Canberra, Australian Capital Territory © Chris Holly/VisitCanberra
Canberra suburb guide
With its landmark cultural institutions, a blossoming culinary scene and outdoor activities aplenty, Australia’s capital city is big on attractions, easily reached from its central ‘hoods.
By Natasha Dragun
Australia’s seat of government, Canberra appeals to culturists, culinary enthusiasts, nature lovers and history buffs in equal measure.
The only city in the Australian Capital Territory, surrounded by New South Wales, Canberra is also a place of architectural drama, with its New Parliament House building designed to look like it’s rising from the landscape on the south bank of Lake Burley Griffin, a serene manmade waterway that city life revolves around. To the north is an equally distinctive landmark: the hexagonal London Circuit road, which acts a central hub for visitor experiences around the city.
Find your perfect neighbourhood base with this handy guide.
The compact streets north of London Circuit are the heart of Canberra – outside Capital Hill (the home of Australia’s parliament), at least. Central Canberra (also known as “Civic”), is sprinkled with government offices and is the main business district, but just as many people come here to enjoy retail therapy in its malls and boutiques. If you want to be in the centre of Canberra’s action, this neighbourhood is for you.Show more
North of the city centre
Where: Braddon, Ainslie
Within easy walking distance to the city centre to the south, Braddon and neighbouring Ainslie enjoy a more relaxed residential vibe. The streets are wide and leafy, boutique lodgings abound, and shopping here is by way of independent artisanal stores, rather than large malls. The area’s restaurants offer a diverse mix of dining options and cuisine styles, showcasing Canberra’s multiculturalism.Show more
South of London Circuit
Where: NewActon, Commonwealth Park
On the north shore of Lake Burley Griffin, south-west of London Circuit, the funky NewActon precinct sets the creative mood for the city. Here, you’ll find design-driven hotels, oh-so-cool cafés and restaurants (frequented by an equally cool creative crowd), and Art House cinemas and boutiques that celebrate originality. There’s also plenty of green space nearby to connect with nature – you’re just a five-minute walk from the lake, as well as countless parks.Show more
South of the lake
Where: Capital Hill, Barton, Parkes, Kingston
This precinct is one of Canberra’s most vibrant, particularly for art, design and architecture – after all, it’s the home of Parliament House, which you can visit on a tour. You can easily spend a day enjoying the area’s countless galleries and creative hubs, big and small, with a highlight being the lakeside National Gallery of Australia in Parkes.Show more