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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in canberra

Free Travel guide A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in canberra, Bed and Breakfast!

Canberra is the capital city of Australia, located in the Australian Capital Territory (which is surrounded by the state of New South Wales), southwest of Australia's largest city Sydney. It has a population of about 325,000 people.

canberra Travel Guide :



Canberra was established in 1913 as a purpose-built capital for the newly federated Australian nation - this brought the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne for national capital status to an end. The artificial creation of the city was not without critics however - many said that it was the "waste of a good sheep pasture". Canberra is a highly planned city, its primary design conceived by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin, built on the shores of an artificial lake (Lake Burley Griffin). Populated at first largely by politicians and public servants, it has taken several decades to develop its own identity and culture. A building spree in the late 20th century and a concerted effort to develop public institutions in the city have made it a viable destination for the traveller.


Get in


By plane

As Canberra is the political centre of Australia, Canberra International Airport ( (CBR) is well served by flights from other Australian capital cities. The following airlines fly to Canberra daily:

From other cities you can fly to one of the above cities and then to Canberra. International visitors would normally fly to Sydney or Melbourne and transfer to a domestic flight to Canberra. Flying time is 50 minutes from Sydney, 1 hour from Melbourne, 2 hours from Brisbane and Adelaide, and 4 hours from Perth.


By train

NSW Countrylink 4 ( runs services from Sydney to Canberra twice a day. The train arrives in Kingston on the south side of Canberra (it's a good destination, but if you want to be in the city you'll have to make your own way there). The economy fare is $49.50. Countrylink also runs a once-daily train/bus between Melbourne and Canberra: the bus runs from the centre of Canberra to the small town of Cootamundra, where travellers switch to the train to Melbourne's Southern Cross Station (known as Spencer Street Station until December 2005). Tickets cost $90.

All Countrylink tickets are half-price if booked a week in advance.


By car

Canberra is 300 km drive from Sydney and 650km drive from Melbourne. Drivers would take the dual carriage Hume Highway which connects Sydney and Melbourne and then take the Canberra turnoff (Barton Highway) just after Yass (coming from Melbourne) or Goulburn (Federal Highway) (coming from Sydney). Canberra is approximately 40 minutes drive from the turnoff.


By bus

Murray's Coaches 5 (, tel 132255, operate a bus service between Sydney and Canberra. Be sure to book an express bus trip from Sydney to Canberra (and vice versa) - it will knock an hour and a half off your trip. There are plenty of buses going each day between the cities and booking a week in advance may give you a cheaper ticket. The bus takes you right into the centre of Canberra city, whereas the train will take you to Manuka/Kingston area (which may require a cab to the city).


Get around


By bus

Action buses 6 ( cover the majority of Canberra. Fares 7 ( are currently (Jan 04) AU$2.40 for adults and AU$1.30 for concessions (Have your student card ready to show the driver). There are also all-day, weekly and monthly tickets available. An off-peak all-day ticket costs $4 and is valid for travel on weekdays between 9am & 4.30pm and after 6pm, as well as all day on weekends and holidays.

Tips for riding the buses:

  • If you need to change buses to get somewhere, ask for a transfer ticket; it'll let you on to as many buses as you need within 90 minutes of getting on the first bus.
  • Tell the driver where you need to get to (and how quickly if that's important) and ask them what your options are. Some buses snake through the suburbs and can take a while to cover a relatively short distance while others may be more direct or express services.


  • Australian War Memorial, Treloar Crescent (top of ANZAC Parade, at the other end from Parliament House), ph 02 6243 4211 or 02 6243 4598 (for recorded information), fax 02 6243 4325, 8 ( Daily 10am-5pm. Not just a memorial, this is one of Australia's premier museums, covering Australian military history from Federation to the present day and including fascinating exhibits of equipment, memorabilia and battle dioramas. Could spend a full day here. Free.
  • Parliament House of Australia, top of ANZAC Parade, ph 02 6277 5399 or 02 6277 2727 (for recorded information), 9 ( The seat of Australia's federal government and legislature and a remarkable piece of modern architecture.
  • National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, ph 02 6208 5000, fax 02 6208 5099, 10 ( This controversial museum has lots of interactive exhibits and groups items by concept rather than era. Free admission except for special exhibits.
  • National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place, Parkes, ph 02 6240 6502, 11 ( 10am?5pm. Located by Lake Burley Griffin, this modern structure is one of the country's largest art galleries. Free except for special exhibits.
  • National Library of Australia, ph 02 6262 1111, fax 02 6257 1703, 12 (
  • Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Leverrier Crescent, Bruce, ph 02 6214 1111, fax 02 6251 2680, 13 ( The AIS is Australia's elite athlete training facility. It is open both for tours and for fitness classes.
  • Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, King Edward Terrace, Parkes, ph 02 6270 2800 or 1800 020 603 (free call, recorded information), 14 ( 9am-5pm. Questacon is an interactive museum of science with exhibits illustrating scientific ideas from the principles of physics to the motion of an earthquake. $14 adults, $9.50 concessions, $8 children, and $42 for a family of 2 adults and 3 children.
  • Royal Australian Mint, 15 (
  • Australian National Botanic Gardens, 16 (
  • Telstra Tower, Black Mountain Drive, Acton, ACT (5 km from the city centre), tel 02 6219 6111, fax 02 6257 6600. Daily 9am-10pm. This functional communications tower rises 195 m above the summit of Black Mountain, providing 360 degree views of Canberra and the countryside around it. Well worth a visit, day or night, for the fantastic views. Has a revolving restaurant and telecommunications history display. $3.30 adult, $1.10 child/concession.
  • Prime Minister's Lodge. Generally closed to the public and one can only see part of the garden from behind the wall. There are open days about once a year and if you are lucky to be in Canberra then, it shouldn't be missed.
  • Government House. An official residence of the Governor-General, representative of the Queen. Closed to the public except for open days. It can be observed from the hill off the Scrivener Dam Rd.
  • Embassies. As the national capital, Canberra hosts the embassies of other countries. Some of them are architecturally interesting and worth looking at, particularly:
    • The Embassy of China
    • The Embassy of Papua New Guinea
    • The whole 'Embassy district' in leafy Yarralumla suburb.


There is a lot to do on and around Lake Burley Griffin:

  • Hire a paddle boat, canoe or kayak and mess around on the lake. Hire is available from:
    • Lake Burley Griffin Boat Hire, Acton Jetty Acton. ph 02 6249 6861.
    • Row'n'Ride, Canberrra Avenue, Fyshwick. ph 0410 547 838.
  • Walk, cycle or skate around the lake. Hire is available from:
    • Mr Spokes Bike Hire, Barrine Drive, Acton. ph 02 6257 1188.


  • Floriade - festival of flowers, a yearly event held in spring (September), not to be missed
  • The Multicultural Festival - a must to visit, has many events, such as concerts, performances and a International Food Fare with over 200 stalls selling original food of different countries. Happens every year.
  • Thai Embassy Food Fare - once a year - do not miss this! The Philippines, Sri Lankan and some other embassies do similar events sometimes.
  • Diplomatic Charity Basar - held occasionally. Great place to buy things original to specific countries, sold by staff of the embassies.
  • Tip - Watch for Canberra Times newspaper on Saturday for upcoming events.


  • Jamison market - every Sunday near Jamison centre, in Belconnen. Fresh produce stalls and flea market. Come and get your bargain. Vinyl records, second hand clothing, furniture, bric-a-brac.
  • Old Bus Depot Market, every Sunday. Antiques, arts and crafts ? all of a high standard. Food Stalls, including fresh produce and the best curry puffs in town.
  • Gorman House market - every Saturday in Braddon, just north of the city (easy walk). Crafts, second-hand items, antiques, international food in a lovely, grassy setting.
  • Tuggeranong Markets - First Sunday of every month in the lovely Tuggeranong Homestead opposite the Calwell Shops. Lots of stalls, selling amazing stuff.


Two universities are based in Canberra: The Australian National University (ANU) 17 ( located in Acton, relatively close to the city centre, and The University of Canberra (UC) 18 ( in the suburb of Bruce (about 8 km NW of the CBD). The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) 19 (, a faculty of The University of NSW (, provides teaching for military undergraduates.





  • Fyshwick Markets, Dalby St (Cnr Mildura St) Fyshwick, tel 02 6295 0606 - Fresh produce, including fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. Sunday afternoons are a good time to pick up some bargains.


Canberra has never been a shopping mecca, but in the recent years things improved a bit and one doesn't necessarily have to go to Sydney to keep up to date with the latest fashions.

  • Canberra Centre in Civic is a large shopping mall, which hosts two large department stores 'Myer" and 'David Jones' and many speciality shops for fashion wear. 'Ecco' shoes has a good selection. 'Country Road' is here as well as the others. The second floor of the centre hosts 'Laura Ashley' and 'Pumpkin Patch' - a good children clothing shop, 'Bed Bath and Table', to name just a few.

Behind the main Canberra Centre buildings in City Walk, there is another one behind in Bunda Street, which hosts 'Target' department store and 'Supabarn' supermarket, along with food outlets and speciality food shops.

Canberra centre has a convenient pay car parking.

  • Manuka is another shopping area, in Griffith which has 'boutiques' and restaurants. Millers of Manuka boutique sells leading women's fashion brands like Max Mara and ohers. For less expensive women's clothing try Witchery.
  • Kingston is yet another shopping and restaurant area not far from Manuka.
  • Fyshwick is the suburb to shop for appliances and technical stuff, it is also canberra's 'red-light' district.
  • Belconnen Mall is the name of the enclosed shopping centre owned by Westfield located within the Belconnen Town Centre to the north. Although it does not have as many clothes stores, it features a 'Myer' department store and a 'K-mart', as well as two supermarkets and a food court. It is located over three levels.
  • Woden Plaza and Tuggeranong Hyperdome are the two major enclosed shopping centres to the south, located within the Woden and Tuggeranong town centres respectively. Woden Plaza features a 'David Jones' department store, a 'BIG W', two supermarkets, as well as approximately 200 specialty stores and a food court. The Tuggeranong Hyperdome (further south) features a small 'Myer' department store, a 'K-mart', as well as supermarkets and a food court.




  • Cornucopia Bakery, 40 Mort Street, Braddon, ph 6249 1494. Wide range of traditional bakery products, meat pies and sandwiches, prepared on the premises.
  • Pide House, 2 Lawry Place, Jamison Group Centre, Macquarie (near Belconnen T/C) and Woden Plaza, Corinna Street, Woden. tel 02 6251 3325 (Jamison) and 02 6260 3016 (Woden). Nice, inexpensive Turkish food in a proper restaurant (not a takeaway outlet). The Woden location is open all day (one of the very few in Canberra).


  • Silo Bakery and Cafe, 36 Giles St, Kingston. tel 02 6260 6060. Best breakfast in town.
  • Cafe D'Lish, Shop 3, Duff Place, Deakin. tel 02 6281 3533. fax 02 6281 3450. Swiss owner, nice pastries made on premises.
  • Bruno's Truffels, Unit 2, 106 Mawson Place, Mawson. tel 02 6286 6377. Nice cafe and shop for locally made chocolates.
  • Belluci's Restaurant, Cape St (cnr Woolley St), Dickson. tel 02 6257 7788. Simply the best.
  • Four Rivers Sichuan Chinese Restaurant, Unit 66, The Coventry Apartments, 12 Challis Street, Dickson, 02 6162 0667. - Very tasty, authentic Sichuan cuisine. Yum-cha lunches.
  • Sukhotai in Yarralumla, Yarralumla shops complex - Great, inexpensive Thai food. Eat in and takeaway.
  • Dickson shops: This is the Canberra equivalent of Chinatown. Lots of great Asian food and a few pubs/clubs to have a beer at. This shopping centre is located a 10 minute bus ride along Northbourne Avenue near Civic and has a fantastic eat street, with everything from Thai to Turkish to Vietnamese at reasonable prices. Turk Oz a delicious spinach and fetta pide. Dickson Noodle House makes a terrific laksa and is quite cheap.


  • Water's Edge, 40 Parkes Place, Parkes. tel 02 6273 5066.
  • Aubergine Restaurant, 18 Barker St, Griffith. tel 02 6260 8666.
  • The Chairman & Yip Restaurant, 108 Bunda Street, Canberra City. tel 02 6248 7109. Australian/Asian.
  • Ottoman Cuisine Restaurant, 3A Mugga Way, Forrest. tel 02 6273 6111. Australian/Turkish.
  • The Promenade Cafe at the Hyatt hotel, Commonwealth Ave, offers daily buffet dinners in it's restaurant from 6pm and "high teas" from 3 to 5pm.
  • The Lobby King George Tce, Parkes. King George Tce, Parkes, lunches Mon - Fri, dinners Tue - Sat. tel 02 6273 1563


  • King O'Malleys in Civic (inside City Walk Hotel building, Ground floor). An Irish pub with a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Wig and Pen (Canberra House Arcade, Alinga St Civic, 6248 0171). Awesome range of beers.
  • Toast CafĂ© & Bar (219 London Cct Civic, 6230 0003). Remember to try the absinthe. Live music often on Thursdays and Fridays. Saturdays often feature djs / dance / electronic music. Relaxed and unpretenious atmosphere. Typically excellent music.
  • The Phoenix (21 East Row Canberra City, 6247 1606). About as rustic and dingy as a Canberra establishment is likely to get, this pub attracts a varied crowd, with more than its fair share of bohemian types. (plus check out the use of winamp for the house music :-P)
  • Trinity Bar (Just behind the Turkish Pide House in Dickson). This is a quiet lounge bar with great cocktail menu and jazz/DJs playing each evening Thurs-Saturday. Great dry martinis.
  • Hippo Lounge (Upstairs, Garema Place, Civic). Another great cocktail bar - very kitsch decorations and great music - definitely check this place out if you're after an intimate drink or two. There's also Jazz on wednesday nights.



Serviced apartments

Serviced, short-term apartments are widely available throughout Canberra and are available for stays as short as one night. Amenities typically include kitchen, washer and dryer, and separate bedrooms. A full range of properties exist from budget to 5 star.

  • Southern Cross Apartment Rentals 20 ( offers a wide range of serviced apartments throughout Canberra.


  • Canberra Backpackers, 7 Akuna Street, Canberra City. tel 1800 300 488 (free call inside Australia) or 02 6257 3999. fax 02 6257 3955. email 21 (
  • Canberra YHA, 191 Dryandra Street, O'Connor. tel 02 6248 9155. fax 02 6249 1731. email 22 ( Beds in a shared dormitory $21-$23 per night. Double or twin rooms $58-$66 per night. Family rooms $90 per night.
  • City Walk Hotel, 2 Mort Street, Canberra City (At the suburban bus interchange). tel 1800 600 124 (free call inside Australia) or 02 6257 0124. fax 02 6257 0116. 23 ( Beds in a shared dormitory are $22 per person per night. Single rooms are $45 per night, and twin/double rooms $60 per night.


  • Rydges Eagle Hawk Resort, Federal Highway. ph 02 6241 6033. fax 02 6241 3691. email, 24 ( This large resort, a few kilometers from the outskirts of Canberra, has motel-style accommodation. Rooms include small kitchenettes, and it is possible to get two rooms with an adjoining door for families or groups. The resort has a large pool, a breakfast room and restaurant, and a small spa and sauna area. Double rooms $140 per night without breakfast and $170 with breakfast. Rates may be as low as $110 if you pay in advance and agree to a 48 hour cancellation period via the Rydges Direct system.
  • Novotel Canberra Hotel, 65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra ACT 2600 - Ph: 02 6245 5000 Fax: 6245 5100 E:, 25 ( In Canberra's Civic Centre on Northbourne Ave, Novotel Canberra accommodates business and convention visitors, and families travelling with children. Relatively close to major attractions including old and new Parliament Houses, Questacon, the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum of Australia. Rate range $150 - 250.


  • Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla. tel 13 1234 (local call within Australia) or 02 6270 1234. fax 02 6281 5998. email 26 ( Double room from $190 per night.



Stay safe

Canberra is a very safe city and enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in all of Australia. Be a bit careful at night around the bus interchanges at Civic, Woden and Belconnen.


Get out

NSW regions:


External links

  • Canberra Tourism ( - "Welcome to Australia's National Capital" - the ACT's official Canberra tourism website.
  • Canberra Weather ( - 7 day forecast, current conditions and radar.

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