Destination Guides


Capital Territory

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Canberra from Black Mountain ©Simon Yeo

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was created as a compromise: both Sydney and Melbourne thought that they should be Australia's capital city and the authorities decided that the only answer was to create a new city, within its own territory, between the two rivals. ACT is landlocked in the mountainous state of southeastern New South Wales; Sydney is 190 miles (306km) to the northwest. The territory is tiny by Australian standards: it is 50 miles (80km) from north to south and about 20 miles (30km) wide.


The capital city, Canberra, and its surrounding suburbs are in the northeast of the territory and surrounded by the artificial Lake Burley Griffin. The parliament and other government buildings are located to the south of the lake and to the north is Civic, the name for the city's central business district, where visitors will also find the university and the main shopping and nightlife streets. Civic is a lively district and fun to explore for travellers, but Canberra seldom features prominently on the itineraries of foreign tourists, despite being the capital. Two or three days in Canberra will be sufficient for most travellers, but luckily many wonders await just beyond.


The Namadgi National Park occupies the whole southwestern area of the Territory, providing a great opportunity to explore some of Australia's natural abundance for visitors to Canberra. Many travellers visit ACT as a daytrip from Sydney, and Canberra is a popular weekend getaway for Australians.


Climate Info

The Capital Territory experiences warm summers and cold winters, often with light snowfalls. It rains throughout the year, especially in the mountains, and strong winds are common. Canberra enjoys an oceanic climate, with fairly mild summers and frosty winters. In summer, peaking between December and February, temperatures average between 52°F (11°C) and 82°F (28°C); and in winter, between June and August, temperatures average between 33°F (1°C) and 55°F (13°C).


Getting Around

Public transport is limited and Canberra is spread out, with limited weekend bus services and little transport after about 10pm, meaning that visitors are best off hiring a car. There is plenty of parking at the tourist sites and the road system is excellent and uncongested. To hire a car drivers must be 21 years of age and hold a valid driver's license, sometimes in conjunction with an international driver's permit. The Action bus company routes cover most tourist attractions from four town centre bus interchanges: City, Woden, Tuggeranong and Belconnen. A day bus pass is available from bus drivers or the tourist information centre. Cycling is also a popular means of transport in Canberra and there is an extensive network of bicycle paths around the city. Taxi ranks are available in most major areas of the city and when taxis cannot be found on the street they can be ordered by phone.


Canberra International Airport (CBR)

LocationThe airport is situated five miles (8km) east of Canberra.
Time DifferenceGMT +10 (GMT +11 from last Sunday in August to last Saturday in March).
Contacts

Tel: +61 (0)2 6275 2222/2236.

Getting to city

There is an Airliner shuttle bus service during the week to the city centre, which departs hourly from outside the main doors of the central terminal building. Taxis are available at all times to the city centre. Limousines are also available.

Car Rental

Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty, among others, are represented in the central terminal area.

Airport Facilities

There is a bar, a restaurant, post office and ATM available in the terminal. There is a foreign exchange bureau on the ground floor of the central terminal. Those with special needs are well catered for.

Car Parking

Short- and long-term parking is available at the airport close to the terminal.

Depature TaxNone.
Websitewww.canberraairport.com.au


Cockington Green


Opened to the public in 1979, Cockington Green at Gold Creek Village is an award-winning display of miniature buildings and landscaped gardens and one of Canberra's best-loved attractions. The park was created by Doug and Brenda Cockington and has been a family-run business ever since. T
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Cockington Green Gardens Maze ©Michael



National Gallery of Australia


Located on the south shore of the lake, the National Gallery has the best collection of art in the country. The Australian collection ranges from traditional Aboriginal art through to 20th-century works by Tom Roberts, Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker. Aboriginal works include
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National Gallery of Australia ©russellstreet



Australian War Memorial


Consistently voted Canberra's premier tourist attraction, the Australian War Memorial is not only a fitting tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service of their country, but also a fascinating, highly-informative museum that seeks to educate modern Australians about the
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Australian War Memorial ©Travis



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