Canberra is the capital city of Australia. It is picturesquely, and conveniently nestled alongside Australia’s highest alpine mountains and the South East Coast of New South Wales, which means it’s the perfect place for visitors to base themselves while exploring the broader region.
Canberra is full of lots of things; award-winning restaurants, historic museums, natural beauty. But most of all, Canberra is full of surprises. Enjoying the great outdoors comes naturally in the bush capital as the city transforms with a kaleidoscope of colours across four distinct seasons. Soar above Lake Burley Griffin in a hot air balloon, hike the mountainous surrounds or venture into our nearby national parks and reserves to get up close and personal with native Australian wildlife.
Canberra’s shopping scene is bursting with the best in boutique, local creations as well as homewares, big department stores, malls and fashion labels. Great shopping matched with plenty of cafes to rest weary feet can be found in the cool precincts of Braddon, the City and Manuka.
Plus, Canberra is home to some fabulous markets. Explore ‘Canberra’s Sunday Best’ at the award-winning Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston, or if you’re looking for the freshest local produce, try one of the farmer’s markets to tantalise your tastebuds.
Spring in Canberra is exquisite. You’ll find flowers in bloom and the weather warming. It’s a time of outdoor fun and exploration, fresh scented air and a gorgeous blue sky. Spring is an ideal time for bushwalking and cycling around the lakes, with the city bursting into colour.
Expect fresh mornings and brisk nights with average temperatures between 6 – 19°C. November is the wettest month, however the city receives relatively low rainfall compared to the rest of the country.
Getting Around Canberra
Whether you prefer public transport, driving, cycling or walking, it’s easy to get around Canberra. Choose your own adventure, or take a tour and learn more about your nation’s capital with the help of a knowledgeable guide. You’ll love the range of experiences on offer and they’re all closer than you think.
Driving is one of the best ways to see Canberra. With plenty of parking, no tollways and very little congestion, driving in Canberra is a breeze.
Canberra is famous for its roundabouts, which allow traffic to flow smoothly and avoid the extensive congestion associated with traffic lights. Coupled with the dual carriageway roads which connect the city with the suburbs, traffic jams in Canberra are few and far between. In fact, it usually only takes around 30 minutes to get from one side of Canberra to the other, even in peak hour traffic.
Parking in the city and the Parliamentary Triangle is paid parking and generally equates to between $15-$20 per day (rates are dependent on location and only provided as a broad indicative cost). Many shopping centres have free parking for the first two hours.
It is easy to catch an ACTION bus to popular Canberra attractions. The tourist loop (route 81) services a range of must-see destinations including the Australian War Memorial, National Zoo and Aquarium, National Arboretum Canberra, Telstra Tower and National Museum of Australia.
ACTION buses use the MyWay smartcard prepaid ticketing system or cash. MyWay cards can be purchased from one of 30 recharge agents across Canberra. Scan your card when you get on the bus, or purchase a single or daily cash ticket direct from the driver. Daily tickets are ideal for sightseeing and are valid until midnight on the day of purchase. Children under five years travel free.
For more information, visit the Transport Canberra website at http://transport.act.gov.au/myway-and-fares.
Canberra is known as the cycling capital of Australia, with its fine network of cycle paths and off-road mountain bike trails. There are plenty of options available for hiring a bike in Canberra. This includes services such as Cycle Canberra, who will even deliver the bike to your hotel, and Spinway Canberra, who offer multiple automated bike rental machines around central Canberra. Simply swipe your credit card, choose a bike and ride away.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a broad-based ten percent tax included in the shelf price of most Australian goods and services. The Tourist Refund Scheme allows international travellers to claim a GST refund (subject to certain conditions) on goods purchased in Australia. The refund only applies to items worn or goods taken onboard as hand luggage when leaving the country.
For more information, please visit www.customs.gov.au.
Travellers to Australia need a valid passport or similar certificate of identification. Everyone, except travellers with Australian and New Zealand passports, requires a visa. You may ask your travel agent for advice or to have them organise your visa.
For more information, visit www.immi.gov.au.