Australia Tourism Guide

Australian Capital Territory Holidays

General Information About Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory, often abbreviated to ACT, is the capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Australian Capital Territory is located within New South Wales and is sometimes referred to as Australia’s ‘Bush Capital’.

Canberra, which is the capital of Australia, can be found in the Australian Capital Territory. The location of the city was chosen in 1908 as the result of a compromise between Australia’s two largest cities – Sydney and Melbourne.

The city is home to many social and cultural institutions, which are of national importance, including the Australian War Memorial, Australian National University, Australian Institute of Sport, National Gallery, National Museum and the National Library.

Travelling in Australian Capital Territory

Travel by private car is the most popular transport option in ACT, travelling by bus is another easy option if you’re staying in Canberra. Two local taxi companies also service Canberra and nearby areas.

Canberra International Airport provides domestic flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, which connect to other centres. Flights are provided by Qantas, Virgin Blue, Tiger Airways and Brindabella Airlines.

Time Differences

The Australian Capital Territory is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +10) when daylight savings are not being observed, and 11 hours ahead when daylight savings are being observed.

Australian Capital Territory Weather

The Australian Capital Territory has an elevation of 650 metres and is located some distance from the coast, which results in the region experiencing four distinct seasons.

The region experiences dry, hot summers and cold winters with frequent frosts. Many of the higher mountains in ACT are covered with snow during winter.

Canberra receives the third lowest annual rainfall of capital cities in Australia. Thunderstorms can occur between October and March, although rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year, peaking slightly in late spring.

Canberra Average Monthly Weather Statistics

Things to do in Australian Capital Territory

Canberra has so much to see and do; there truly is something here for everyone. Spend some family time together, live it up with the nightlife scene, enjoy excellent cuisine, discover the outdoors, go shopping and more!

If you enjoy shopping, you will love exploring Canberra’s boutique stores and markets. The Old Bus Depot Market is well known for its range of art, clothing, jewellery, furniture and food. If you want to do some bargain shopping, check out DFO in Fyshwick or Brand Depot near the Canberra Airport. Both outlets have a range of fashion, homewares and sporting goods.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, a trip to the Canberra Walk in Aviary is must. You will get to see over 500 varieties of birds, including lorikeets, parrots and finches from Australia and the rest of the world.

Exploring Lake Burley Griffin is a must do for everyone; you don’t even have to get wet to do it! You can hire bicycles, walk or skate around the lake; or if you prefer, hire a paddle boat, kayak or canoe, or take a cruise.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is around a 45-minute drive away from Canberra. At the nature reserve you can see native Australian animals, such as kangaroos and emus, enjoy the interactive computer programs and take a guided walk.

The National Zoo and Aquarium offers a range of tours with opportunities to feed or touch animals, including tigers, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, bears, dingoes, elands and snakes. This zoo is definitely worth a trip if you love animals.

For more information and ideas on what you can see and do in the Australian Capital Territory, please visit our Australian Capital Territory Activities directory.

Things to see in Australian Capital Territory

There are many things for tourists to see while staying in the Australian Capital Territory. Many of these activities and attractions are free or have a minimal cost.

Museums in the area offer visitors a look into Australia’s past. Visit the Canberra Railway Museum and Calthorpe’s House or view records at the National Archives of Australia.

Canberra is home to many art galleries, including the Canberra Museum and Gallery, which are well worth a visit on your next holiday.

The Australian National Botanic Gardens are located at the bottom of Black Mountain and have the largest collection of native Australian flora in the country. Be sure to look for the water dragons that live around the water features in the gardens.

A tour of the Royal Australian Mint will allow you to see how coins are made, and you will even get the chance to mint your own souvenir coin.

Questacon is a interactive museum of science, displaying exhibits ranging from the principles of physics through to the motion of an earthquake. You should allow at least half a day for this fun family attraction.

Other places of interest include the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Reptile Centre and the embassies of various countries, including China, Papua New Guinea and the USA.

For more information and ideas on what you can see and do in the Australian Capital Territory, please visit our Australian Capital Territory Activities directory.