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The Ultimate Travel Guide ToCanberra

Australia’s capital was once the beige home of politicians, bureaucrats and not much else, but today Canberra is the capital of cool, boasting hip hotels, a thriving dining scene and some of the greatest galleries and museums in the country.

Here’s our pick of the best things to do in Canberra to make the most of your next Canberra getaway including the ultimate itinerary to spending 48 hours in Canberra.

Getting to Canberra

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Getting to Canberra is easy. You can reach Australia’s capital by plane, coach, train or car. Canberra is also a popular ski stopover destination, on the way to the Snowy Mountains ski fields during winter.

Flying to Canberra

Canberra is less than two hours flying from east coast cities such as Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, making it the ideal weekend getaway or short break. Regular flights are also available from Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast. International flights operate from Canberra including daily flights from Singapore.

Boarding a Bus or Coach

Regular bus and coach services to Canberra are available from Sydney, Melbourne, regional New South Wales and other destinations if you prefer someone else to do the driving. There are also plenty of train options if you prefer rail travel.

Driving to Canberra

Driving to Canberra is simple. It’s an easy 3-hour drive from Sydney to Canberra and time permitting, there are plenty of things to see and do along the way. If you’re planning a Melbourne to Canberra roadtrip, the drive will take approximately 7 hours. If you’d like to get off the beaten track, there are plenty of country towns to discover along the way for an alternative scenic route.

Things to Do in Canberra

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Museums and Monuments

Canberra is the epicentre for Australian history, culture and politics, making it a must-visit destination. It’s a haven for those who seek to learn more about Australian heritage and pay respects to those who have fallen for our freedom. Highlights include the Australian War Memorial and the National Library, making up just two of the 5 major museums and monuments you must see on a visit to Canberra.

Gardens and Reserves

Take a botanic journey through the gardens and reserves around Canberra. The Australian National Botanic Gardens has been cleverly designed to allow you to wander, explore, relax and learn about our native plants. The National Arboretum Canberra features 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world, making it one of the world’s largest living collections of significant trees.

Local Culture

Canberra is an easy city to get around and soak up the local culture. Stretch the legs and explore the city with a self-guided walking tour around Lake Burley Griffin. For picture-perfect views of Canberra, walk, cycle or drive to Mount Ainslie Lookout and admire the impressive scenery. The Mount Ainslie Summit Trail, also known as Kokoda Memoral Trail begins behind the Australian War Memorial and takes approximately 1.5 hours (return) featuring various memorials and plaques along the way commemorating the Kokoda Track.

Family Fun in Canberra

Canberra has an array of activities, events and attractions designed especially for kids, which are fun, educational and entertaining. The classic kids guide to Canberra includes the likes of Questacon but there are also plenty of free activities for kids in Canberra and outdoor attractions including parks and playgrounds to explore for the ultimate family-friendly getaway destination.

Canberra Accommodation

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Luxury Accommodation

Canberra has its fair share of hip hotels, but there are some classics that never go out of style, like the iconic Hyatt Hotel Canberra. If you prefer a modern hotel with low-key ambience and a sophisticated edge, try the Hotel Realm Canberra and for a truly unique stay, Jamala Wildlife Lodge lets you stay alongside some of the rarest animals on the planet.


You’re spoilt for choice with hotel accommodation in Canberra. Explore Canberra’s museums and galleries from Little National a designer hotel with an affordable price tag. Also in the Realm precinct, Burbury Hotel offers guests spacious rooms and self-contained apartments with a cool, minimalist style. QT brought its signature crazy/sexy/cool style to the nations capital with QT Canberra playing up to the political theme with aplomb.


If you’re looking for cheap and affordable accommodation in Canberra, consider the great selection of caravan and camping options available. Many parks offer powered sites, cabins and family-friendly villas. Alivio Tourist Park is less than 5 minutes from the heart of the city, nestled in a quiet bush setting offering families a comfortable and affordable city stay.

Top Foodie Experiences in Canberra

Canberra’s hippest food haunts are sure to satisfy. Start the day at one of the best breakfast and brunch spots in Canberra including the Cupping Room for exceptional coffee. Still hungry? Here’s our list of the best lunch and dinner options in Canberra.

Wind down at the end of the day at one of the best bars in Canberra such as Bar Rochford hidden upstairs in one of the capital’s oldest buildings – the Melbourne Building. Canberra is also the perfect place for a wine weekend with Canberra’s wine region just 35 minutes from the city.

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