Getting Around, Canberra Travel, Transport and Car Rental
(Canberra, Australian Capital Territory - ACT, Australia)
Australia's capital city of Canberra is situated close to many other interesting villages, towns and major cities, and tourists visiting the city often choose to travel outside, exploring its charming suburbs. Renting a car here as your chosen mode of transport offers a a high level of freedom and convenience, with the city of Sydney being reachable by car in under four hours from Canberra.
Many drivers not yet acquainted with the city and its layout often find the signposts a little confusing, with the existence of several 'town centres'. These are based within various districts and suburbs, such as those of Belconnen, Civic, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Woden. Therefore, if you opt for a rental car in Canberra, be sure to have a city map handy in your glove compartment.
Those simply wishing to get around the city centre itself can often walk between places of interest. Centrally located Commonwealth Park is roughly a 40-minute walk from the Australian National Botanic Gardens, to the north-west, with those walking this route passing by the South Oval along the way.
Canberra comes with its own international airport, with frequent flights connecting mainly destinations around Australia and now serving more than three million passengers on an annual basis. Airlines based here include Brindabella, Qantas (by QantasLink) and Virgin Australia (by Skywest).
Canberra Airport (CBR) / Arriving by Air
Address: 2 Brindabella Circuit, Brindabella Business Park, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 2609, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 6275 2222
The city is well connected to all major cities throughout Australia by the state's largest air facility, namely Canberra Airport (CBR)
, which is situated on the eastern side of the city and alongside Pialligo Avenue.
Canberra Airports Guide
Renting a car in Canberra is an economical and extremely useful way to travel between suburbs, with many companies offering discounts for those hiring a car for three days or more. Major car rental companies in Canberra include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Economy, Europcar, Hertz, National and Thrifty.
Those with a car in Canberra will find that it is surprisingly easy to drive all the way to Sydney, and in good traffic conditions, this journey should take no more than four hours. However, do drive within the speed limit, since police speed traps are common along this route. Throughout the Australian Capital Territory, the speed limits default to 50 kmph / 31 mph unless signposts say otherwise.
Buses and Coaches
The city's busy interstate bus terminal is located at the Jolimont Centre, on Northbourne Avenue in the Civic district. With regular 'Action' buses, routes are both inter-town and outside, connecting various neighbourhoods and suburbs, such as those of Belconnen, Civic, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and Woden.
Those intending to change buses during a journey are advised to purchase a transfer ticket, which remains valid for one and a half hours, and will allow you to use as much bus transport as necessary during that time. Of note, buses in Canberra run from Monday to Saturday - 06:00 to midnight, and on Sundays - 07:00 to midnight. Long-distance coaches are also available, travelling to distant cities such as both Sydney and Melbourne, while City Sightseeing explorer buses connect some 18 different locations and feature good-value hop on / hop off tickets.
The Kingston Train Station, on Wentworth Avenue, is the city's main train station, with CountryLink trains offering good connections throughout the Australian Capital Territory and beyond. Regular trains travel to Sydney and this journey lasts around three hours. Although there is no direct train from Canberra to Melbourne, CountryLink transport provides a coach and train service to Melbourne via Cootamundra, lasting around nine hours, while further combinations are also available.
Most trains in Canberra are modern, in good condition and clean, being fully air-conditioned and boasting good general facilities. Bicycles are allowed on trains during off-peak times, and also on Saturdays and Sundays.
Taxis are a popular choice for shorter journeys and most can be hailed on the street or at the numerous central taxi ranks, which include those located at both the airport and the train station, where they are always on hand to meet all arrivals. The main taxi company in the city is Canberra Cabs - these are predominantly white, with a yellow and black central stripe. This firm is based on Kembla Street, within the suburb of Fyshwick, and has operated here since 1959. These cabs can be booked by telephone, on +61 (0)2 6126 1600.
Practical is a good word used by many locals and tourists favouring bicycling as an alternative to public transport in Canberra. The city is continuing to develop its network of cycling lanes and dedicated trails, which include a number close to Lake Burley Griffin.
If you are planning to cycle for a week or more, it may actually prove more economical to simply purchase a cheap bike, rather than hire one for the duration, selling it at the end of your holiday. It is worth noting that Canberra's summer months (December to February) can be extremely hot, meaning that you should be sure to fill up your drinking bottle before you leave.