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Getting around Canberra

Your guide to getting around Canberra quick and easy.

By Ashlea Wheeler

While Canberra is smaller than most of Australia’s major cities, it still has plenty of transport options for visitors including buses, driving, and walking. This practical information on getting around Canberra will make moving around the city very simple.

Public transport

To use the public bus network in Canberra, you can purchase a MyWay card or buy single tickets on board. The MyWay card costs $5 and is available from MyWay Recharge Agents. Once you have the MyWay card, a discount to your bus fares and a daily cap of $9.40 on weekdays or $5.73 on weekends will be automatically applied when you travel.

Fares should be between $2.50 - $4.90 per ride. To start your ride, tap your card on the reader when you board and be sure to tap off when you disembark.


Canberra has a free City Loop bus service in the city centre. The buses on this loop depart every 10 minutes between 7AM and 7PM, Monday to Friday. This bus is particularly useful for travel between Canberra’s downtown hotels and the shopping district in Canberra Centre or the hip restaurants and bars in Braddon.

The Tourist Loop bus service will take you a little further to see the city’s main attractions. This bus loop runs in both clockwise (route 81) and anti-clockwise (route 981) directions, and has 5 departures per day in each direction, 7 days a week. This service will stop by the Australian War Memorial, the Museum of Australian Democracy, Parliament House, the National Museum of Australia, the National Zoo and Aquarium, and Australian National Botanic Gardens. The departure point is City Bus Station in downtown Canberra.

The Red Explorer hop-on, hop-off bus is another great way to see Canberra’s city attractions. You can purchase a half day ticket for $20, an all day ticket for $30, or a 2 day ticket for $55. The bus stops by popular attractions such as the War Memorial and Parliament House, as well as the National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, and Questacon. The departure point is Bus stop 11 on the corner of Northbourne Avenue and London Circuit, and tickets are sold on the bus so there is no need to book ahead.

Public buses are an easy way to get to Canberra Airport from the city. The Route 11/11A bus collects passengers from City Bus Station in downtown and runs approximately every half hour on weekdays and every hour on weekends. You can use the MyWay card to pay for this airport service, which costs the same as a regular bus fare within the city.

Light Rail (coming soon)

A light rail network is currently being built in Canberra and is due to be completed in late 2018. It will be most convenient for travel between downtown and the attractions across the lake, including most of the museums and art galleries and Parliament House.

Find more information on getting around Australia.