A basket of passengers floats gently over national attractions in Canberra at dawn during a hot air balloon ride. Flights are available almost every day depending on weather.

Australia’s capital, Canberra, is a city The New York Times says features ‘big-sky beauty, breezy civic pride and a decidedly hipster underbelly'.

Situated between Sydney and Melbourne, Canberra is a young and vibrant multicultural city that reflects and tells the story of Australia. Discover a city in a park featuring a kaleidoscope of colours and experiences that unfold with four distinct seasons. Explore the great outdoors among the leafy surrounds or venture into national parks and get up close to native Australian wildlife.

The capital offers visitors an abundance of world class festivals and events, outdoor activities, natural beauty and family friendly attractions that will entertain and excite. Our food scene is red hot and our local arts movement is thriving. Tempt your tastebuds at stylish restaurants, bars and cafes or spend the day sampling award-winning cool climate wines at one of more than 30 boutique cellar doors in the Canberra region.

Embed one of our videos into your website, play it on screen during conferences to whet the appetite of those coming or already in town. It’s sure to stimulate their desire to get out and explore.

Arts and culture

Canberra has a thriving creative and visual arts scene that shines through its amazing museums and galleries.

Canberra is home to Australia’s best cultural attractions. From privately owned galleries such as Beaver Galleries, to the creative arts hubs such as Kingston (home of the Canberra Glassworks and Old Bus Depot Markets), there’s something for every art lover.

Collections that hold and tell the story of the nation are housed in Canberra’s cultural attractions such as the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, the National Library of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive. And that’s just a sample.

Our attractions provide the perfect platform for enriching your Canberra experience.

Food and wine

Who’s hungry? With over 300 restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from you won’t stay that way for long in Canberra.

The city has a broad multicultural population so you can find international cuisine from all corners of the globe. The Sydney Morning Herald’s 2016 Good Food Guide puts  AubergineTemporadaWaters Edge, Monster Kitchen & Bar, EightysixCourgette, Ottoman, Pialligo Estate Farmhouse, Lilotang and Lanterne Rooms high on its list, and you’ll find amazing food offerings in Braddon, the city centreKingston, Manuka and NewActon.

You will, of course, need good wine to accompany it. Choose from Canberra restaurants’ fab wine lists, or pick something from the local region.  The rural countryside around the ACT is now home to more than 30 cellar doors, all within a 30 minute drive from the city. And we haven’t even got started on our craft brewery list. Cheers to that!

Outdoors

We know what you’re thinking… you can’t wait to bust out of the confines of your conference or work meeting and hit the great outdoors. Fresh air, you can’t beat it. Canberra really is a city in a park so there is absolutely no shortage of lovely outdoor spaces to enjoy while you’re in town.

Close to the city centre, Commonwealth Park is worth a look. You can take a stroll along the lakeside paths, hire a bike or tour on a Segway for something different.

The National Arboretum Canberra offers stunning views of the city and beautiful outdoor spaces. Stroll through a rainforest at the Australian National Botanic Gardens or take a drive out of town to roam wide open spaces and see native animals in their natural setting at Namadgi National Park or Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Looking for something more adventurous? Why not head to Stromlo Forest Park and take on our world-class mountain bike facility. Or explore Lake Burley Griffin, at your own pace, on one of our three cycle loops.

Family fun

So you’re lucky enough to travel for work with your family in tow? But what will they do while you’re busy in the trenches? Fear not, family leader. Your tribe will be more than entertained with Canberra’s many family friendly activities.

For some fresh air let them run wild at the awesome Pod Playground at the National Arboretum Canberra, take a ride around Lake Burley Griffin and check out Commonwealth Park, wander the mini-me world of Cockington Green Gardens, or head out to explore Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve or Namadgi National Park or go behind the scenes on an award-winning AIS tour.

Indoors they’ll love Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre, the Australian War Memorial, the National Zoo & Aquarium and the National Dinosaur Museum. And on Sundays, the Old Bus Depot Markets is loved by families.

Leave the family to explore and meet up with them when you’re ready to play. Or perhaps they might like to join you on the weekend after you’ve slogged it out through the working week?

See our itineraries for more inspiration.

Canberra – Fast Facts

For many people, visiting a city that’s not their own can be challenging. And when they’re visiting primarily for business purposes it can be made that much more challenging as they are undoubtedly pressed for time to get out and experience the city amidst their work commitments.

Here’s the Canberra ‘need-to-know’ information.

Location

Canberra is located 281km south-west of Sydney and 660km north-east of Melbourne. It’s a 2.5 hour drive from the east coast of Australia and is located 571 metres above sea level.

Population

Canberra is home to 390,000 people with estimates it will reach half a million within the next 15 years.

Weather

Canberra has four distinct seasons which offer their own beauty and charm.

Average minimum to maximum temperatures in degrees Celsius

  • Spring 6-19
  • Summer 12-27
  • Autumn 7-20
  • Winter 1-12

Retail Shopping Hours

  • Monday to Thursday 9am to 5.30pm
  • Friday 9am to 9pm (late night shopping)
  • Saturday 9am to 5pm
  • Sunday 10am to 4pm

*hours may vary in smaller shopping centres

Tourist information

Canberra and Region Visitors Centre
330 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson ACT
Phone: 1300 554 114

Public Transport

  • ACTION Buses - Phone: 13 17 10 for most major tourist sites and regular service routes through the city and suburbs
  • Taxis
    • Canberra Elite - Phone: 13 22 27
    • Silver Service - Phone: 13 31 00
  • Canberra Airport - Phone: 6275 2222
  • Ride Sharing Services - Uber, ONTAP and GoCatch

Explore Canberra's varied precincts

With so much diversity in experiences so close to each other, read on to discover what to recommend and choose for things to see and do when planning your next Canberra business event