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Where to stay in Canberra

VacationRenter offers 77 holiday rentals in Canberra, and we’re confident that you’ll find a property that falls within your budget for your next adventure. Whether you’re on the hunt for a flat near Mount Ainslie Lookout, a room in a hostel close to Drill Hall Gallery, or you’re looking for a place that also gives you close access to Canberra — our mission is to help you find exactly what you need. Our website lists a wide selection of holiday homes from top travel sites such as Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, Booking.com, and many more. Travelling with pets, need a washer and dryer, or seeking specific amenities? Simply filter your search results with the click of a button! Finding your dream vacation rental at a reasonable price has never been this easy. Before you know it, you’ll be travelling to Canberra in no time.

Where Is Canberra, Australia Located?

As the capital of Australia, Canberra is a purpose-built city located in an autonomous federal enclave called the Australian Capital Territory, within the state of New South Wales. Canberra Airport is 15 minutes from downtown, while Sydney is located northeast — just an hour flight, three-hour drive, or four and half hour scenic train ride. Taxis, ride-shares, and public busses are available to get around the city, but bicycles are fantastic on the well-developed bike paths and rental cars are preferable for outlying areas.

What Is Canberra Known For?

Canberra was purposely designed to become the country’s capital, as written in the Seat of Government Act by the Federation of Colonies, and was founded in 1913. The government neighborhood is interesting in that the streets are concentric around the Parliament House, giving a bullseye design to the downtown area when viewed on maps. The downtown area is also adjacent to the banks of man-made Lake Burley Griffin. The city is unsurprisingly home to numerous important institutions including government buildings, military academies, universities, museums, and monuments. Canberra is similar to the United States of America’s Washington D.C. — both in design and purpose. The city is surrounded by smaller suburbs in an inland territory consisting of national parks. Australian Capital Territory is one of Australia’s smallest states and territories, with just under 430,000 inhabitants and almost 1,500 square miles. The weather is cooler and less humid than other major cities on the coast due to its latitude and relative location near the popular ski resort, Snowy Mountains. The closest beach town to Canberra is Batemans Bay, two hours southeast. Visitors are drawn to Canberra for the world-class restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and national sights filled with local culture, all in close proximity to and fully surrounded by nature reserves and agricultural land.

Places to Visit in Canberra

  • Australian War Memorial: Built during WWII to commemorate WWI, the War Memorial later expanded to include memorials for WWII, in addition to modern conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The memorial also includes a military museum that is divided into halls dedicated to each war, plus an aircraft hall. Tours are available by either a live guide or audio-guide. Stay until closing around 4:55 p.m. to witness the daily Last Post ceremony, too!
  • Parliament House: A striking building built in 1988, Parliament House is as symbolic as it is functional. Free tours run throughout the day, as visitors are able to explore much of the property. Aside from watching Parliamentary activities and viewing public galleries, you can walk through public spaces to find historical artifacts related to the government and its formation.
  • National Botanic Gardens: The well-designed National Botanic Gardens have been partially cultivated to display native flora from all over Australia, while the other half is dedicated to the remaining natural bushland. Routes have been paved throughout the property for easy self-guided tours, but free tours via guide are also available twice per day. Plus, you could explore the gardens through an electric bus tour.
  • National Gallery: The permanent exhibits at the National Gallery focus on Australian and Aboriginal art, but also contain a huge collection of iconic artists such as Monet, Hockney, Pollack, Warhol, Picasso, and more. Collections are divided into geographic groups including Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Asian and Pacific Islander, European, and American. You can also walk through a beautiful, outdoor sculpture garden, and free guided tours are available twice per day.
  • Mount Ainslie Lookout: Walk or drive to the peak of Mount Ainslie Lookout for panoramic views across the city and lake. It’s an excellent spot to watch the sunset as the city’s lights begin to twinkle. Facilities include water fountains and picnic tables, but no public toilet. There are a few other trails around the park for walking or bicycling. Black Mountain Tower is another popular lookout for panoramic city views and the facilities include a restaurant and a history exhibit.

Popular Destinations Near Canberra in Australia

  • Namadgi National Park: Namadgi National Park occupies most of the landscape of the Australian Capital Territory, with just over 400 square miles and begins less than 30 minutes south of central Canberra. The park includes over 100 miles of bushwalking trails, through a range of forests, fields, and past historical homesteads from early European settlers. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping are popular activities at Namadgi National Park.
  • Murrumbateman & Wine Country: The wine region nearest to Canberra is 45 minutes north of the city and centered near the town of Murrumbateman. There are 140 wineries in the Canberra wine region — 33 of which are within 35 minutes of the city. The area is known for cool-climate varieties including Sangiovese, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, and Tempranillo. Explore by tour, bicycle, or self-guided adventure. There is also a whiskey distillery and a craft brewery!
  • Snowy Mountains: Roughly three-hours southwest of Canberra by car lies the Snowy Mountains, home to the highest range in Australia and popular ski resorts like Thredbo, Perisher, and Charlotte Pass.

Best Neighborhoods in Canberra

  • Civic: The city center and main commercial district of Canberra is across the lake from the Parliamentary Triangle on the north side. Most of the city’s accommodations can be found in the Civic neighborhood, including a wealth of restaurants, bars, and shops. The War Memorial and Mount Ainslie are to the eastern outskirts, while Australia National University is the entire neighborhood to the west.
  • Parkes & Barton: The central neighborhood defined by a circular street layout, the Parkes & Barton area is designed around the centerpiece of Parliament House. This is the location of the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of Australian Democracy, and several embassies. There are restaurants and accommodations scattered throughout the southeast side of the circle as well.
  • Kingston: As the small area directly adjacent to Parks & Barton on the southeast side, Kingston is best known for its collection of restaurants — both contemporary and old-school. The neighborhood is walkable from many sights in Parks & Barton including a multitude of parks, Canberra Glassworks, and Old Bus Depot Market.

Home-types in Canberra

Canberra has a variety of property types for you to consider when booking a trip. Here are the most popular property types in Canberra: