Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is by far the smallest of Australia's eight states and territories. It was created early in the 20th century as a neutral region to house Australia's national capital, Canberra. The site was chosen from several candidates roughly equidistant between Melbourne and Sydney, the country's two largest cities. ACT is wholly surrounded by the state of New South Wales. It has a population of about 325,000 people.
The ACT is infamous as the only part of Australia where hardcore pornography is legal. As the popular saying has it, "the only things to come out of the ACT are porn and politics." Fireworks are also legal in the ACT with restrictions, and may be purchased one week a year and set off for the Queen's Birthday weekend.
The ACT is a generally left-leaning territory, with its inhabitants strongly in favour of social policy.
There are three ways to get into the ACT: air, road and train.
Canberra has the only airport in the ACT. Please refer there for details of flights and destinations.
Road represents the most popular way to get into the ACT. The Hume Highway (a.k.a. National 31 or N31) is a fantastic dual divided carriage-way all the way from Sydney to Canberra with a 110km/h limit. In good conditions, one can drive from Sydney to Canberra in about 3.5 hours. Sydneysiders are the most likely to drive to Canberra for a day trip to celebrate something important, or make it a stop-over on the long drive to Melbourne.
Details of the bus services to Canberra are explained in that entry. There are no other bus services to the ACT.
Train Details of the train service to Canberra are explained in that entry. There are no other train services to the ACT.
Central Canberra is small enough that you can walk to many attractions.
Canberra has a relatively well developed bus system (called ACTION) for most of Canberra, including many sight-seeing areas, although some outer areas are not easily accessible. Other areas, such as Black Mountain Tower, are not accessible by bus. See the ACTION timetables at www.action.act.gov.au for timetables. Route 34 is a good sight-seeing route. Note also that the bus system does not run on Sunday evenings after 7pm or between 11:30pm and 6am.
Canberra has a very well developed cycleway network. You can get everywhere you want to go in the city safely by bicycle, and there are numerous bike hire options available. The tourist information centre has a cycleway map available.
Taxis and rental cars will get you everywhere else, as Canberra does not have a rail/metro or other public transport system.
See the main tourist attractions in Canberra.
In addition, there are several attractions outside Canberra: