About Canberra & region

Canberra is a unique place where city style meets the beauty of the Australian bush.

Our national capital is just over three hours drive from Sydney, or less than seven from Melbourne, and is the seat of Australian Government. Canberra is a young and modern city with a population of 380,000. Today people of the world meet in Canberra - through the national Parliament, universities and a vibrant diplomatic community. Canberra is proudly the political and cultural hub of Australia.

The city offers so much more than politics - an eclectic mix of restaurants, wineries, shopping, entertainment, galleries, museums and world-class monuments and attractions - all within easy reach of accommodation.

A wealth of attractions and hidden surprises will make a visit to Canberra an unforgettable experience.

History

Located on the ancient lands of the Ngunnawal Aboriginal people, the city's name is thought to mean 'meeting place', derived from the Aboriginal name Kamberra.

Canberra's special contrast of nature and urban living was planned to perfection in 1911 by Canberra's master designer, Walter Burley Griffin. He certainly had the tourist in mind when he designed Canberra, with most of the city's attractions within easy walking distance of one another, and a few no more than a 10 minute drive from the city centre.

Location

Canberra is located 150 kilometres inland, and 571 metres above the Pacific Ocean. Situated in the 2349.4 square kilometre Australian Capital Territory (not including Jervis Bay), the city is surrounded by national parks, bush and mountain ranges.

Population

380,000

Weather

Canberra has distinct seasons - summers are warm to hot; in autumn millions of trees turn gold to red; winters are crisp and cool with occasional frosty mornings clearing to blue skies; and in spring, Canberra comes alive with glorious floral blooms.

Season Average Min* Average Max*
Spring 6 (40) 19 (66)
Summer 12 (54) 27 (81)
Autumn 7 (45) 20 (68)
Winter 1 (34) 12 (54)

* Degrees Celsius (Degrees Fahrenheit in brackets)