Local Information - Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. It is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall.
The main onsite conference venue is the Barton Lecture Theatre in the Crawford School of Public Policy, a single modern building at the lake-side of ANU campus:
Canberra has an oceanic climate. The average temperatures in September range from 3.8C to 16.6C (38.8F to 61.8F), so please dress appropriately. The Australian sun is very strong, even in the colder months. Always wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and SPF 50+ sunscreen lotion, even on cloudy days. If spending the day outdoors, reapply sunscreen regularly. Stay out of the sun during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest.
Getting around Canberra
The ACT bus service, ACTION buses, run buses that travel between the four main shopping centres: Belconnen, City Centre, Woden and Tuggeranong. These services stop twice along the ANU. Taxis and Uber drivers are also readily available for transport about the nation's capital.
What to do in Canberra
The Australian National University is located in the heart of the Canberra, with the city centre being within a 15-minute walk from the ANU. The main shopping complex contains plenty of shops and cafés, and there are no shortage of bars and clubs. On campus, there are numerous cafés and restaurants. Close to the conference venue is Ivy & The Fox, and Boffins Restaurants near University House. There are many restaurants in the city centre as well.
Mt Stromlo Observatory and the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics is a 20-minute drive from the city centre. Relics from the 2003 bushfires remain and lovely walking tracks around the mountain will reveal the history of the observatory. Visit the Southern Cross café and have a coffee while taking in the views of Canberra and the surrounding Brindabellas. Those feeling more adventures can drive along Cotter rd past Mt Stromlo to visit Canbera's Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) at Tinbinbella. About 45 mins drive from the city, CDSCC is near the Tinbinbilla Nature Reserve, and has open picnic areas and a local vistor's centre and a café.
A lot of attractions are located throughout the ACT. A non-exhaustive list of attractions include:
- The Australian War Memorial
- Black Mountain and the Telstra Tower
- Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
- Cockington Green Gardens
- The National Arboretum
- The National Dinosaur Museum
- The National Film and Sound Archive
- The National Gallery of Australia
- The National Library of Australia
- The National Museum of Australia
- The National Science and Technology Centre and Questacon
- (New) Parliment House
- Old Parliment House and the Museum of Australian Democracy
For more attractions and other events and information about Canberra, visit the Visit Canberra wesbite.
Note: The ACT has a plastic bag ban. If you require a bag for grocery shopping, supermarkets sell resuable bags from 15c each.
Our electrical current is 220-240 Volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from almost all other countries, so make sure to bring an adaptor.
Cars in Australia drive on the left. Please take care when crossing streets (and driving!) if you are not used to this. Speed limits in Canberra are 50 km/h in local/suburban areas and 100 km/h on highways, unless otherwise posted. Penalties for speeding, for failing to wear a seatbelt, or for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are all extremely severe (for example, breaking the speed limit by 20 km/h incurs a fine of AUD$531).
In September, Brisbane will be on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), which is 10 hours ahead of GMT whilst other eastern states will be on Australian Daylight Saving Time(ADST).
The only currency accepted in Australia is the Australian Dollars (AUD); at the time of writing, 1 AUD was equivalent to USD 0.75, EUR 0.72, GBP 0.62 and JPY 86. Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels, international airports and in tourist areas. You can also directly withdraw AUD from automated teller machines (ATMs) throughout Australia using most foreign bank cards; your bank may impose a fee for such withdrawals. Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are both widely accepted at shops, hotels and restaurants (although some smaller vendors might not accept American Express or will apply a surcharge on its use). Banking hours are typically 9.30am-4.00pm on Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu, 9.30pm-5.00pm on Fri, and closed on weekends.
Australia has strong anti-smoking legislation. Cigarettes are heavily taxed (typically costing more than $20 per pack), must be kept from view by vendors, and are sold in plain green packaging containing graphic health warnings. In the ACT, it is illegal to smoke within 4 metres of the entrance to any public building, at bus/train stops, in most public places and restaurants, or in a car containing children. There are also heavy fines for improper disposal of cigarette butts. Note that all accommodation rooms at the conference venue are non-smoking.