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Two of Canberra's best-known landmarks, Parliament House and Old Parliament House (foreground). Commonwealth Place runs alongside the lake and includes the International Flag Display.

Canberra is both the state capital and the capital city of Australia. It is set amidst wonderful landscapes, along The Pacific Coast. The city lies on both sides of the river Molonglo and around Lake Burley Griffin, at the foot of the Australian Alps. The site, for the construction of the city of Canberra, was an obvious choice, given the economic, climatic and scenic factors of this location. Canberra is a modern and refined city, whose architecture and public spaces respect the original desire to create an ordered urban area. New satellite- towns, with a residential feel, have been built in the out-lying suburbs. Canberra has little local industry and functions primarily as the official seat of the government and public services.

Forget the traffic jams and car fumes and enjoy the wide open spaces that characterise the city centre. However it is advisable to buy a map, as the city is built on and around the hills and lake and forms a rather irregular pattern. This university city possesses a large library and is the site of the Australian Academy of Science.

Canberra is principally a political and cultural city and functions as a meeting point for a large number of different cultures. The city hosts numerous museums and art galleries. The National Gallery of Australia has over 70,000 works of art, which include aboriginal paintings and those of the famous contemporary artist S.Nolan.

The airport is situated approximately 7 km South-East of the city centre. An airport mini-bus service departs from the Jolimont Centre and various hotels. Canberra’s public transport system covers the majority of the city, however it runs on an irregular basis and is practically non-existent after 10pm on Sundays. The roads in Canberra are excellent and the lack of traffic makes driving easy.

Tips for: backpackersbusiness travelersluxury/exotic travelhitchhikersfamiliesseniorsLBG travelerspet owners

Hotels and lodgingEdit

Accommodation Comparison


A different view of the city can be obtained from the summit of Black Mountain, which looks out over The Australian National University, the Civic Centre and Lake Burley Griffin; with its Captain Cook Memorial, an impressive water spout, that reaches a height of 40 metres. On the opposite side of the lake, it is possible to make out the large metal globe, which shows the routes taken by Captain Cook, during his voyages of discovery.

From the summit of Mount Ainslee it is possible to see The Old and New Parliament and The Australian War Memorial. The War Memorial, with its collection of fighter planes, films and memorabilia of the battles fought by Australia, makes this one of the finest war museums in the world.

Capitol Hill is the site of The Mint and The Old and New Parliament. The National Capital Exhibition,1.8 km from the centre, is the ideal departure point for a tourist trip around Canberra. The exhibition, using high-tech multimedia equipment, details the founding of Australia’s capital city and the aboriginal occupation of the country, prior to the arrival of the Europeans. The exhibition also explains Canberra’s vital role as symbol of the federation and as a place belonging to the people of Australia.


Canberra Centre

David Jones Canberra Centre

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Getting to CanberraEdit

Exploring CanberraEdit

Discover Australia’s national floral inheritance by strolling through The Australian National Botanic Gardens, which is nestled at the foot of the Black Mountain, 2.4 km from the city centre. The gardens possess the world’s best collection of Australian flora. Various ecosystems have been created, where it is possible to admire the plants and flowers from Australia’s mountains, rain forests and deserts.

For those wishing to have more precise information, it is possible to follow a guided tour around the gardens. In January, the gardens provide a relaxing way to end your day: the opening times are extended and concerts are organised in the grounds.

It is immediately obvious that Canberra is an excellent departure point for outdoor activities. Pleasant trips can be had to the old farming and mining towns of Captains Flat and Bungedone.

Practical information and resourcesEdit

Currency : Australian Dollar

Electric supply: 240/250 volts, 60 hertz. Electric plugs are flat, three pinned and necessitate the use of an adaptor.

Climate : The best period to visit the city is Spring, when the temperatures are fresh and the views are clear, or in Autumn with its balmy climate.

Language : English

Opening hours : Shops are open: Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm; Friday 9am to 9pm; Saturday 8:30am to noon. Banks are open. Monday to Thursday 9.30 am to 4pm; Friday 9.30am to 5pm. Public offices are open: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm


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