Canberra: Local Travel Info
Australia's Bustling Capital
Internal Flights and Major International Airports in Canberra
Canberra airport is 7km south-east of the city centre, a small but bustling terminal with daily flights nationwide. Canberra is a 30 minute flight from Sydney and about one hour from Melbourne. Regular connecting flights to Sydney and Melbourne allow for international travel, both only an hour away.
Getting to and from the Airport in Canberra
The airport is readily accessible by road and there are several regular transport services into the Canberra. Taxis are plentiful as well as the ACT bus service, which runs regularly to the airport from the Jolimont Centre and several hotels around the city. All major car rental companies are represented near the airport and offer (relatively) affordable rates.
Travel Costs in Canberra
By and large, Canberra offers a decent affordable public transport service. The main bus services departing from the Jolimont Centre are fairly inexpensive and extend to every area of New South Wales - unlimited day passes can be bought for $6 or £24 a week depending on how regularly you are looking to ride. Canberra Railway prices are comparatively less than most other cities, costing around $40 and a few hour’s to reach Sydney or Melbourne. Taxis are the most expensive option but still comfortably within most people’s spending limits for short trips, averaging out at around $3 a km. However, make sure to steer clear of unlicensed taxis, as they tend to charge a great deal extra for tourists. Several local commuter bus networks are available which also provides sightseeing and downtown special services. Tour operators provide itineraries that cover all popular sites, All major car rental companies are also represented but perhaps the best, and cheapest, method of travelling in Canberra is by bike. $25 a day or $40 a week will allow you to get about the city and also explore the many miles of beautiful bushland surrounding Canberra. Further driver information, local maps and travel planning guides are available from the NRMA in downtown Canberra.
Renting Cars in Canberra
Car hire in Canberra is easily arranged and, due to large amounts of competing companies, very good value. Visitors must hold a valid driving licence with no infringements for dangerous or drunken driving in the last 5 years. You must be aged 18 or over to rent a car in Canberra. For Car Hire in Canberra expect to pay approx $25-40 per day but do watch out for bargains and shop around.
If you're thinking of hiring a car in Canberra, view our Car Hire Section in the main tab above. We search the net to find the best car hire rates for Canberra available. We also provide links to last minute Canberra Car rental offers. We advise you book your hire car in advance so you can pick it up and drop it off directly at the airport.
Drivers License Requirements in Canberra
Visitors wishing to drive must possess a Certificate of Insurance or an International Green Card, a valid Driving Licence or International Driving Permit.
Driving Rules in Canberra
Australians drive on the left hand side of the road. The maximum speed limit in Canberra and towns is 60 km/h and 100 km/h on country roads and highways, unless signs indicate otherwise (40km/h in school areas). Canberra’s wide and relatively uncluttered main roads make driving a pleasure, although the mazes of curving residential are slightly more tricky. Note it is an offence to hold a mobile phone whilst driving a moving vehicle. Drivers and adult front seat passengers must wear seat belts. Children must wear seat belts or a suitable child/infant restraint, in both front and rear seats. Sydney has similar provisions to the UK, with regards to fixed alcohol limits and roadside breath testing. The penalties in Sydney are severe, large fines or up to 6 months in prison plus unlimited disqualification from driving. It is an offence to drive whilst under the influence of drugs. If you are involved in an accident you must stop and phone the Police for the correct course of action. Failure to do so is an offence.
Buses in Canberra
All of the major areas in Canberra can be reached by bus, with a fairly frequent service around the city and wider NSW area. The airport is situated 7km Southeast of the centre, and offers a bus service to the city (Number 80), however, this service only runs on weekdays. Buses in the city run fairly frequently, with interchange areas in the Civic being on Alinga Street, East Row and Mort Street. Canberra is split into 3 sections. It is possible to buy tickets for just one zone or all zones, obviously depending on where you want to travel. If you plan on travelling a lot during the day then the most economical ticket would probably be the 'all-day/all-zone' ticket. The service is by the Australian Capital Territory Internal Omnibus Network (ACTION) and you can get more information from its kiosk, located on the corner of Alinga Street and East Row. Prices vary for buses as to whether you are an individual couple or family, but expect a one-day individual pass to cost around £5-10 and a family to cost $15-30. For those looking to go further afield, daily bus services run from the Jolimont Centre to every area of Australia, costing up to $50 and is comparatively cheaper than travelling by train.
Taxis in Canberra
Throughout the suburbs and centre of Canberra, taxis are regular, convenient and easy to flag down. Large taxi ranks can always be found at all railway and airport links as well as busy areas of business, tourism and commerce. Taxis charge around $2-3 per km and tipping is common; but not mandatory. Extra charges are made for waiting time and luggage not carried in the passenger compartment. It is advisable to always ask the taxi driver for a receipt in case of any complaints or queries you may have on a taxi fare as it can only be dealt with if a receipt exists.
Cycling in Canberra
After walking, cycling is by far the cheapest, healthiest and most environmentally-friendly way to get around Canberra. The ease of bicycle ‘parking’ and the many cycle paths around Canberra make cycling faster and more convenient over short distances than either buses or cars. Canberra’s surroundings also makie it the perfect city for cycling with its many extensive and scenic bicycle paths/cycle lanes. Maps are freely available at cycle shops throughout Canberra, which shows all on-road cycle lanes as well as shared paths for cyclists and pedestrians in the wider area. There are many bike hire shops scattered across the city, expect to pay $25 a day or $80 a week.
Hitchhiking in Canberra
Although hitchhiking is a popular method of transport for travellers in Australia, the potential dangers are huge and cases of violence and abduction not unheard of so it is not a recommended form of travel.