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Life in Canberra

Defence Graduate Program

Canberra is a wonderful place to live for all kinds of people. Regardless of what you like to do with your free time, Canberra has something for you.

In Canberra we’re used to a commute to work that’s 20 minutes or less. On average we commute 3 hours and 30 minutes in a week, compared to almost 6 hours in Sydney and almost 5 in Melbourne. That means more free time for you to enjoy the rest of what Canberra has to offer.


The nation’s capital is home to many events the draw people from across the country all year round. You can expect to see the following:

Live Music

Canberra has a thriving live music scene and hosts numerous festivals each year for music lovers such as the National Folk Festival, Groovin the Moo, the Canberra International Music Festival and Spilt Milk.

You can also expect to see live music at the AIS Arena, The Basement, Canberra Theatre Centre, Llewllyn Hall, The Phoenix & Smiths Alterative. For something more classical and Opera try Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Canberra Opera. Be sure to keep an eye out for any upcoming gigs!

Brunch & Dinner

The brunch scene in Canberra is thriving, with brunch staples and must-try locations popping up all over the region. Take a walk up Lonsdale Street, along the Kingston Foreshore or the inner city and you’ll run into endless options. But don’t forget about the night, Canberra isn’t just a day city! Any Canberra local will be able to list you some of the great restaurants we have to offer or check out some of the most loved ones according to the Canberra Times.

Wineries, Brewries & Bars

Canberra is located between some great wineries and breweries. Home to Capital Brewing in Fyshwick, BentSpoke Brewery on Londsdale Street and Pialligo Estate next to the airport, you don’t have to go far at all! A stroll down through the city and surrounding suburbs will introduce you to the most popular bars Canberra has to offer. If you are up for a drive, there are more than 30 wineries within a 35 minute drive of the Canberra City!

Good Coffee

As Australian’s we’re known for our great coffee, Canberra is no different. Canberra has the only Ona Coffee Café in Australia and is home to Lonsdale Street Roasters. Any Canberra local will be happy to share with you their coffee of choice - don’t forget your keep cup of course!.

Outdoor Activites

Canberra is so close to everything outdoorsy with endless hikes in easy driving distance. Get a great view over Canberra at the top of the famous Black Mountain hike or check out the National Arboretum and enjoy stunning views that features 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world. Better yet, hop on a bike and do the 30k loop that takes you from the lake, through the base of Black Mountain all the way to the wetlands. NSW’s South Coast and ski fields are only a 2 hour drive away with busses running during peak season.

Indoor Activities

With the luxury of space, Canberra has great options for indoor activities. Think bouldering, rock climbing, indoor go-karting, national art galleries and, museums, glow in the dark mini golf, King Pin, trampolining, board game cafes, escape rooms, axe throwing and Questacon!

Air Force Hot Air Baloon floating over Lake Burley Griffin

Numbers and Figures

  • Home to 350,000 people, a large portion of which are young professionals and university students
  • 3 hours drive to Sydney
  • 2 hours to South Coast beaches
  • 2 hours to Snowy Mountains ski fields

Practical Links

We cover your relocation expenses

Transition from study to career can be a challenging one. For many, it is the also first time they have lived away from home, and most graduates are moving interstate. We work hard to make the whole process as easy as possible for you, and offer a generous financial package to meet the costs involved with relocation.