"CANBERRA - Aboriginal for "MEETING PLACE"" Top 5 Page for this destination Canberra by balhannah

Canberra Travel Guide: 977 reviews and 2,729 photos


Canberra - Our National Capital, is located in the Australian Capital Territory,
affectionately known as the ACT.

After Federation in 1901, somewhere in Australia had to be chosen as a site for the capital. The ACT was declared on 1 January 1911, and Canberra became the Capital City of Australia.

In 2013, Canberra will celebrate a 100years.

A visit to Canberra is not boring by any means, in fact, it is very interesting, has lots of FREEBIES, and is a MUST SEE and VISIT for Australian’s and Overseas Visitors alike.

A lot of the Architecture of the new buildings did not appeal to me, but it was the inside that counted, and it is here that you find all the history.
So much of interest, we spent 6 nights here in October 2009, this was another of many visits, and we still have heaps more to see and do!

A little HISTORY..............

Canberra is located on the ancient land of the indigenous Ngunnawal Aborigines. The name “Canberra” is thought to mean “meeting place.”
It is a “planned city” the other planned capital city is Adelaide in South Australia.

1908.......It was then the area was chosen for the Federal capital.
1912.......Canberra was planned by Walter Burley Griffin, a Chicago architect who won an international design competition.
1927.......Old Parliament House was situated in a treeless paddock. How different Canberra is now, with lots of Trees, and beautiful Tree lined streets, this is how all Cities should be.
1930 - 1956......Canberra was at a bit of a standstill because of the Depression, World War 11 and the after years.
The Australian War Memorial was built in 1941.
1964......Lake Burley Griffin is filled with water.
1965.......Anzac parade is opened on the 50th anniversary of Gallipoli.
1988 ......New Parliament House opens.

CANBERRA TODAY IS ...............

Only 282 kms and a 3hour direct drive from Sydney via the M5 toll way, connecting to the Hume Highway 31, then take the exit to Goulburn and the Federal highway to reach Canberra.

A scenic drive, and one we did, was from the coast (Bateman’s Bay) along the King’s Highway, passing through historic Braidwood and Bungendore and onto Canberra.
Another way is Canberra via Mittagong , following the Old Hume Highway through the scenic towns and areas of Bowral, Moss Vale and Sutton Forest, then rejoining the Hume Highway 31 for the onward journey via Goulburn to Canberra.
In fact, I think we have entered Canberra in every possible way!

From other Capital cities, expect a 7 hour DIRECT DRIVE from Melbourne, 14 hours from Adelaide, 16 hours from Brisbane.
To go to the Snowy Mountains, expect 2.5 hours direct drive, and to the south coast, a 2 hour direct journey.

There a plenty of Coach Companies that service Canberra as well.
There are four different Airlines that service Canberra if you wish to arrive this way.

I have visited in several different seasons, with my favorite being my last visit in SPRING, 2009. What a lovely time to be in Canberra. Trees, vineyards awaken from winter, Blooms are everywhere, Wildflowers abound in the area, the Botanic gardens are fantastic, and the Canberra Floriade is held.
Fresh mornings, sunny days, and crisp nights are to be expected.
Average temperature for Spring is 5 -19deg, it was that and warmer when I was here.

SUMMER, and Lake Burley Griffin becomes a hive of activity, with people enjoying water sports.
Days are warm to hot with plenty of sunshine, low humidity, mild nights, average 12 – 27 deg, it can be a lot hotter than this.

AUTUMN, and all those lovely street Trees turn all those “hot” colors of Red, Yellow, Orange, and Crimson.
Expect warm days and cool nights with an average of 7 – 20 deg.

WINTER, time to enjoy the open fires and snow trips. The days are crisp and cold, with clear Blue skies, the average temperatures 1 – 12 deg, it can be quite a bit colder.

Remember temperatures are only "average" it can be a lot hotter or colder!

CANBERRA IS................

.... a good base, have a look around the city, then head to the countryside, the Wineries, National Parks, Snowy Mountains, and the historic nearby Towns, situated in the pretty countryside.

You don’t have to go outside Canberra to see Kangaroos either, there are plenty of them in the parks of the suburbs

.........a well laid out and signposted city, you should be able to find your way around quite easily. Look for the BROWN TOURIST SIGNS.

There are lots and lots to do and see here, and the best part, is a lot of it is FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Where else can you spend days visiting wonderful Museums and Galleries, and it is not costing a cent!
Even some that do charge, it is a gold coin donation, so that is $1 or $2.
So, you don't need to spend much money, only a little for food, accommodation and transport.

A visit to the Visitors centre is a must, as there is so much to see and do in Canberra. It is open from 9 – 5 pm daily.




Australian War Memorial..........www.awm.gov.au [Donation appreciated]
Australian National Botanic Garden…………. www.anbg.gov.au
Canberra Deep space communication complex…… www.cdscc.nasa.gov
Captain Cook Memorial Jet
Commonwealth Place
Government House Lookout
Australian of the Year Walk
High Court of Australia…………… www.hcourt.gov.au
Indonesian Embassy & Cultural centre………….. www.kbri-canberra.org.au
Memorials on Anzac Parade
Mount Ainslee Lookout.
Mount Pleasant Lookout
National Carillon………….. www.natcap.gov.au
National Archives of Australia………….. www.naa.gov.au
National Capital Exhibition……….. www.nationalcapital.gov.au
National film & sound archive……… www.nfsa.gov.au
National Gallery of Australia………. www.nga.gove.au
National Library of Australia………….. www.nla.gov.au
National Museum of Australia………….. www.nma.gov.au
National Portrait Gallery……… www.portrait.gov.au
Old Bus Depot Markets………. www.obdm.com.au
Parliament House……………. www.aph.gov.au
Reconciliation Place
Red Hill Lookout
Royal Australian Mint……… www.ramint.gov.au
Stromlo Forest Park……………. www.stromloforestpark.com.au
All saints church
Church of Saint John the Baptist.
Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Drive around the Embassies of the World
Old Parliament House gardens and the National Rose Garden.
Lennox gardens, includes the Japanese garden.
Black Mountain Lookout
Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies

As you can see by the list, there is a lot to see for FREE to keep you busy for quite a few days, then there is a lot with gold coin donations (Either $1 or $2 coin entry) and some others a little more expensive, but still reasonably priced.

No car? No worries……………. A lot of the sites are close together, and there is a Hop/on/off Explorer bus (fee) that takes you to all the major attractions. You can meet it in town, or be picked up and returned to your accommodation.

Check out my pages on what to see and do, I'm sure you will find some interesting things, and don't forget A LOT IS FREE ADMISSION


  • Last visit to Canberra: Oct 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (71)

Comments (20)

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Aug 30, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    What a lovely introduction to Canberra. It is a city I have not known much about but learned today one of the family could be transferred there for 2-3 years Your page has given me a good picture and it looks like a nice place to live - specially in Yarralumla !

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    I thought I had read all your Australian pages, Dee - but then I found this wonderful page on Canberra :)

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    'Struth Dee, what a page! And more memorials and monuments than you could shake a stick at!
    I have always wanted to go to Canberra, and by the looks of it, it's going to be worth waiting for. My curiosity was also piqued by Bill Bryson's comment that he simply had to visit Canberra because the world's dullest man (John Howard) deemed it too boring a city to live in (or words to that effect)!

  • omidamini's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Thank you for full information about Canberra.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    G'day, Dee! Thanks fr your wonderful presentation! ><><><

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    You are correct that there is a plethera of things to do in this town. It is amazing. You described the sites very aptly and the pictures well done. We are thinking of a possible visit along the coast late 2011?? and maybe see you all.

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2010 at 1:33 AM

    Still working my way through your war museums and memorials . Your vivid tips make then so real I feel I have walked around them myself. Excellent stuff - I loved the beauty of the mosaics and the poignancy of your writing amidst the horror and sorrow.

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    "ANZAC HALL AND THE "SUB"" One of the headings isn't quite working right.

  • greekcypriot's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    What a wonderful place to live! A very informative guide. Good work.

  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    As usual, you have done your homework and produced another fantastic page.


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