Accessible Travel

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.

Canberra City Police Station

Emergency & Important Numbers

Country code61
Area code02
Police/Fire/Ambulance000

Internet Access

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.

LGBT Travellers

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.

Money

ATMs are easy to find and most accept international cards. Most businesses – even, increasingly, market-stall holders – accept payment by card.

Tipping

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.

Public Holidays

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.

Opening Hours

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

Cafes 8am–4pm

Bars 5pm–midnight Sunday to Thursday, to 2am Friday and Saturday

Nightclubs 8pm–3am or 4am Thursday to Sunday

Shops 10am–5pm

Post

Public Holidays

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.

Kid-friendly Sights

  • Questacon

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.

Tourist Information

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).