Welcome to Canberra
Lately Canberra has been staking a claim for the title of Australia’s coolest city. Where else can you find superb dining and world-class cultural experiences only a short stroll from wildlife-filled bushland reserves and serene lakeshore views?
Since becoming the nation’s capital in 1927, Canberra has grown into a cosmopolitan metropolis, with expansive open spaces interspersed by dense pockets of urban activity. Some of the nation’s best art galleries are here, and there’s plenty of history too, both past and in the making – visitors can see Australian democracy in action at Parliament House before exploring its bygone days at some of the city’s many museums. Dining and nightlife opportunities abound, with Canberra’s scene rivalling those of its larger neighbours.
Whether you’re just here for the weekend or have a bit more time to spare, there’s plenty to keep visitors occupied in the nation’s capital.
Getting to Canberra
Driving to Canberra is a breeze. Australia’s capital is a three hour drive from Sydney and eight hours from Melbourne. There are plenty of scenic route alternatives if you like to get off the beaten track and visit one of the many country towns along the way.
Driving from Sydney to Canberra – 3.5 hours
Driving from Melbourne to Canberra – 8 hours
Want to go overland, but prefer someone else to take care of the driving?
Regular bus and coach services to Canberra are available from Sydney, Melbourne, regional New South Wales and beyond. There are also train options if you prefer railway travel, or why not sit back and relax in your own chauffeur driven car.
Qantas (13 13 13) | Regular flights to Canberra from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Virgin Australia (13 67 89) | Regular flights between Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Perth.
TigerAir (1300 174 266) | Operates low-cost return services Canberra – Melbourne and Canberra – Brisbane.
Fly Pelican (02 4965 0111) | Direct flights between Canberra and Newcastle daily, with connecting flights from Newcastle to other regional New South Wales airports.
Singapore Airlines – Daily flights from Singapore to Canberra (short stop in Sydney inbound, non-stop outbound)
Qatar Airways – Daily flight from Doha to Canberra (stop in Sydney inbound and outbound)
Getting around Canberra
To catch a taxi in Canberra, use a taxi rank where the clearly marked cars are parked and ready for dispatch. You can also phone ahead or book online.
ACT Cabs – 02 6280 0077
Canberra Elite – 6126 1600 or SMS your name, pickup address and time to be collected to 0481 072 700.
Silver Service – 13 31 00. This premium service features luxury sedans and seven seater vans.
Canberra welcomes Uber and there’s even an Uber waiting lounge at the airport (just outside the Baggage Claim area)
GoCatch is another ride sharing options in Canberra.
Transport Canberra runs ACTION Bus route Rapid 3 with regular services between the Canberra Airport terminal through to the City interchange, Belconnen interchange, Cohen St interchange to Spence Terminus, seven days a week including public holidays. The Rapid 3 route operates every 15 minutes through the day (weekdays) and every 30 minutes on weekends. The trip from Canberra airport terminal to the City is less than 20 minutes.
An official Transport Canberra ticket vending machine is located on the ground floor within arrivals hall at Canberra Airport. The ticket vending machine’s user-friendly touch screen allows a simple and fast transaction for passengers to purchase a single or daily adult/concession tickets for bus and light rail using these machines.
Driving is one of the best ways to see Canberra. With plenty of parking, no tollways and very little congestion, you’ll find driving in Canberra a breeze.
Either bring your own or hire a car when you get here.
You can get pretty much anywhere with Canberra’s public transport options.
Transport Canberra operates the public bus and light rail network, a convenient and cost-effective way for visitors to get around Canberra.
Transport Canberra standard services cover all Canberra suburbs from its four bus interchanges at the Belconnen, City, Tuggeranong and Woden town centres. Light rail runs from Gungahlin to the city along Northbourne Avenue.
FREE CULTURE BUS
Ride the free Culture Loop bus to 10 attractions. Operating daily from 9am to 5pm, you can park once and ride all day for free. The Culture Loop stops include Parliament House, Museum of Australian Democracy, National Library of Australia, Questacon, National Museum of Australia, National Capital Exhibition and the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra Museum and Gallery and the Canberra Centre.
EAT & DRINK
Canberra is paradise for foodies with a truly eclectic mix of dining styles, cuisines and experiences. With award-winning restaurants, vineyards and baristas, plus legendary dishes, people have been known to come to Canberra just for the delicious fare on offer.
Whether you’re after family-friendly restaurants, sweet delights, cosy local cafes, exceptional coffee or fine dining, it’s all here. The best part? Trying the superb local produce served by passionate people – be sure to try our truffles, cool-climate wines, handcrafted beers and smoked meats.
A – Z EATERIES IN THE AREA
Her Canberra has rounded up nearly 20 new places to indulge your taste buds. Their top tip – wear stretchy pants, because you’ll want to eat everything on the menu at these eateries.
CLICK HERE for the full list
7 OF CANBERRA’S BEST CHEAP EATS
Alongside Canberra’s classic cafés, pubs and restaurants, meet the new eateries that mix youthful creativity with small-city friendliness.
CLICK HERE for the full list