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Canberra

Photo © RBruceW

Travel Guide Oceania Australia Australian Capital Territory Canberra

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Introduction

Canberra Parliament house

Canberra Parliament house

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Canberra is the capital city of Australia and is located in the Australian Capital Territory to the southwest of Sydney. Following a long dispute over whether Sydney or Melbourne should be the national capital, a compromise was reached: Canberra. It was constructed in the early 1900s following a design by architect Walter Burley Griffin. The highly organised layout is evidence of the planning that went into this city. As a result of being the nation's capital, Canberra is home to many national monuments and institutions such as the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Australia, the National Archives of Australia, and the National Museum of Australia.

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Sights and Activities

Canberra is home to many of Australia's most significant cultural institutions.

  • Parliament
  • National Museum of Australia
  • National Library of Australia
  • National Gallery of Australia
  • Australian War Memorial
  • Questacon - large interactive science and technology centre for kids.

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Events and Festivals

Summer in Australia is all about Outdoor Music Festivals. With single day events, camping festivals out of town and week long festivals, there is definately a music festival to suit all tastes. Further reading: Outdoor Music Festivals in ACT.

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Weather

Canberra's summermonths are from November to March, when average daytime temperatures are between 25 °C and 28 °C, sometimes rising to over 35 °C. Nights are relatively cool, averaging around 10 °C to 14 °C. During the wintermonths of June to August nights are only around zero on average, rising to 10-12 degrees during the day.
Rainfall is fairly even throughout the year, but usually is a little less than average during winter with the highest rainfall in October and November.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max27.7 °C27 °C24.4 °C19.8 °C15.4 °C12.1 °C11.2 °C12.9 °C16 °C19.2 °C22.4 °C26 °C
Avg Min13 °C12.9 °C10.7 °C6.6 °C3.1 °C0.9 °C-0.2 °C1 °C3.1 °C6 °C8.5 °C11.2 °C
Rainfall61.5 mm53.6 mm52.6 mm49.5 mm47.8 mm39.6 mm42 mm47.4 mm52.8 mm65.3 mm64.2 mm52.5 mm
Rain Days7.76.57.27.48.49.19.911.110.210.69.97.8

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Getting There

By Plane

The Canberra International Airport provides direct domestic services to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Newcastle, Traralgon and Albury.[1] There are no regularly scheduled international flights.

By Car

From Sydney: Travel along the Hume Highway and turn off at the Federal Highway near Goulbourn. Travel time is roughly 3 hours.
From Melbourne: Take the Hume Highway and turn off at the Barton Highway at Yass. Travel time is roughly 7 hours.

By Train

CountryLink connects Canberra to Sydney by rail. Canberra's railway station is in the inner south suburb of Kingston. Train services to Melbourne are provided by CountryLink bus services which connects with a rail service between Sydney and Melbourne in Yass, about one hour's drive from Canberra.[2]

By Bus

Greyhound has services to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

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Getting Around

ACTION buses run across Canberra. Bus timetables can be collected from the offices in the bus interchanges in Civic (city), Woden, Tuggeranong, and Belconnen. Alternatively, they are all available on the ACTION website. The best option for travellers would be to purchase a Travel Ten card from a Canberra Newsagent. The ticket system is based on time which means that each ticket is valid for 90 consecutive minutes of travel, regardless of where you travel in the network.

The bus to the Airport is not operated by Action. Check the Canberra International Airport website for more information on this.

If you want to make the most of Canberra, consider buses or hiring a car as the landmarks are too spread out for walking to be a viable option.

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Eat

A good place to start is by checking out the following websites, which allow you to search on restaurants, cafes and bars according to cuisine, location etc. and view customer reviews:

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Nightlife

Canberra has a limited but varied nightlife. For cheap drinks and student types, try the city which is called Civic. Mooseheads on London Curcuit is very popular with the very young party goers. King O'Malleys in Garema Place is a decent Irish Pub with live music most weekends.

Kingston and Manuka are more upmarket options. Lot 33 in Kingston is the place for pop-techno all night dancing, but beware as it doesn't really pick up until midnight at the earliest. Irish pubs Filthy McFaddens and The Durham in Kingston are good fun, but get very crowded.

Smoking is banned in all Canberra clubs and pubs.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Dickson Backpackers4-14 Woolley Street DicksonHostel77
Victor Lodge Bed & Breakfast29 Dawes St KingstonGUESTHOUSE81
Canberra City YHA7 Akuna Street CityHostel83
Forrest Hotel and Apartments30 National Circuit Forrest, ACTHotel-
Canberra Short Term & Holiday Accommodation47 McMillan Crescent GriffithHotel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés are very common in the larger Australian cities and popular tourist destinations. However, once you leave the major population centres, you might have trouble finding somewhere to log on. Free wifi is getting more and more common (either with or without a code) in places like restaurants, some bars and coffee places and hotels. Sometimes a fee is required.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.

To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.

Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:

  • 02 - New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory (Sydney, Canberra)
  • 03 - Victoria & Tasmania (Melbourne, Hobart)
  • 07 - Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 08 - Western Australia, South Australia & Northern Territory (Perth, Adelaide, Darwin)

000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.

Post

Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.[3]. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: -35.28204
  • Longitude: 149.12858

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This is version 38. Last edited at 4:10 on Apr 22, 14 by KellieBarnes. 16 articles link to this page.

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