Surrounded by forest and farmland, Australia's 'Bush Capital' has something for everyone with its monuments, museums and galleries, food and local wineries close at hand.
Immaculately designed by Walter Burley Griffin, Canberra city is made up of semi self-contained satellite towns nestled within mountains and hills. With the artificial Lake Burley Griffin at the centre of the plan, and mega-roundabouts and large boulevards to connect the satellites, the city is easy to navigate once you know the logic behind it.
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- Visit Parliament House and be sure to check out the stunning view of Canberra's pretty bush surrounds from the grass-topped roof
- Wander through the National Gallery's vast collection of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art, Australian art, and Asian, European and American art
- Learn about the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society at the Australian War Memorial. At the end of the day, stand for the moving trumpet playing of the Last Post at sundown
- Take the kids to Questacon, a hands-on interactive science and technology centre
- Hire a bike and cycle around picturesque Lake Burley Griffin
- In spring a visit to the annual Floriade festival won't disappoint.
Canberra is made up of seven districts which are further divided into suburbs. The city centre - also known as 'Civic' - is the main commercial centre. Here are some of our favourite suburbs to visit in Canberra.
Manuka and Kingston
One of the oldest and most fashionable suburbs, Manuka is close to Capital Hill on the southern shore of the lake. It boasts boutique shopping, good coffee, food and cool bars.
Nearby Kingston also has great shopping, restaurants, cafes, pubs and a busy nightlife.
Conveniently, the small 1920s shopping centres of Manuka and Kingston are only a five minute walk apart. In Kingston, watch artisans at work at Canberra Glassworks, housed in the historic Powerhouse, and pick up regional wine and produce or fresh-ground coffee from the Old Bus Depot Markets, held every Sunday in an old industrial building.
Braddon is one of the oldest suburbs in Canberra, and it contained Canberra's first light-industrial area. In recent years this area which is close to the city has emerged as an entertainment and residential precinct.
Braddon holds an eclectic mix of fashion, antiques and homewares stores along with pop-up art spaces, cool bars, cute cafes and restaurants. Grab a bite to eat in Lonsdale Street or from the street food vendors at The Hamlet.
Dickson and Yarralumla
Just north of the city centre is Dickson, and the outstanding Australian National Capital Artists (ANCA) art gallery. There’s also a multicultural food scene that includes a small but flourishing Chinatown, alongside cheery Italian trattorias, authentic Indian diners and vibrant Ethiopian eateries.
In Yarralumla you'll find most of the 80 embassies and high commissions that are located in Canberra with their mix of traditional and contemporary architectural styles. Drive between Foster Circuit and Empire Circuit to take a peek.
Australian Dollar (AU$)
220-240V / 50Hz
Winter (June to August) is cold but sunny, with average lows of 1°C with frost and fog and average highs of around 12°C. Summer (December to February) can be hot but has low humidity with average temperatures around 27°C.
From the airport
The Airport Express shuttle bus offers airport-city-airport services daily during peak periods and can be pre-booked or purchased from the airport. Many rental car operators are available, as well as taxis.
In and around the city
With the city's infamous roundabouts and plenty of parking, Canberra is one of the easiest cities to get around by car. Metered taxis are readily available or rent a car to make the most of your visit.
Canberra has some of Australia's finest cycle paths and off-road mountain bike trails. Bring your own bicycle or hire one and discover parks and forests, national attractions, lakes and connecting suburbs.
Canberra car hire
Enjoy great rates with Avis, Budget, Hertz or Thrifty and no booking fees. Qantas Frequent Flyers can also earn Qantas Points^ with Avis and Budget.
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