Getting around Canberra
Get around Canberra on two wheels, four wheels or no wheels at all.
Whether you prefer public transport, driving, cycling, or walking, it’s easy to get around Canberra. You’ll love the range of experiences on offer and they’re all closer than you think.
Buses and light rail
For cost-effective and easy public transportation throughout the city, it’s hard to go past Canberra's public buses and light rail.
If you want to see Canberra's iconic sights in one easy loop use the Red Explorer Loop Bus.
Tap on and off public transport using a MyWay smartcard, a prepaid ticketing system. You can purchase a MyWay card from recharge agents across Canberra.
Scan your card at light rail stations and when you get on a bus or purchase a daily ticket. Daily tickets are ideal for sightseeing and are valid until midnight on the day of purchase. Children under five years travel free.
Interstate Seniors MyWay Card
Seniors Card holders from other states and territories in Australia can access a free Interstate Seniors MyWay travel card by ordering it online from Transport Canberra (allow 10 days for postage) or, once in Canberra, by visiting the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre and showing a valid Australian Seniors card.
Interstate Senior MyWay card holders receive the same concession fare as ACT Seniors and MyWay pension card holders and are able to travel for free during off peak times as part of an ACT Government trial.
Transport Canberra operates the public bus and light rail network, a convenient and cheap way for visitors to get around the capital. Use the journey planner to find out just how easy it is to get around Canberra.
Transport Canberra's fleet includes easy access (i.e. no step) buses for people with reduced mobility, and these are used on the high frequency routes known as Rapid services. Select Rapid services also have specially designed carry racks making it convenient to commute or cover longer distances when cycling by taking your bike on a bus. You can also take your bike on the Light Rail.
Light rail services operate between Gungahlin and the city up to every 5 to 15 minutes from 6am to 11pm daily, with late-night services on Friday and Saturday evenings until 12:30am.
The light rail provides easy access to the foodie and shopping precinct Braddon, as well as Asian eat streets in Dickson. Swap from light rail to bus at key hubs in Gungahlin, Dickson and the city.
Transport Canberra provides daily services to and from Canberra Airport. Rapid Bus 3 runs on a half-hourly schedule on weekdays and on the hour on weekends. The route takes passengers between the Canberra Airport terminal through to the city interchange, Belconnen interchange, Cohen St interchange to Spence Terminus.
Red Explorer Loop Bus
Taxis and ride-sharing
Getting around Canberra is quick, affordable and easy with its various taxi cabs and ride sharing services. Most attractions and things to see and do are located very close to each other, so order your car, then sit back, relax and enjoy the short drive.
To catch a taxi in Canberra, use a taxi rank where the clearly marked cars are parked and ready for dispatch. You can also phone ahead or book online.
Canberra taxi companies include:
- ACT Cabs: Phone 02 6280 0077 or book online.
- Canberra Elite: Phone 6126 1600 or SMS your name, pickup address and time to be collected to 0481 072 700. Book, track and prepay online.
- Silver Service: Phone 13 31 00 or book online. This premium service features luxury sedans and seven seater vans, accredited silver standards, and guaranteed delivery times with travel bookings.
- Wheelchair accessible taxis must be booked ahead. Phone 13WATS (139 287), email [email protected] or book online.
- Canberra taxis and cabs accept payment by credit cards, Cabcharge vouchers, cash and electronic funds transfer.
Driving around the capital
With plenty of parking, no tollways and very little congestion, zipping around Canberra by car is one of the best ways to experience all the city has to offer. Traffic jams in Canberra are few and far between. In fact, it usually only takes around 30 minutes to get from one side of Canberra to the other, even in peak hour traffic.
Hiring a car
Not to worry, there are many options for car hire in Canberra. Most major national car rental companies have offices located in the city and at Canberra Airport, making pick up and drop off a breeze.
Parking in Canberra
No-one likes getting a parking ticket, so be sure to pay attention to parking signs and follow the instructions.
Parking in the city and the Parliamentary Triangle is paid parking and generally equates to between $15-$20 per day (rates are dependent on location and only provided as a broad indicative cost). Many shopping centres have free parking for the first two hours.
Self driving routes around the capital
Want to see a different side of Canberra? Discover the architectural highlights of 33 diplomatic embassies and high commissions with the Yarralumla diplomatic missions self-guided driving tour.
To learn about local history, choose from six self drive tracks that take you through Ngunnawal Country, heritage tracks and pioneer routes.
Read up on Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Road Rules before you arrive. The ACT Road Rules Handbook is a valuable source of information for all visitors who plan to drive in the ACT.
International visitors may use a foreign driver’s licence in the ACT, provided it is written in English. Alternatively, an international driving permit accompanied by a foreign driver licence; or a foreign driver licence that is not in English accompanied by an official English translation of the licence will be accepted.
Under Australian law, all drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts. Helmets which meet Australian Standards are required to be worn if riding a motorcycle, moped, motor scooter or bicycle.
The ACT default speed limit in a built up areas is 50 km/h, unless a sign shows a higher or lower speed limit on a length of the road. The default speed limit in a rural area in the ACT is 100 km/h. Speed limits are strictly enforced.
It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent or higher, or to drive under the influence of illegal drugs.
If driving in a remote or country area, carry up-to-date maps and always inform someone of your intended route. In country areas, particularly at dawn and dusk, remain alert to native animals such as kangaroos, wombats and possums which may stray on the road.
Drive on major and sealed roads where possible and avoid driving at night. Please be aware of cyclists who often share the roads in special bike lanes on the left hand side of main roads.
Hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers is strongly discouraged.