In general, Canberra's hotels, shops and restaurants are very accessible to travellers with disabilities or mobility issues.
Canberra's top sights, including Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery and Questacon are all accessible to wheelchair users and have a variety of accommodations for visually and hearing-impaired visitors.
The website www.getaboutable.com is a Canberra-based initiative that uses crowd-sourced contributions to review the accessibility of businesses around the world, with a large amount of information about Canberra and its surrounds.
Over 80% of Canberra's buses and bus stops are accessible for wheelchair users, with Transport Canberra committed to a goal of 100% accessibility by 2022. See www.transport.act.gov.au/about-us/accessible-travel for up-to-date information.
Dangers & Annoyances
Canberra is a safe city, with very low incidences of violent crime. Beyond the usual precautions you would take when visiting any major city, there's little you need to do to guarantee your personal safety.
Emergency & Important Numbers
The CBRfree public wi-fi network covers most of central Canberra and provides users with 250MB of data per day.
Almost all accommodation providers offer wi-fi – if you book directly, access is likely to be free, otherwise you may have to pay.
LGBTIQ+ travellers shouldn't encounter any problems in Canberra, with liberal attitudes generally prevailing.
Canberra's most well-known gay club is Cube; check the website for upcoming events.
In November Canberra hosts SpringOUT, a month-long pride festival featuring a wide variety of events and activities. See www.springout.com.au for more information.
Diversity ACT Operates a drop-in hub that offers a safe space for LGBTIQ+ people.
ATMs are easy to find and most accept international cards. Most businesses – even, increasingly, market-stall holders – accept payment by card.
Tipping is rarely necessary, though some high-end places will add a 10% to 15% service charge to your bill. Many bars and cafes have a 'tip jar' for loose change.
Many hospitality businesses charge a 10% to 15% surcharge on Sundays and public holidays to cover increased wage costs; this will usually be noted on the bottom of your menu and is non-negotiable.
Canberra doesn't have a high season as such, but some restaurants in Parkes and Barton may have longer hours during parliamentary sitting weeks.
Banks 9.30am–4pm or 5pm Monday to Friday
Restaurants noon–2.30pm and 6pm–10pm, often closed Monday
Bars 5pm–midnight Sunday to Thursday, to 2am Friday and Saturday
Nightclubs 8pm–3am or 4am Thursday to Sunday
Public holidays in the ACT include:
New Year's Day 1 January
Australia Day 26 January or next weekday if this is a weekend
Canberra Day Second Monday in March
Good Friday March or April
Easter Saturday March or April
Easter Sunday March or April
Easter Monday March or April
Anzac Day 25 April or next weekday if this is a weekend
Reconciliation Day First Monday after 27 May
Queen's Birthday Second Monday in June
Labour Day First Monday in October
Christmas Day 25 December
Boxing Day 26 December
Travel with Children
Canberra is a family-friendly city, with plenty of space to roam and no huge crowds. Kids like Canberra because there's stacks of cool stuff for them to do. Most of the museums and galleries have kids' programs, and many offer dedicated tours and events for little people – check websites for details.
The ultimate family activity, this excellent science museum has stacks of hands-on activities to keep little minds entertained.
- National Gallery of Australia
The dedicated play space on the ground floor of the gallery offers changing installations by Australian artists with craft activities and other fun things especially designed for small hands. The sculpture garden is also a great place to get some of the wiggles out.
- National Museum of Australia
Download the museum Kspace app before your visit to take advantage of the Kspace Augmented Reality Trail, which helps kids explore the galleries via an interactive adventure game.
- National Zoo & Aquarium
As well as spotting cheetahs, lions, tigers and rhinos, kids can let off steam at the newly opened zoo adventure playground.
- National Arboretum
Kids will love the tree-themed Pod Playground here, with cubbies made of giant acorns, swings shaped like nests and banksia pods to climb on.
Need to Know
- Accommodation Hotels are generally accommodating to small guests, and most can provide a cot if you ask. Serviced apartments are also a good choice for families.
- Transport Children under five travel free on public transport, while school-age children pay half the adult fare.
- Dining Many restaurants and cafes have children's menus, and kids are generally welcome everywhere.
Canberra & Region Visitor Centre Staff at this exceptionally helpful centre can dispense masses of information and brochures, including the free quarterly Canberra Events brochure.
Also rents out collapsible bikes (per 2hr/day adult $20/45, child $15/30).