federal Capital Territory was surveyed to encompass the mountainous catchment of the Cotter River while the city design was informed by Garden City ideals of an appreciation of the beauty of nature and the maintenance of vistas to parks and hills from suburbs. Today over 50% of the Territory is gazetted as national park or reserve, green spaces are scattered throughout the city, and kangaroos regularly grace Canberra’s suburban streets. The city has truly become the Bush Capital.

This website provides online access to material exhibited at Canberra Museum and Gallery in the exhibition, Bush Capital: The natural history of the ACT. It explores the natural wonder of our region through a better understanding of the habitats that are so crucial to the survival of the diverse and beautiful species that live alongside us. Here you can explore six habitats: dry eucalypt forests, subalpine areas, suburbia, wetlands and rivers, wet eucalypt forests and woodlands and grasslands. You will encounter the diverse species that populate each habitat, illustrated through an equally diverse array of works of art, scientific specimens, sound and video.

Bush Capital pays particular attention to those species that are threatened with extinction and those that are already extinct in the ACT. We hope that this exhibition, by promoting greater understanding and enjoyment of the beauty and complexity of the nature of the bush capital, can inspire an enthusiasm and commitment to its even greater protection and appropriate management.

Click on a thumbnail to explore each habitat.