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Canberra
ACT overview

Introduction

1. Tourist Attractions

Canberra

Canberra is the capital of the Australian Capital Territory, and federal capital of Australia. Its population is about 385,000. In area it is 80km north/south and about 30km wide.

Old Parliament House

Canberra was first settled by Europeans in 1824. Being almost equal distance between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, in 1908 the site was diplomatically selected as the national capital, together with the surrounding area, as the Australian Capital Territory. The name Canberra was selected in 1913 from an Aboriginal word meaning 'meeting place'.

Following an international competition American architect, Walter Burley Griffin, was chosen to design the city. His plan envisaged a garden city for about 25,000 people.
Construction began in 1913, but because of political squabbling and the effects of World War I, it was only in 1927 that the provisional parliament building was officially opened.

In 1963 the Molonglo River was dammed to form Lake Burley Griffin, an artificial lake 11km wide, named after the architect. It is now the centrepiece of modern Canberra. It also provides facilities for sailing, rowing, fishing and swimming.

CLIMATE

Average Temperature (C)
Min
Max
Summer (Dec/Feb)
Autumn (Mar/May)
Winter (Jun/Aug)
Spring (Sept/Nov)
12
 7
 1
 5
27
20
12
19

TOURIST INFORMATION

Canberra Visitors Centre is located at 330 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson.
(Tel +61 2 6205 0044), for free literature and information about things to do and see in Canberra, book tours, accommodation, etc.

BANKS

City and suburban banks are open Mon-Thurs 9.30am-4pm, Fri 9.30am-5pm.
24 hour automatic teller machines are available at most branches.

POST OFFICE

Canberra Post Office: Alinga Street, Civic.
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.
Tel 06 248 5211.

SHOPPING

Mon-Thurs 9am-5.30pm.
Late-night trading on Friday 9am-9pm.
Sat 9am-5pm. Sun 10am-4pm

Hours vary at smaller shopping centres.

GETTING THERE

AIR:
Canberra Airport, an international and domestic airport, has arrivals from all capital cities as well as towns in New South Wales.
It is about 7km (4 miles)/10 minutes east from the city centre.
Transport into the city from the airport is by Airliner bus service, taxi or rental car.
For flight times and more detailed information visit Qantas, Virgin Blue or Brindabella Airlines websites.

RAIL:
The railway station is in Kingston, on the southern side of the lake, for trains to Sydney and Melbourne, with connections to other states.
For detailed information check with CountryLink

COACHES:
Coaches run from Canberra to most capital cities. You can also catch a bus to the snow fields and throughout New South Wales.
For coach travel details visit the McCafferty's/Greyhound Coaches, Deane's Buslines, Murrays Australia, Sid Fogg's Coachlines or Transborder Express websites.

ROAD:
(approximate times)
Canberra/Sydney 3.5 hrs
Canberra/Melbourne 8hrs
Canberra/Adelaide 14 hrs
Canberra/Brisbane 16 hrs
Canberra/Snowy Mountains 2.5 hrs

ATTRACTIONS:
Because the attractions are very spread out and numerous, to appreciate the city a vehicle is recommended.

Canberra's attractions include Parliament House, new and old, the Prime Minister's Lodge, the High Court of Australia and the various diplomatic embassies. There is also the National Library, National Gallery and the Australian War Memorial.

EVENTS:

February - Royal Canberra Show
March - Canberra Festival, for 10 days to celebrate the city's birthday, with music, food and a mardi gras.
April - National Folk Festival.
April/May - Australian Science Festival.
September/October - Floriade Festival, a floral exhibition in Spring, in Commonwealth Park. With lighting between 6pm-10pm.
November - Spring Exhibition and Rose Show.
December - Street Machine Summer Nats, hot-rods and wet t-shirt competitions at New Year.


Destination

Adelaide
Brisbane
Darwin
Hobart
Melbourne
Perth
Sydney
Distance(Km by rail)

    1619
    1313
     N/A
     N/A
      842
    4228
      327
Air (Mins/Hrs)

  100 mins
  100 mins
     5 hrs
     2 hrs
   50 mins
     5 hrs
   30 mins

DAYLIGHT SAVING

Daylight saving commences on the first Sunday in October and ends on the first Sunday in April.

STATE HOLIDAYS (2012):

Canberra Day - Monday 12 March
Queen's Birthday - Monday 11 June
Labour Day - Monday October

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS (2012):

1st Term: Feb 3 - Apr 13
2nd Term: Apr 30 Jul 6
3rd Term: Jul 23 - Sep 28
4th Term: Oct 15 - Dec 21
(resumes Feb 1, 2013)

   ...for more information visit the Canberra Tourism Authority website.