The Australian Capital Territory is the capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and its smallest self-governing internal territory. It is an inland enclave in New South Wales, situated in bushland. It is bounded by the Goulburn-Cooma railway line in the east, the watershed of Naas Creek in the south, the watershed of the Cotter River in the west, and the watershed of the Molonglo River in the north-east. Despite its small size, 2,358 square kilometres (910 sq mi), its population of 339,000 makes it the most densely populated of Australia's federal divisions.
Before European settlement the area now known as the ACT was inhabited by three Aboriginal tribes: the Ngunnawal, Walgalu, and Ngarigo. White exploration and settlement did not occur until the 1820s. The ACT was conceived during the federation conventions of the late 1800s as neutral location for a new National Capital. The Australian Constitution provided that following Federation in 1901, land would be ceded to the new Federal Government. The Territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by the state of New South Wales in 1911, and construction of the capital, Canberra, began in 1913.
The Australian Capital Territory's population is largely concentrated on Canberra, with only 869 people living outside of the city as of the 2006 census. Canberrans are relatively young, highly mobile, and well-educated, with most employed by the government. The main industries are government administration and defence.
The floral emblem of the ACT is the Royal Bluebell and the faunal emblem is the Gang-gang cockatoo.
The Captain James Cook Memorial was built by the Commonwealth Government to commemorate the Bicentenary of Captain James Cook's first sighting of the east coast of Australia. The memorial includes a water jet located in the central basin and a skeleton globe sculpture at Regatta Point showing the paths of Cook's expeditions. On 25 April 1970, Queen Elizabeth II officially inaugurated the memorial.