Getting Around Canberra

It is quite straight forward to get around Canberra. Driving is the best way to get around the capital city of Australia. Other than this, trains and bicycles are the most popular way to get around town.

Taxis
As roads are the best way of travelling around Canberra, taxis are always a good option. It is best to either wait at a taxi rank or phone ahead. There are 3 taxi firms in Canberra and they all accept EFTPOS and credit cards.

  • Canberra Cabs – can be called at 13 22 27. Those requiring accessibility friendly taxis will need to call 6126 1596. More information can be found at http://www.canberracabs.com.au.
  • Cabxpress – accepts phone bookings at 6260 6011. Wheelchair bookings can be placed at 6260 6077. More information about Cabxpress can be found at http://www.cabxpress.com.au.
  • Silver Service – this luxury taxi service features top notch sedans and passenger vans that seat up to 7 individuals. They also guarantee being on time for all bookings placed ahead of time. More information can be found at http://www.silverservicecanberra.com.au or over the phone at 13 31 00.

Car Rental
Both national and local car hire chains can be found in Canberra. They can be hired and dropped off at Braddon and the Canberra International Airport. Chains include ACT Car Rentals, Avis, Budget, and more. It is easy to drive around Canberra as the city is quite well laid out. Each district in Canberra is connected via parkways, which are dual carriageways that have a maximum speed of 100km/h.

Bus
The local bus service is ACTION. This public transportation provider provides services around most of Canberra. The Blue Rapid bus service is a very frequent bus between the city centre and bus stations in Tuggeranong, Woden, and Belconnen. These usually do not extend into the suburbs. All buses are wheelchair friendly and have bicycle racks.

The Red Rapid Route, also known as Redex or the Red Rapid, is a limited stop bus service that runs at 15 minute intervals between 7 am – 7pm. These buses are also all wheelchair friendly and have bicycle racks. They stop at main areas such as the bus station in the city, Canberra Railway Station, Barton, Russell, Fyshwick, and Northbourne Avenue.

Other than that, the regular services are either a 1 or 2 digit number which denotes feeder services or a suburban bus. On public holidays and weekends, buses will use a 3 digit number. Another bus that operates is the Xpresso bus. These routes are great for passengers to go to the city and the suburbs as it does pass the Parliamentary Triangle, the city, the airport, and Fishwick. These are all numbered 7**.

Bus tickets are called Parkeon tickets. They are available for purchase either at a ticket validator which can be found at bus entrances or at the City and Woden Interchanges during peak times. Single trip tickets for adults are $4, and daily tickets are $7.60. Multi-travel tickets such as Faresaver 10, Monthly, or Weekly tickets must all be bought at these ticket validators as they cannot be bought on board.

Tourist Bus
A convenient way to explore Canberra for tourists is by a tourist bus. There are many of them operating in Canberra for those who are interested in learning more about the history and culture of Australia's capital city. A popular city tour is the Explorer Bus (http://www.canberradaytours.com.au). This bus is the only hop-on and hop-off bus in the city, and costs $30 for adults, $25 for seniors with a valid concession card, and $20 for children under 16. No bookings are required for this bus. Attractions visited include the Australian War Memorial, Royal Australian Mint, Parliament House, and the National Art Gallery.

Also operated by the same company are trips operating all year round to the nearby Snowy Mountains. Bookings are essential for these tours. Visitors will get to see the Snowy River (now Lake Jindabyne), the Cooma, and one of the famous ski resorts Perisher Valley Ski Resort. Morning tea and personalised commentary is included, and tickets start are $165 for adults. For more information, visit http://www.canberradaytours.com.au/SnowyMountains.php.

Bicycle
Cycling is a popular activity in Canberra, and this reflects in the fact that this is one of the most popular ways for people to get to work in this city. There is a fantastic and well-kept network of cycling paths and if you are tired, all you need to do is hop on an ACTION bus and you will be back in the city or the suburbs in no time! The best way to explore Canberra by bicycle is by using the Pedal Power's Cycle Canberra, Cycleways book, or a free bicycle map that you can obtain from the Canberra Visitors Centre.

The two main bicycle hire companies in the city are Mr Spokes Bike Hire and Row n Ride Bike Hire. Mr Spokes Bike Hire (http://www.mrspokes.com.au) is located in Acton, and they offer a number of bicycles including adult bikes, children's bikes, tag-a-longs, trailers, and pedal cars. Prices start from $15 for adults and from $10 for children.

At Row n Ride Bike Hire (http://www.realfun.com.au), there offer adult and children’s bicycles, trailers, tag-a-longs, and 2-seater tandem bicycles. There is free delivery and pick up to any home or hotel. Other facilities include a free cycleways map, helmets, bicycle locks, puncture repair, and more. Day rates start from $39, and there are multi-day hire prices available.

Airport
If you are looking to get to and from the airport without the extra expense of hiring a taxi, why not catch the bus? The A1 Airliner bus runs every 30 minutes on weekdays and every hour on the weekends from Canberra International Airport to Brand Depot, the city, Russell, and Brindabella Park. For more information, visit http://www.airliner.com.au.