As Australia’s capital city, Canberra’s CBD is busy with shops, restaurants, nightlife, and commercial buildings. From museums and art galleries to parliament buildings and tourist attractions, the diversity in Civic offers something for business people, students, and eager tourists.

Oh, and the locals call the city centre Civic, even though that’s not it’s name. It’s an interesting story.

Thanks to flowing roundabouts and toll-free roads, exploring Canberra by car is easy. Whether you have your own car or have picked up a GoGet by the hour or the day, here’s everything you need to know about where to park in Canberra City (aka Civic).

Canberra's Parliament House at evening, reflecting off the lake.

Canberra Centre Car Park

Settled in the heart of Civic, Canberra Centre is the most popular shopping centre in the city. It offers 24-hour secure parking, seven days a week including public holidays.

With affordable flat rates for evening parking, Canberra Centre car park is a great place to park if you’re heading to Civic for dinner, or a night out. Just don’t lose your parking ticket! It’s a $30 flat rate if you do.

The main entrance to the Canberra Centre shopping centre in Civic - fairly cheap parking in Canberra can be found here

Parking Rates – Canberra Centre (Monday to Saturday):

  • 0 – ½ hour: $2
  • ½ hour – 2 hours: $4
  • 2 – 3 hours: $6
  • 3 – 4 hours: $10
  • 4 – 5 hours: $12
  • 5 – 6 hours: $15
  • 6 – 7 hours: $25
  • 7 + hours: $30

Sundays and Public Holidays:

  • $2 flat rate

All Day Rooftop Parking:

  • $11 flat rate

Rooftop parking at Canberra Centre fills up quickly! Try to arrive before 9:30am to get a spot.

After Hours Parking:

  • Monday – Thursday & Saturday (entry after 6pm): $2 flat rate
  • Friday (entry after 9pm): $2 flat rate

A panorama of Canberra City Centre, or Civic, from above. On a day like this, it's not too hard to figure out where to park in Canberra

3 For Free Parking

Canberra’s incentive for carpooling means you can qualify for 3 for Free parking if there are three or more people present in the car at the time of parking. This works well if you’re in town for business and can share a car with coworkers, or for students keen to stay on budget.

3 for Free parking allows you to park, for free, all day at the three designated car parks throughout the city. Available Monday to Friday, this budget and eco-friendly parking opportunity is a great option for those arriving early in the day.

Locations and Times:

  • City near the Civic swimming pool, entry via Allara Street and Dive Lane: entry between 7:30am and 9:00am
  • Greenway at the off-street parking bounded by Cowlishaw, Pitman and Anketell Streets: entry between 7:30am and 9:00am
  • Phillip at the off-street parking bounded by Irving and Spoering Streets: entry between 7:30am and 10:00am

Parkopedia

Check out Parkopedia for easy-to-find parking, based off of your current location. The website shows you all the parking locations near you in real time based on distance, price, and mobility.

Federation mall at night time, with Parliament House in Canberra at the end

Citywest Car Park

Located at 1 Allsop Street, Citywest Car Park is within walking distance to the rest of Civic and offers affordable parking rates from Monday to Friday. They offer large parking spaces for larger sized cars in order to accommodate a variety of vehicles.

This car park does charge an overnight fee of $10 that will be added to your daily charge if you don’t move your vehicle before closing.

They also charge an after hours call out fee of $70 for those who need to pick up their vehicle outside opening hours. This will be added to your daily charge.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday – Thursday: 6:00am to 9:00pm
  • Friday: 6:00am to 11:00pm
  • Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: Closed

Hourly Parking Rates:

  • 0 – 0.5 hours: $3
  • 1 – 2 hours: $7
  • 2 – 3 hours: $9
  • 3 – 4 hours: $11
  • 4 – 5 hours: $13
  • 5 – 6 hours: $15
  • 6 – 7 hours: $17
  • 7 + hours: $20

Rooftop Parking Rate:

  • Flat rate: $15

Entry to the rooftop parking at Citywest is allowed between 6:00AM and 9:30AM or until capacity has been reached.

Street Parking Canberra

There are various ACT government operated street parking options available within Civic and the rest of Canberra. The majority of street parking is paid parking only and you must purchase a ticket from the designated meter. Rates and time restrictions vary depending on the location and the day that you’re parking.

If you’re a Canberra local, or you’re thinking of moving to Canberra, you owe it to yourself to check out GoGet. With over a dozen cars in Canberra, our members get easy access to our cars by the hour or by the day. They’re conveniently located, and easy to drive.

By combining GoGet with public transport, you can easily get by without owning a car – or without owning a second one. Instead of paying overhead costs like fuel, rego, and maintenance, just pay for a GoGet when you actually drive one.

Learn More about GoGet

A well dressed man in the front of a GoGet car with the orange wing mirror visible - is it illegal to drive without a side mirror

How to not park in Canberra – Public and active transport

For a more cost-effective way of getting around, Canberra’s bus system can take you pretty much anywhere you need to go without the hassle of figuring our where to park in Canberra.

The city operates ACTION buses which can be paid for using a MyWay Card ($5 to purchase or free for seniors) or with cash. Select buses also have bike racks for those who like to cycle their way around.

They have handy bus routes designed with specific audiences in mind. For example, Route 81 is known as The Tourist Loop and will stop at all of Canberra’s must-see attractions. Route 101, the Free City Loop, is exactly that: a free bus that takes you to all of the most popular suburbs within the city.

Cash Rates

  • Adult Single Trip: $4.90
  • Adult Daily Ticket: $9.40
  • Concession, Tertiary, or School Student Single Trip: $2.40
  • Concession, Tertiary, or School Student Daily Ticket: $4.70

MyWay Adult Card Rates

  • Peak Single Trip: $3.14
  • Off-Peak Single Trip: $2.49
  • Weekday Cap: $9.40
  • Weekend/Public Holiday Cap: $5.73

Off-Peak Hours

  • Weekdays: 9:00AM – 4:30PM and after 6:00PM
  • Weekends and Public Holidays: All day

All other times are considered peak hours and peak hour rates apply. Off-peak travel discounts only apply to MyWay card holders.

Canberra: Worth a visit

Whether you’re exploring the city by car, bus, bicycle, or foot, Canberra is well worth a visit. It’s the heart of Australia’s democracy, but is also a bustling little city on it’s own accord.